Imperfection is beauty, Marilyn Monroe used to say. Instead of throwing away broken things and remodeling the whole room when some tiles are broken or the floor is cracked, how about we fix that crack accentuating it and transforming it into something beautiful, a piece of art even? The cracks and pieces are part of its object history, we can value that not by disguising it, but by making it visible and beautiful.
The Kintsugi or Kintsukuroi is the Japanese art of fixing broken things(mostly pottery and porcelain) with golden or silvery lacquer resin, making the piece even more beautiful now that it got broken and fixed than how it was before. It values the object’s history and embraces the flaws and imperfections. There are many beautiful ways we can make it work, and here are some of them.
The most common use of Kintsugi. Afraid of breaking the china you got as a wedding gift, so you simply don’t use it ? Well, don’t be. Broken ceramics or porcelain can be turned into something magnificent once you glue the pieces together using lacquer resin or epoxy mixed with colored powder. I mean, look at the picture. Doesn’t it look like a piece of art? In this DIY you can learn how to do the process, step by step.
When a tile breaks, usually we go either through hours trying to find one that matches, or we change the whole wall or just forget about it. But how about we make the broken pieces shine? You can paint or fill the cracks with a bright color or even change the broken tile into a completely different one, like a fun patterned one, valuing the imperfection and finding beauty in it.
Decorating the cracks on a concrete or epoxy floor is a great way to renovate it without needing to invest on new flooring. You can choose between a lot of different materials to fill it, even completely not related ones, like in the picture above, that the artist used yarn to decorate the cracks.
Even on wood flooring, you can use the technique: it will save you money, time and the hassle of exchanging the whole piece of wood(that rarely matches the rest). Fill the crack with another different bigger piece or use a lot of small ones and maybe even make a mosaic. The result is stunning!
Create New Objects
Sometimes the ceramics or tiles break into way too many pieces to be worth the trouble of putting it back together. How about creating a new object with those pieces? You can make a smaller plate to place your keys near the door, you can make coasters or even a resting place for chopsticks and silverware.
Another interesting idea is joining different pieces of ceramic together. You can add only a small different bit into the object or even change half of it, like on the picture above. Use a special lacquer mixed with golden powder to join the pieces and enjoy your new amazing and unique kintsugi art.
Kintsugi is also present in art: this amazing sculpture by Paige Bradley uses the idea of Kintsukuroi by shining light through the cracks, making it an even more beautiful masterpiece, showing an idea of resilience, strength and of the beauty that lies on the imperfection.
Repair With Patterns
If the object you’re repairing has a missing piece, you can make it even more interesting by mixing Kintsugi with Makienaoshi, which is the incorporation of the original design into the repair. If it has a smooth finish, without any patterns, then you can make an interesting one on the repaired part, drawing abstract designs or even flowers and other patterns.
In America we are used to the new, the shiny, the young, we can’t deal with the “falling apart”, like old buildings, old things, we easily exchange it, tearing it down or discarding it. But there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it, in fact, it usually is the best way. In Japan, with its thousands of years old culture, the habit of just fixing broken things instead of getting a new one is much more prominent. How about we take this inspiration and apply it in our home and our lives?
"The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places." - Ernest Hemingway