Friday, 25 January 2013


This image recently appeared on Facebook and after I'd shared it for the delight of my friends I thought I'd try and find out a little more.
When I was in Japan last year I saw quite a variety of ceramics but nothing like this gorgeous bowl.  I found this detailed exhibition catalogue, with illustrations of various kintsukuroi and several essays on techniques and aesthetics:  The Aesthetics of Mended Japanese Ceramics which is well worth reading.
This all set me wondering about mending things.  Patchwork and quilting was originally about giving old fabric a new life but now we buy new fabric for our craft.  Things are rarely repaired, instead they are replaced.  But I wonder whether the quality of what we have in the first place dictates whether it is worth repairing.  I've thrown away two coffee mugs this week that were cracked, they weren't fantastically crafted items and so would the effort of repairing them have been advisable?  A treasured piece of jewellery, however, would be repaired and DH has repaired his tools so that they are no longer the original at all, with several new handles and new blades, but their life has evolved.  I'm rambling on,  time for some more pictures.

wabi   -   aesthetic ideal involving qualities of poverty, simplicity, modesty and undemandingness

sabi    -   aesthetic ideal involving qualities of seclusion, ageing, patina and/or decay

These images from:


  1. Jeans and leather age beautifully. I think it is because it is of good quality to start with. So a nicely made ceramic cup is worth repairing, with gold or glue. A cheap cup is also worth mending, if you like it. If we never replaced old things many people would be out of work. Balance is the answer, I guess.

  2. The repairs using gold are really beautiful

  3. What a lovely post. Lovely bowls.
    For some time I have been making quilts using old kimono fabric. I feel like your post supports my desire to keep at it.

  4. Fantastic pieces, I didn't know this technique.
    Repairing with gold...the precoiusness of the used material gives an idea of respect for the ware.
    So, should we mend with thread of silk?


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hugs, Lis x