Keep Calm and do Kintsugi

Aha! Got ‘ya! Now, what did You think that word meant? 🙂  Gotta help your imagination out a bit on this one, unless of course you are a Japanese-know-er.

Kintsugi is a Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with a lacquer resin and covering the stitches with gold. It looks MUCH better than it sounds!! See for yourself here and here. Oh, and educate yourself on Kintsugi here 🙂

Isn’t this beautiful?!

If you are anything like me – and I am sure every girl out there is attached to a piece or more of lovely nostalgia-evoking pottery – you have had the misfortune of breaking, (i.e. dropping, crushing, smashing) your or, God save, your grandma’s, pottery. This is exactly why I was so thrilled to have discovered Kintsugi!!

I have a very special plate. A wall plate. From Morocco. Apart from being of the deepest emotional value for me, it is quite an unusual piece of pottery by Moroccan standards.

20130811_205614Now, Moroccan pottery is very artful, colorful, stunningly crafty and  unimaginably diverse!  Shiny glazed, pleasantly shaggy matte, most exquisitely ornamented.  These are some pictures from my first trip to Morocco:

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CIMG1823And these are examples of traditional white-n-blue pottery from Fez, the ancient capital of Morocco. I collected these images from around the web: 

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As you see, my plate IS a bit different – it appears to be carved wood from the distance, it looks like painted metal up close, but it actually is ceramics. And it comes from a heaven-on-Earth city of Assilah off the North-West Atlantic coast in Morocco. (more on Assilah – the heaven for artists and folks fond of color vibe and the ocean – read here! But here is a sneak-peak 😉

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CIMG2587Back to my plate. I brought it all the way from Assilah to Beni-Mellal (central Morocco), to Casablanca (the International Airport) and to Odessa, Ukraine. 2 years after that, the plate relocated with me from Odessa to Las Vegas. Unfortunately, this last trip was one too many for my Most Traveled Plate. It cracked among the luggage. And I was desperate! But I could NOT make myself throw it away – I just couldn’t. And so the plate waited, wrapped in the old newspaper it had traveled half the world it, the newspaper that – alas!- was not enough to save the plate from breaking. It waited for the time I discovered Kintsugi.

This is what happened next:

1) Take the cracked piece of pottery, a glue (SuperGlue, in my case), and gold or silver coating – Martha Stewart Metallic craft paint was my weapon of choice.

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2) Clean your pottery – de-grease it, especially the places of future stitches. I rubbed it with alcohol.

3) Glue the pieces together. ONE BY ONE!!! NOT ALL TOGETHER AT ONCE. Note: IF you are using SuperGlue, DON’T allow the glue leak out onto the surface – wiping it off leaves a white trace – look at y example and learn!

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4) Let the glue dry (for however long your patience allows you) and then paint the stitches over with the gold coating using the thinnest crafts brush – I used the simplest painting brushes. It might take 2-3layers to look its best. Be patient, let a layer dry completely before adding another layer – the result is well worth waiting! And here you have it! Better than new, indeed: 

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One thought on “Keep Calm and do Kintsugi

  1. Pingback: It’s Alive! – Dining Room Gallery Wall Reveal | Home that We Built

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