Finding strenght in imperfection

The Art of Kintsugi: Discover the traditional technique, step by step

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The Art of Kintsugi Follows a slow and meticulous ceremonial, which requires patience and concentration.

Day after day, week after week, step by step, the object will be cleaned, groomed, cared for, cured, and finally sublimated. Here in detail the Different traditional phases of the realization of a Kintsugi. Perhaps you will taste it: It is also an opportunity to discover the pleasure of these slow and precise gestures, which invite to immerse themselves with delight in The full awareness of the present moment...


Step 1: Break

Experience: An unexpected, a false movement, a shock, and it's the downfall...

Accept: Take your wits and gather the shards.

Decide: Make the choice to give a second chance and a second life to the object instead of throwing it away.

Choose: Study the different repair techniques that exist and select the one that suits you best: illusionist technique (invisible repair), staples (metal staples along the crack), or Kintsugi? (Gold Knuckles)

Imaginez : Be creative and dare to think differently!

Display: Concentrate and represent the vision of the repaired object in all its splendor.

 


Step 2: Assemble

 

Prepare: Clean the pieces of the object, gather all the tools (spatula, palette, lacquer, brushes, gold powder, drying box, chopsticks, turpentine, sandpaper, silk cotton...)  and protect yourself with gloves.

Restore: Observe and assemble the "puzzle" to prepare the repair.

Turn: Change the poison to antidote! The lacquer (Urushi) used as a binder for gluing the parts is natural. It is obtained directly from the Resin of the lacquer tree . But it is very irritating, that's why you have to protect yourself when you apply it. However, when drying, it will harden and repair the object perfectly, losing its toxicity.

Collect: Prepare and apply the binder (Mugi-Urushi, mixture of flour and Urushi lacquer) on both sides of the break with a spatula, and glue the pieces to restore the object.

Fill: If a piece is missing, prepare a binder (Sabi-Urushi) by mixing lacquer (Urushi) with rock powder (Tonoko), and recreate it patiently with this dough.

Associate: If it inspires you, you can even choose a piece from another object to fill the gap in an original way (Chris-Tsugi Technique).


Step 3: Wait

Remove : Scrape the superfluous material with a tool (shaver, toothpick, cutter, fine spatula...) and then clean it by passing the essence of turpentine.

Hold : positionnez les pièces bien en place avec du ruban adhésif de masquage, ou des élastiques.

Let it breathe: The lacquer (Urushi) is alive, it must paradoxically breathe to dry and harden. Prepare a closed cardboard box (Muro), put a towel and a few chopsticks on the bottom to place the object above the fabric as on a grate.

Déposez : The lacquer hardens better when maintained at a moisture content of between 75 and 90%, and ideally at more than 20 degrees. Also, place the object in its box and keep it in heat and humidity constantly.

Clean : At each step, clean the instruments (spatulas, cup, brushes...) with turpentine or vegetable oil and carefully store your material for the next time.

Let: Wait patiently for the object to dry in the box between 7 and 14 days.


Step 4: Repair

Polish: When the object is perfectly dry, clean the binder traces with a cutter and turpentine, then sand with sandpaper to smooth the surface perfectly. The object is only a brown scar.

Touchez : Some irregularities are difficult to discern with the naked eye. Check that the surface is perfectly flat, passing your finger over the fault lines.

Apply : déposez avec application sur toutes les cicatrices de l’objet une première couche de laque, noire, (Roiro-urushi) à l’aide d’un pinceau très fin.

Focus : respirez régulièrement, concentrez-vous et ayez des gestes lents, mesurés et précis pour dessiner la ligne la plus fine possible. Laissez sécher dans la boîte (Muro) environ une à deux semaines.

Add: Polish the surface, then re-apply a very fine second coat of lacquer, red (E-Urushi, or Neri Bengara-Urushi).

