Repair it, fixit, kintsugit

9 May

Kintsugi – a traditional Japanese technique for our modern times: Sustainable Habits include repairing things and fixing stuff – remember the Repair Manifesto here? Kintsugi takes it a level higher: You don’t just keep something [broken]. You don’t just fix it as best you can [and feel its lost its worth]. You keep it, fix it and make the fix so special you add to the value.

Kintsugi_kleinKintsugi – means to repair broken ceramic ware using gold joinery. Kintsugi involves attaching the broken pieces using lacquer (urushi) and applying gold powder to the join. DIY variants mix gold powder with adhesives. Also, there are similar techniques using silver or copper. Step-by-step pics shown here and on an antique bonsai pot here.

kintsugi-treasure-vessels--UDU2Ny0xMDg1MjUuNDgxMTIz_kleinkintsugi_2_klein???????????????????????????????Kitsugi restores functionality to something broken, though others contend that that is not its purpose. Kintsugi transforms by purposefully including damage and keeping it visible, indeed, highlighting it, imbuing an item with new characteristics. Kintsugi adds beauty and worth,  it turns scars, destruction and damage into the most valuable part of the piece and immortalizes in gold, silver, bronze or copper. Kintsugi: art, aesthetics and appreciation.

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Sarkis Zabunyan, a Turkish-born, Paris-based Armenian artist, was commissioned by  Bernardaud, a Limousine porcelain brand (no, make that a French national icon) in lieu of the 150 year company celebrations in 2013. Sarkis, inspired by kitsugi, designed a 12-piece dinner plate set of individually crafted plates.

Do some reading on The Aesthetics of Mended Japanese Ceramics here, recommended by Kenetha J. Stanton in her blog entry ‘About Kitsugi’ here. Vimeo clip on Ifixit here (you can take a Repair It Pledge on Ifixit here). First seen [Kitsugi] on ThisIsColossal here.

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