Kintsugi roughly translates as ‘joining with gold’ (kin is ‘gold’ and tsugi is ‘join’). It is a centuries-old Japanese repair technique which uses urushi (Japanese lacquer) dusted with powdered gold to restore broken ceramic and porcelain vessels. Rather than masking fractures, kintsugi highlights them with gold to tell an object’s story. Items which have been restored using the kintsugi technique are often considered even more precious than they were before.
There are several methods of restoring ceramics and porcelain using urushi: for example, silver powder can be used as a finish (gintsugi) instead of gold; the repair can be completed using only urushi without any metal powder (urushitsugi); and missing fragments can be replaced with pieces of different ceramics (yobitsugi) or even pieces of wood (mokuhen).