Photographer Ellen Silverman recently sent us photos of her Kintsugi mending project which we SO admire. We’ve had it on our list to try kintsugi, the Japanese way of repairing broken things with the mend celebrated rather than hidden. That can mean repairing ripped clothing with bold embroidery, or a wooden floor with a riveted tin patch. In the case of broken pottery, glue mixed with gold powder is used to amplify the preciousness of the break, the repair, and the story of a beloved vessel. Wrote Ellen:

Here are a few photos from the mending project. I was not able to take photos while doing the actual work because the glue dries very fast. Josh held the pieces while I applied the glue so all hands were occupied!

Ellen Silverman

It worked well. Although it was harder on the Saki cup to make a smoother line. I think we needed more practice. Josh likes the squiggly line. 

Ellen Silverman

Ellen bought this kit that had all she needed to get going. There are many variations available on Amazon and on Etsy.

It was easy to use. The handle was the easiest repair. Harder to make a long nice line in the case of the cup. The glue dries in 4 minutes. The gold is some metallic powder that you mix into the glue. The kit also comes with gloves! 

Once you get the hang of it, you can buy the elements a la carte, including gold- colored mica powders (or even real gold powder) in exactly the tone you prefer. Here’s some essential info along with an online course you can take.

Ellen Silverman

I was so happy to be able to repair these two pieces that we really love!

Ellen Silverman

Improvised Life has featured quite a few articles about kintsugi over the years. Check them out below.

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2 replies on “DIY Kintsugi Repair for Beloved Broken Things

  1. Thanks for the nudge! I have been meaning to do this with a wooden bowl that had a tiny hole knocked into it in the last few seconds of its creation.

  2. Yeah, I’ve had a Kintsugi kit on my work table for longer than I care to confess. Ellen is an inspiration.

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