Kintsugi: The Wabi Sabi Art of Japanese Ceramic Repair

Tuttle. Mar. 2023. 128p. ISBN 9784805317211. pap. $18.99. REF
Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with urushi, a lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. It treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than as something to hide. The Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi is the appreciation of imperfections in objects. The kintsugi method of repair not only embraces the imperfections but highlights them. Mochinaga, a ceramic artist and expert in this type of ceramic restoration, has created a comprehensive presentation of the process. She explains the various materials used in kintsugi in detail and identifies each by the Japanese terminology. She clearly demonstrates how to approach different types of damage and the steps one should take to mend each in an authentic Japanese way. From the appeal of kintsugi to the finished repairs, the author takes readers on a journey through the loving restoration of pottery both antique and modern.
VERDICT The technical aspects of kintsugi are best directed to artists interested in learning the Japanese techniques. For the layperson, there are other methods of repairing ceramics that mimic the look of kintsugi without the expense and difficulty.
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