Mind and body in balance

Gianfranco Chicco
Jul 2, 2020 · 4 min read

The Craftsman: Issue n.023 — July 2020

This is the archive of The Craftsman Newsletter. Sign up here to receive the latest issue, delivered to your inbox each month.

How come it’s July?!

If you’re a new subscriber, welcome! My name is Gianfranco Chicco and here I write about craftsmanship (duh!). This edition is shorter than usual, as being in lockdown has prevented me from meeting any craftsmen in person, although I did manage to follow up with a few via virtual interviews.

I also spent most of the last few months researching and writing for my book on Japanese craftsmanship, which I hope I can share more about soon. As part of my research, I read Simon Roberts’ book on embodied knowledge, which I review below.

If you would like to support the newsletter, you can now do so by buying me a virtual coffee.

As always, please reply to this email or tweet me with your thoughts and feedback.


A Call To Rebalance Tacit & Explicit Knowledge

“Our understanding of the world arises from our bodies’ interactions with and perceptions of the world — and it is through these interactions that our bodies acquire knowledge.” — Simon Roberts

Video courtesy of Klaus Motoki Tonn.

Transformation through Brokenness & Restoration

Prepare yourself a cup of tea and watch several weeks of kintsugi effort condensed into seven minutes. The video shows Showzi Tsukamoto repairing a broken bowl using lacquer (urushi) and gold dust. Kintsugi (also called kinsukuroi) is often described as mending broken pottery with gold, but as you can see in the video this is not accurate. Metallic powder — including gold, silver, and bronze — can be used as a final step to enhance the aesthetic value of the object, although it’s not strictly required. Kintsugi is about fixing the broken object as much as intesifying its character. The cracks become a part of its history.

The video was filmed and directed by Nick Böse, Timm Markgraf, and Klaus Motoki Tonn.


Check Out

  • The Battersea Table — Either if you love the iconic London power station or if you’re a fan of the Pink Floyd album Animals as much as I am, you’ll go crazy about this furniture masterpiece.


  • Oryoki set by POJ Studio — Pieces of Japan has launched its shop with an Oryoki set of 6 nested wooden bowls that have been traditionally used by buddhist monks.
  • Elvis & Kresse — They make sustainable bags, belts, and more out of London’s decommissioned fire-hoses.

You can now support The Craftsman Newsletter by buying me a virtual coffee on Ko-fi.

The Craftman Newsletter

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