“The Japanese art of Kintsugi, or Kintsukuroi, repairs broken pottery with seams of gold. This repairs the brokenness in a way that makes the object even more beautiful for being broken.”
This is a powerful metaphor of the beauty of restoration – a restoration that does not exactly return to the old pattern, but embellishes beauty along fractured lines of our brokenness.
Artist Teresita Fernandez said this:
In Japan there is a kind of reverence for the art of mending… A broken bowl would be valued precisely because of the exquisite nature of how it was repaired…
Often, we try to repair broken things in such a way as to conceal the repair and make it “good as new.” But the tea masters understood that by repairing the broken bowl with the distinct beauty of radiant gold, they could create an alternative to “good as new” and instead employ a “better than new” aesthetic. They understood that a conspicuous, artful repair actually adds value. Because after mending, the bowl’s unique fault lines were transformed into little rivers of gold that post repair were even more special because the bowl could then resemble nothing but itself.
Here lies that radical physical transformation from useless to priceless, from failure to success. All of the fumbling and awkward moments you will go through, all of the failed attempts, all of the near misses, all of the spontaneous curiosity will eventually start to steer you in exactly the right direction.
To listen to Fernandez’ whole speech, go to “What it Really Takes to be an Artist.”
“We break, we feel and we possess the courage to heal.
Kintsugi art is a “golden token” to remind us that we are more beautiful for being broken.”
Mission Statement of: Kintsugigifts.com
“There is a crack, a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.”
“Gotta kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight”
Bruce Cockburn, Lovers in a Dangerous Time
More beautiful for being broken
Let me embrace this fragmentation;
let me join You in searching for the shards #
and watch, holding my breath,
as you fill the cracks with gold
that let its luminescence leak through
with the incandescence of your presence.
More beautiful for being broken,
like artists who pulverize plants for paint,
or mineral pigments crushed;
they suffer to release their royal hues,
splendid and liquid and chrysalid,
the place where beauty and tragedy meet.
More wonderful for being wounded?
This space where the light gets trapped
and refracted within the pigments;
The grace arena where it all happens: *
Light snared and shaped in the gap
between the layers of paints and strokes.
More beautiful for being broken
I do this to remember You,
and You do this to remember me?
You, the prism of fractured light
of hidden colours until the moment
Radiance travels through the Triune.
Only in You can we be more beautiful for being broken
For more, see video in: “Kintsugi: Japan’s ancient art of embracing imperfection.” Terushi Sho writes:
“The kintsugi technique (meaning “to join with gold”) is an extension of the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, which sees beauty in the incomplete and value in simplicity. The broken pieces’ gilded restoration usually takes up to three months, as the fragments are carefully glued together with the sap of an indigenous Japanese tree, left to dry for a few weeks and then adorned with gold running along its cracks.
In an age of mass production and quick disposal, learning to accept and celebrate scars and flaws is a powerful lesson in humanity and sustainability.”