If you do enough work on computers, you may have found yourself literally going for the undo button in real life. Unfortunately, Ctrl+Z doesn’t do anything for your favorite mug that you dropped on the kitchen floor. So you basically have two choices: Throw it out (very sad if it’s irreplaceable), or try to repair it. Super glue can sometimes fix the damage, but other times, there are missing or pulverized pieces, and there’s no way the repair is going to make it look like the break never happened. Instead of trying to hide the repair, what if you highlighted it? That’s what the art of kintsugi does, featuring cracks filled with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. The outcome can be quite beautiful in its own right, and you can easily create the look yourself with a DIY kintsugi kit.
I’ve been curious about the technique for a long time, so when Claudia from the shop Mora Approved offered to send a kintsugi repair kit my way, I jumped at the chance to give it a try. She also sent me a second kit to give away, so if you’d like to win a kit of your own, read on!
I got very philosophical when thinking about the art of kintsugi, because the idea of finding beauty in broken or imperfect things, and celebrating the history of an object, could be applied to so many things in life. Like relationships. You can’t undo a hurtful word or deed, but you can try to repair the damage, and if you do a good job, your relationship might be better for it in the end. At least that’s what we all hope for when we make mistakes.
So maybe a pretty repaired dish is a good reminder of ways to deal with mistakes in life in general. Or maybe it’s just a pretty dish 🙂
Want to win your own kintsugi kit? Leave me a comment here, or follow me on Instagram and leave a comment on this post about what you would use it to to repair, and I’ll choose a winner in a week (enter by Tuesday, May 9, 2017).
DIY Kintsugi Repair
Hammer, if you need to break a dish
1. I got too impatient to try this kit to wait for a dish to break accidentally, so I took things into my own hands. I put a small ceramic saucer in a paper bag, and hit it with a hammer. I tried to hit it gently, to have as few breaks as possible, but it ended up in several pieces. Not ideal, but neither are a lot of accidental breaks, so I figured it would be a good example piece.
2. Figure out how the pieces fit back together, and make a plan for gluing them. If you have several pieces, like I did, you’ll want to work in sections, gluing together a few pieces at a time rather than trying to glue the whole thing together in one go. First concentrate on securing the pieces together, and then worry about the aesthetics.
3. Mix small amounts of the epoxy and gold dust, cover one broken edge of a piece, and press the other broken edge against it. Work as quickly as possible, and clean up excess glue with wet wipes, or rubbing alcohol and cotton swabs. Once the glue has set you won’t be able to get it off of places where you don’t want it, so clean up quickly! I found it best to let the glue in each section mostly set before moving onto another section and mixing another batch of glue. You can tell whether the glue on your piece is set by checking the hardness of your leftover glue on the dish.
4. If you have deeper cracks or missing pieces, you can use the clay epoxy to fill in the gaps. My gaps were small enough that I just filled them with glue, but I found it helpful to build it up gradually in multiple sessions. This was partly because I wanted more minimalist gold veins than I’ve seen with some DIY kintsugi, with no blobs of excess glue, so I was really careful to wipe away errant glue before it set, but when I did so, I often accidentally wiped some out of the cracks. So I added gold glue, wiped away excess, let it set before adding more, and repeated until I was happy.
5. While the glue is still sticky but not wet, dust with additional gold. Let all glue dry completely.
Thanks to Mora Approved for the kit, and be sure to enter to win your own if you’d like to give it a try!