Some see beauty in the broken places…others make beauty from the broken places.

There’s a famous technique in Japan known as kintsugi. Translated, it means “golden joinery” or “to patch with gold”. It’s a technique that stitches together broken pottery using gold applied with laquer on the broken places, enhancing the breaks.

The technique is also a philosophy – that one should treat breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.

According to Pui Ying Kwan’s research paper, “Exploring Japanese Art and Aesthetic as Inspiration For Emotionally Durable Design”,

As a philosophy, kintsugi can be seen to have similarities to the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, an embracing of the flawed or imperfect. Japanese aesthetics values marks of wear by the use of an object. This can be seen as a rationale for keeping an object around even after it has broken and as a justification of kintsugi itself, highlighting the cracks and repairs as simply an event in the life of an object rather than allowing its service to end at the time of its damage or breakage.

This is a philosopy we should apply to our lives, not just our posessions. We should not be ashamed of our broken parts, but rather, inspired by them. For we have broken, but not come undone. We are more valuable for our experiences and stronger and more beautiful in the places we’ve experienced pain.

Charlotte Bailey is a freelance hand-embroidery artist who, while waitressing one evening, dropped a willow-pattern plate.

From there, she was inspired by the idea of fixing it rather than trashing it.

She has taken the technique a step further, however, and adds her own flair. my fabric version – no glue at all! – combines a found shattered vase with fabric pieces, painstakingly patchworked together and highlighted with gold metallic passing thread. I wrap the pieces in fabric before re-assembly commences, after which gold ‘seams’ are carefully sewn.

Below are some photos of the art of kintsugi. Let these inspire you to embrace your wounds, flaws and broken parts.

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Photos vis CulturenLifestyle

Lauren Martin
Just another girl in the world...and founder of Words of Women

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