(n.) (v.phr.) “to repair with gold”; the art of repairing pottery with gold or silver lacquer and understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken.
Translated as “golden joinery,” Kintsukuroi, or Kintsugi, is the centuries-old Japanese art of fixing broken pottery. Rather than rejoin ceramic pieces with an invisible adhesive, the Kintsugi technique employs a special tree sap lacquer dusted with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. Once completed, beautiful seams of gold glint in the conspicuous cracks of ceramic wares, giving a one-of-a-kind appearance to each “repaired” piece.
In Kintsugi, you don’t merely fix what’s broken, you repair the total object, celebrating each artifact’s unique history by emphasizing its fractures and breaks rather than hiding or disguising them, often making the repaired piece even more beautiful than the original, revitalizing it with a new look and giving it a second lease of life.