DIY: Repair your broken pottery with the Japanese art of “kintsugi”

Julia Marino
HolaTomorrow
Published in
5 min readApr 8, 2021

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I’m on my 35th birthday two years ago, my wonderful husband Julien surprised me with a class in “kintsugi” — the ancient Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer and metallic powder.

I didn’t know where we were going as we winded a little street in the quirky Suginami neighborhood of Tokyo. But then we found it — the fresh, earthy scent of clay, the sound of a spinning pottery wheel, and the sparkle of gold reflecting through a window. “Oh, it’s kintsugi!”, I exclaimed excitedly as I jumped up and wrapped my arms around him.

At that time, I was still recovering from breast cancer treatment and grappling with the loss of my breast and the large scar hidden under my linen shirt. But these Japanese concepts- wabi-sabi, kintsugi-a way of healing that honors cracks rather than hides them, resonated deep within my chest and pulled playfully at my heartstrings. Plus, the kintsugi aesthetic is absolutely stunning. I couldn’t wait to get my hands dirty.

Inside, Yoshiko and Yoshiichiro, the cute married couple who own Kuge Crafts, blushed sweetly at the sight of our affection and welcomed us in with a smile. A table was laid out with Japanese sweets and tea and their impressive kintsugi collection-an antique teacup with gold cracks, rice bowls with glass beads, as well as more…

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Julia Marino
HolaTomorrow

Let's make the world better, one step, one breath, one bite at a time. life designer. food lover. nature explorer. seeing beauty in the imperfect.