kintsugi – precious mending

porcelain plate mended with goldI’m really looking forward to the Kintsugi lecture at the Ashmolean on the 24th Jan – I think places are still available.

I’ve been mending work using resin (araldite, in my case) and gold leaf for a while. It’s only since learning the name – kintsugi – that I’ve found some great online resources. (This site has changed its address recently, search by kintsugi-better-than-new if it doesn’t work!)

If you prefer, there’s also video information. This is too slow for me so I haven’t looked at it yet!

porcelain plate mended in goldI’m not to hung up on authenticity of materials, I like the idea of using new tech so long as it works and looks good. I usually mend the pot first, using techiques from Nigel Williams’ Restoration handbook.
PorcelainRestorationBook I then apply a bead of rapid-dry araldite along the crack. The knack is to to apply it when it’s partly cured, so that it doesn’t spread too far. Let the glue set for 24 hours, then apply size and metal foil – I use 23 carat gold or platinum rather than silver which tarnishes.

porcelain plate with volcanic glazes mended with gold kintsugiThis plate, glazed with a volcanic glaze, was cracked but not broken, so I filled the cracks with milliput, then gilded over.

plate mended with gold Old Japanese kintsugi is highly prized, and some is sold today – there’s a great example by Serkis. I’ve had mixed feedback from non-specialists, some hate the idea of a broken pot. But there’s a real difference between mending a break and gilding: one celebrates reclamation, repair; the other feels a bit like bling.

kelliemiller_gallery_1Last chance to see: Kellie Miller’s pop-up shop in Brighton closes on the 19th Jan 2014, in case you want to see my work there! The whole shop looks great!

9 responses to “kintsugi – precious mending

  1. Hi Carys, just discovered your blog and have subscribed for updates via email. Alas, I’m too late for the kintsugi lecture at the Ashmolean so am kicking myself. Anyway, I happen to have just blogged about attempting kintsugi-ish repairs on textiles: I collect different ways to repair fabrics, and remedying the pesky moth hole on woollens is a perennial challenge. This has to be one of my favourite solutions to date: I lifted the link your recommended for repairing ceramics, so thanks very much!


    • Hi Eirlys – you must have seen who darns… in they gave a prize for best darning (with Noro) which looked great.

      Darning in gold is a truly great idea – I have chronic moth so I will be starting to practice this tonight! Another great mash-up too, apparently this is now academically called ‘post disciplinary’.

      Nice to meet you too! My BFF at school was called Eirlys! Am following you too…


      • Yes! I follow Tom’s wonderful darning exploits, though we haven’t met yet, sadly. Some day.

        Your BF at school was called Eirlys? Wow! I have never knowingly encountered another in the flesh, though I grew up relatively close to Wales. I’ve begun to wonder if, when I finally clap eyes on another, I might turn to stone. Or a pillar of salt. Will certainly feel very odd. While on names, I know that Carys was somewhere on my parents’ (exclusively Welsh) list. Lovely name. Can’t do much better than being called ‘Beloved’, can you now?

        Post-disciplinary. Great tag. I will try to weave it into casual conversation. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: talking japanese | carys davies porcelain·

  3. Pingback: Kintsugi Update and Alternatives | Misericordia·

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