Kintsugi (金継ぎ) breaks down into two words – ‘kin’ meaning gold and ‘tsugi’ meaning to join or patch. This centuries-old Japanese repair technique involves using urushi – lacquer – and gold powder to delicately repair cracked ceramics. The art of kintsugi helps restore rather than discard objects and encourages the appreciation of their imperfections by highlighting them in gold. Each piece repaired by kintsugi methods is allowed to retain its value, usefulness and history.
Kintsugi crafters ZEN, a brand set up by Watanabe Atsuko in Tōno City, Iwate Prefecture, take on broken works from revered potters and ceramic artists across Japan and give them a new lease of life by skilfully repairing them using the kintsugi technique. Browse a selection of ceramics repaired by ZEN below, and read more about the repair technique in this kintsugi Story.