How to Repair Your Favorite Mug with Kintsugi
“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places.”
Sure, it’s easy to just buy a new mug or pair of jeans, but here at Huckberry, we’re strong supporters of the idea that a little wear gives something character.
Enter Kintsugi, an ancient Japanese art that is equal parts craft and philosophy. Drawing upon the belief that breakage and repair are part of the history of an object—something to be embraced rather than disguised—kintsugi involves pasting pottery back together with resins made from gold and silver.
The history of Kintsugi is, much like its very principles, an imperfect one. We think it began somewhere in the late 15th century when a Japanese shogun sent a Chinese tea bowl back to China in need of repairs. The story goes that it was returned to him crudely held together with coarse metal staples. This prompted Japanese craftsman to invent repair techniques, and Kintsugi was born.
When Kintsugi did catch on as a cultural practice, it did in earnest: one story tells that in the hysteria surrounding the new art form, collectors would deliberately smash valuable pieces of pottery just so they could be repaired. We won’t go that far, but let’s just say we’ve thought about it.
Read on for step-by-step instructions for repairing your favorite chipped mugs and broken plates.
Step 1: Pour some epoxy on a clean surface and use a mixing stick to add gold powder for color.
Step 2: Once homogenous, use a mixing stick to liberally apply to your broken edge.
Step 3: Wait a few seconds for the epoxy to become tacky. Then, hold the broken pieces together for a minute or two.
Step 4: Go in with gold powder on your brush to touch up gold as desired.
Step 5: Repeat steps one through four as needed.
Banner photo: Humade