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Kintsugi or Kintsukuroi? What’s the Difference?

If you are trying to work out the difference between Kintsukuori vs Kintsugi, it basically comes down to translation over exact wording and ultimately means very much the same thing.

The following is how they translate roughly and how they differ.

“Kintsugi” which is Japanese for “Golden Joinery” whereas “Kintsurukoi” translates to either “Golden Repair” or “Golden Mend”.

So you will often see them interchanged quite often with “Kintsugi” being by far the more common of the two.

Of course, you can pretty much argue the fact that they are pretty much the same thing. As per, English ‘joinery’ is often to make or mend or repair something.

It’s worth noting that modern-day Kintsugi doesn’t just stick to gold however, you will see a whole range of different colours such as silver and rose gold. It’s just worth noting that the original Kintsugi was attributed with gold and the golden glue.

Kintsugi and Kintsukuroi Philosophy

They both centre around the same ancient Japanese philosophy of ‘Wabi Sabi’. As you can see from the range of Kintsugi videos featured in this article. Kintsugi is the practice and process of repair by binding the broken pieces (often pottery and glass) to then strengthen and repair it again, to not only bring it back to its original form.

However, with the golden ‘cracks’ scattered through it - it makes it even more beautiful and idealistic than when it was originally formed. Essentially, in turn, making it look even better than it once did.

Of course, with this, there is much more than just meets the eye here with Kintsugi. There's a metaphor and life lesson that can ultimately be taken away from it. It’s more than just an art.

So whereas Kintsugi or Kintsukuroi is literally the process of repairing broken ceramic bowls, mugs, coffee mugs, plant pots and basically anything that needs fixing.

Whilst carrying this process out - at leas the lessons I have learned from carrying it out - is that the things in life whether that be relationships or aspects that have been carried out can damage us - over time we can learn to seal these imperfections and over time it’s what makes us perfect in the long run.

It’s essentially what makes our personalities and our characters unique and ‘beautiful’ just like the broken pottery that has been repaired with Kintsugi. Over the last few years it has really taken off in popularity, specifically in the western culture, and you can see it amongst jewellery as well as a range of other pottery too.

In all, it’s about making sure that we all appreciate aspects that are imperfect and in that we can find perfection and satisfaction. The breakages are essentially apart of the history of the object and aren’t the end of it, where it would just end up in the bin.

Not only that Kintsugi (carried out yourself), see the instruction guide below on how to do just this (in 5 steps as well as everything you need), making for great talking pieces in your home but also a sense of pride as it is something you can carry out yourself. That said, there are professional services out there that perform it as well in case the ornament or piece of pottery had sentimental value and you wanted to make sure that it was restored properly and to a high standard.

However, we would certainly recommend giving it a go yourself. It’s a therapeutic and pretty fun practice, especially for those who are a bit more arts and crafts inclined.

Follow the 5 step guide below on how to carry it out yourself

How to Carry out Kintsugi

Step 1) Make sure you have all the necessary equipment in front of you as well as a workspace to get started. This will include the epoxy glue as well as gold powder, the stirring sticks as well as a brush (better still you could just get a Kintsugi Kit that’s got everything you need already). Of course, you will need the broken ornament that needs actually fixing up as well, whether that be a glass vase that needs fixing or just your favourite mug.

Step 2) Piece everything together. This is just to give yourself a little plan ahead of all the actions that need to take place when it comes to fixing it up. The last thing you need is sticking the wrong piece to the wrong place and then it’s been glued together for over 10 minutes and you are trying to pry it apart from one another

Step 3) Now start to mix up the glue with the gold powder. This is really as simple as it sounds. Squirt some of the epoxy glue into a container and then add a few pinches of gold, then start to mix it together. Carrying on doing this until it is evenly and uniformly spread to make the famous golden glue lacquer

Step 4) It’s time to start applying the glue. Pick up a brush, dip into the glue and start to brush the glue along the edge of a piece that you want to fit together. We advise a bit of haste here as the glue is drying. Once you have fitted them together, hold them in place for 2-3 minutes to ensure the glue has dried

Step 5) This is about moving on to the next piece and essentially just carrying out again what you have just done. Then keep doing this and before you know it you have the whole piece fixed.

Optional Step 6) Now step back and admire your work. Hopefully, you found the whole process quite therapeutic and you can move onto your next piece where you can start to experiment a bit more with the gold cracks, whether you want to make them thicker, thinner, more seamless or more bobbly too.

Of course, before you go ahead smashing up your favourite mug just so you can fix it with golden glue, we do recommend that you watch a few youtube videos and tutorials in addition to the instructions above.

Please do let us know if you have any questions over the differences between Kintsugi and Kintsukuroi as well and any of the instructions detailed above on how you can go about having a go at it yourself.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Bradley Morrison