I have wanted to do this Kintsugi workshop at Studio Enti in Darlinghurst for a long time. I love the idea of saving beloved ceramics, Warbi Sarbi the Japaness sensibility.
My friend Julie Piece came along, she and husband Charlie have just bought a holiday house in Japan, so I hope when I go to visit her we’ll be off to refine our skills.
Mine are in need of a lot of practice … but in part that is the point, to quiet the mind in this loud and busy world we live in, not unlike the posts about Beach Combing, Daydreaming or the Art Workshops run by Art Travel Adventures.
I would also suggest checking out the wonderful ceramics by Naomi Taplin of Studio Enti.
What is kintsugi?
If you’ve heard of wabi-sabi, the Japanese philosophy celebrating imperfection, impermanence and incompleteness, you may have also come across kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken ceramics with gold alloy. Seen as an artistic manifestation of the wabi-sabi philosophy, the origin of kintsugi dates back to 15th century Japan, when Japanese craftsmen were looking for more aesthetic means to repair broken ceramics. Its influence on international modern art is vast—it has been featured in museum exhibitions such as at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and is even the album title of a popular American band, Death Cab for Cutie.
Kintsugi in everyday life
How can this Japanese art form or repair technique inspire and encourage us in our everyday lives?
1. It reminds us to embrace the asymmetry of life.
When an object breaks, it rarely does so evenly. Life is equally unpredictable and messy. Sometimes the bad outweighs the good, and other times the opposite is true. In kintsugi, the cracks on a vase aren’t hidden and are instead used as part of the design, a reminder that the ‘bad’ will always exist; it’s a normal part of life. But we have the power to still create something beautiful.
2. It reminds us to be more resilience-oriented than goal-oriented.
Kintsugi makes broken objects stronger than before. It refocuses our attention from what the object “should have been” (i.e. unbroken) to creating something beautiful and strong with what we do have. As author J. K. Rowling once said, “The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive.”
3. And well, it’s a reminder that if you break something, it’s not the end of the world.
Literally and figuratively.
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