Right about now I’m wishing I hadn’t tossed that prized stoneware bowl that my tenants broke last summer. Had I known, I could have used it to practice the fine art of Japanese kintsugi.
Kintsugi, or kintsukuroi—literally meaning “golden repair”—is the Japanese art of mending broken vessels with gold or other metallic lacquer. Along with similar wabi-sabi traditions such as boro and shashiko, in which the broken or imperfect is not discarded, but literally celebrated via painstaking repair, kintsugi is witnessing a resurgence in popularity. Today, collectors are not only clamoring for antique specimens, but contemporary artists are experimenting with their own interpretation of this age-old art.
N.B.: This post is an update; it was first published on January 25, 2017.
Looking for more wabi-sabi accents for your home? See:
- Wabi-Sabi Style: La Nouvelle Table from Merci in Paris
- Design Sleuth: The Japanese Boro
- Subtle Imperfections: Screen-Printed Ceramic Tiles from a Small-Batch London Company.
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