Revive The scars are now covered with a beautiful red lacquer. Like shiny, well-irrigated veins, they cured the object and gave it a second breath. Put half an hour in the box.

 


Step 5: Reveal

Brighten: Place the gold powder on a brush or in an application tube and sprinkle it gently on the still sticky lacquer (without touching it as it is still fresh).

Récupérez : With the help of the brush, collect the gold powder in excess for your next creation. Then place the object back in the box (Muro) to allow to dry and harden for 2-3 days.

Unveil: Once the lacquer dries, pass a cotton ball of silk to remove excess gold powder and reveal the gold scars.

Protect: Pass a thin layer of protective lacquer to stabilize the gold, which you will gently dab 5 minutes after. Let it dry again for 24 hours.

Customize : adoptez l’outil qui vous conviendra et vous « parlera » le mieux pour polir l’or. Certains Kintsugi Masters Use an agate stone, others of ivory, fish teeth, a hematite stone...

splendor Polish the object with a mixture of oil and powder, and the polisher you have chosen to sparkle the gold.


Step 6: Sublime

 

Observe: Take a step back and contemplate the repaired and sublimated object in all its unity, bearing with nobility its golden scars.

Admire: Notice how The broken object has reincarnated into a precious work of art, unique and priceless.

Contemplate: Remember the story that this object carries in its scars...

Feel: The lacquer has hardened when drying, feel how much the object is even more solid than before the repair.

Assume: Accept with pride the imperfection. It is even more beautiful and more precious once broken and repaired!

Expose: Present your creation to your entourage. Tell his story to inspire others, and to blow them the idea that it is possible to repair...


Supplies

You can easily find all the material on the Internet, retail or in the form of ready-to-use kits. Depending on your degree of perfectionism and your budget, you can follow the traditional method, with the real Japanese lacquer (Urushi) and 22 carat gold powder (recommended for food use) or simply inspire you with this technique and Assemble epoxy glue and golden paint or mother of pearl powder.


Learn the technique of Kintsugi

To learn the traditional technique, you can view free tutorials on the Internet, take a special lesson at a distance with an experienced Kintsugi craftsman (Click here To discover contacts), or register for training courses or workshops in the traditional art of Kintsugi. (See here The International Directory of Internships and workshops Kintsugi)

This art is demanding... If you do not have the courage to get started, you can also inspire yourself with this art to create a "false Kintsugi", with a simplified method, or entrust your treasures to be restored to skilled Kintsugi craftsmen (Click here To consult the world Directory of Artisans and masters Kintsugi)


The Kintsugi As a metaphor for life...

The Kintsugi is a perfect metaphor for life and philosophy of the resilience... If the subject inspires you, you can find all these steps such as a lead to guide you through Your own healing process In the Book of Céline Santini, « Presentation of the book« . (Editions First, 2018).


Assume your singularity: as the art of Kintsugi emphasizes, you are absolutely unique in the world!

Like a Kintsugi, you are unique in the world


Kintsugi, the art of Resilience-a book to put gold on wounds

Kintsugi , the Art of resilience – French Version. Soon available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Italian, Polish, Czech, Russian.

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Buy the book in the language of your choice:

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5 réponses à “L’art du Kintsugi : découvrez la technique traditionnelle étape par étape”

  1. 1 Elisabeth DANJOU

    A wonderful discovery... just when I needed it...

    Answer
    • 1 Blogjourapresjour

      Thank you Elisabeth for your comment... The master appears when the student is ready... 🙂

      Answer
  2. 1 dosch13

    hello, thank you for all this information. a quick question, with an epoxy repair can we consider eating or drinking in the room?
    thank you for your response

    Answer
    • 1 Blogjourapresjour

      Hello! Thank you for your message and your interest in the kintsugi.
      No, unfortunately, the only possibility to be able to eat or drink in the room is to respect the traditional process with urushi lacquer and real gold (or silver) .
      Sincerely yours, Céline Santini

      Answer

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