Kintsugi

Kintsugi

Kintsugi (‘golden joinery’) or Kintsukuroi (golden repair) is the Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with a lacquer resin sprinkled with powdered gold. Kintsugi may have originated when shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa sent a damaged Chinese tea bowl back to China for repairs in the late 15th century.

When it was returned repaired with ugly metal staples, it may have prompted Japanese craftsmen to look for a more aesthetic means of repair. Collectors became so enamored of the new art that some were accused of deliberately smashing valuable pottery so it could be repaired with the gold seams of kintsugi. Kintsugi became closely associated with the ceramic utensils used for Japanese tea ceremony.

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