Thursday, 2 July 2015

Broken Teacups: Finding the Silver Lining

A Blue and White Ming Charger with Kintsugi Repair
Aspire Auctions
I collect teacups. Some are collected from garage sales, others are purchased brand new.  These have cost me anywhere between $0.20-$60.00 per teacup and saucer set, but each is precious and invaluable to me, so I take extra care whenever I use them.  More than collecting teacups, I love hosting tea parties.  Guests are delighted to claim their special pattern for the afternoon, but no matter how gentle my guests are, accidents still can happen.  So to prepare myself for a broken heart and china, I learned more about repairing pottery and discovered the art of Kintsugi.  

Kintsugi at Tokyo Bike
Sequins and Cherry Blossom
Kintsugi or Kintsuguroi is a technique to mend broken pottery with a philosophy of beautifying its wear and tear rather than hiding it.  This method fills in the missing pieces and glues the broken edges together using lacquer resin with metallic dust, coloured in gold, silver, copper or bronze. Chips and tumbles are part of the life of the ware, so it aims to highlight its history while repairing it to be used once more. 

Outside of pottery, Kintsugi is so poetic. It speaks to me about growing and aging as a beautiful transformation.  It encourages me that when we go through life and have pieces of ourselves worn or cracked along the way, we are also changing and building shinier, prettier pieces of ourselves.  
We can also apply this same idea onto our favorite subject, Reuse.  Just because something is broken, it does not immediately lose its value.  Do not throw it out just yet - Stop and consider the possibilities and options you have.  Can this be repaired? Are there still workable spare parts? Would this be a good item to repurpose? Create the silver lining.

- Siao (Volunteer)

1 comment:

  1. This is fantastic! What a great lesson. It's too easy to throw things away and buy new.