I use the technique of Kintsugi. “Kintsugi” is unique to the Japanese culture; it is a method of repairing cracked or broken pottery. Kintsugi isn't just about repairing broken pottery. For a long time, the Japanese have had an appreciation for reusing and repairing items that hold a memory to us. The Kintsugi method takes a lot of time and effort so people in this modern age may not see the benefit, however this is also an art form that breathes new life into broken pottery that holds history. Traditional Kintsugi is done by using Urushi, which is tree sap taken from the Urushi tree, which is then applied in multiple thin layers to mend the broken pieces together. By reapplying multiple thin layers of Urushi, it creates an extremely strong hold, and it even repels water. After putting the pieced back to where it belongs with Urushi, we can then apply gold power or other natural materials to the mended cracks to finish. These beautiful finished pottery end up with visible cracks, often lined with gold, and they almost become a brand new piece of pottery.
The process of Kintsugi can remind us of how we try to mend ourselves in our lives from physical or emotional wounds. The process of healing from physical or emotional distress is often done slowly over time, one step at a time - just like the process of repeatedly applying Urushi. The more time and effort we put into these processes, the stronger it or we become. We humans will end up with scars as we live our lives. We can choose to heal privately and hide those scars, or we can choose to embrace our scars and let it become a part of our beautiful self. Those with scars similar to the idea of Kintsugi don't choose to hide them, but let it be a part of themselves that speaks of strength and their own history. It reminds us that scars can mean different things to people who have them, but it's not just simply a scar. A scar is much more, and it can be a marking of a memory, a history, a decision, love, strength, pain, sorrow, but overall, some form of healing. Kintsugi seems to have a similar form to how we heal with pride, strength, love and beauty.
My Kintsugi artworks can be displayed or worn. When displayed, it can have a silent and still beauty, and when worn, it comes to life with movement. The use of my work is entirely up to the owner and how they connect with it. If there is a case where the artwork is broken or damaged, I am offering to give it another life with the Kintsugi method for as long as I live. I believe if the owner feels a connection with the artwork, it can be reborn with Kintsugi and reconnected to its owner.
By using gifts from Mother Earth, it’s a collaborative work of natural materials and I assist its evolution and metamorphosis into its final form.