You broke your favorite ceramic, pottery or any other object? No panic!
You can entrust it to me and it will get even more beautiful than before thanks to the traditional Kintsugi
Kintsugi means golden joinery. As a philosophy it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object rather than something to hide or disguise. This technique enhances an object alterations and gaps. It regains life and its past life incidents are beautified .
This technique is the only one allowing a food safe reuse of the restored object. All materials used are natural and do not present any risks of toxicity.
The principal materials used are Urushi, a Japanese traditional lacquer and gold. The lacquer is majorly composed of a sap from a tree of the Anarcardiaceae family. It is extremely allergenic and irritating before it dries. Urushi is gathered by creating a cut in the tree trunk, it is then purified several times to extract the water and impurity particles it contains.
1. The object needs to be stabilized to stop further degradation.This can be the cleaning the traces of an ancient gluing or the fixing of a crack to prevent the enamel deteriorating. The object might also need a consolidation due to a loss of silicon (ceramics contains a large amount of silicon which ensures it solidity).
2. The pieces of the object are replied together using a mixture of lacquer and rice flour glue. It then needs to rest for 8 days under very stable, precise, and controlled climatic conditions.
3. The cracks and the gaps are filled with a mixture of lacquer and tonoko (a terra-cotta powder) called Sabi. In some cases the filling requires the creation of a custom wood veneer. The Sabi needs to dry during 8 days. The fillings are then sanded with magnolia charcoal. This sanding process is repeated as much time as needed.
4. The first layer is a black lacquer composed of Urushi and iron (II) oxyde which need to be grind together during several hours and purified several times. This lacquer is deposited on the object using a brush. The sanding of the lacquer is done once the polymerization is completed. These steps are repeated as much times as necessary to obtain the expected result.
5. The last layer is composed of a red lacquer made of Urushi and Iron (III) oxyde which will serve as an adhesive layer for the 22 carats gold. The gold is placed by sprinkling with a bamboo tool. This last step requires a total absence of dust in the room as well as on the person handling the object. The Chinese lacquers use to shave their heads and work in the middle of the sea to achieve a dust free environment. Once the object has finished drying one last time, the gold is polished with an agate.
6. Gold can be covered with a very fin layer of protective lacquer. This gives it a hotter hue close to bronze.
The process is nearly identical for the Gin-Tsugi, a silver based restore technique.
Interested in providing a second life to your sentimental and valuable objects while making them even more beautiful than before ?