Kintsugi was a recent revelation to me, although it is ancient in origin. Simply put, it’s the Japanese method of repairing broken ceramics with lacquer mixed with gold. Philosophically, it embraces the journey of an object, highlighting any breaks that occur throughout its use and rendering it more beautiful through repair and continued utility. I think that’s a pretty lovely sentiment, don’t you?
Antique kintsugi pieces come with a predictably high price tag, but I was eager to add one of the wabi-sabi pieces to my collection so I decided to try my hand at a more modern take on the old-school art form. This project is super simple and includes the particularly cathartic step of breaking dishes, which is just as fun as it sounds.
1. Seal your plate inside a Ziploc bag and drop it on the floor from about chest high. If you have an extra dishes, it doesn’t hurt to do a test drop to see how your dishes will shatter. Depending on the thickness of the dish, you might have to drop it from higher or lower to get the right about of breakage. You’re aiming for one or two large breaks that are easy to put back together—what you don’t want is a completely shattered dish.
A note on where to find dishes to use: I love perusing the aisles at my local secondhand store to find old dishes to you. You can often find a really pretty collection for like $5 or $10, so you don’t have to stress about breaking it.
2. Take the broken pieces out of the bag and figure out how they fit together.
3. Using a fine-tipped bottle of E6000, draw a thin line of glue down one broken edge.
4. Press the pieces together and hold in place for 60 seconds until the glue starts to set. It’s okay if a little bit of the glue seeps out of the crack—I like the raised texture it adds to the dish. Let dry according to the package directions.
6. Let dry and repeat with a second coat of paint. It’s okay if it’s a little bit uneven—that simply adds to the perfectly imperfect vibe of the piece. Once the paint has fully dried, fill your dish with all your pretty jewelry.
I like to keep one ring dish in my bathroom, one on my nightstand and one next to the kitchen sink, so I have a place to store my jewelry while I’m washing my hands, doing dishes and going to sleep. Plus, I love having these pretty kintsugi-style pieces scattered around my house as a friendly reminder that flaws are beautiful and things that have once been broken can be made better.