About Kintsugi (Golden joinery)
Urushi (Japanese lacquer) was originally used to reinforce a material and act as an adhesive. Kintsugi is one of the techniques of lacquer which takes advantage of the characteristics of urushi . We use urushi for glueing together chipped or cracked ceramic bowls, and then sprinkle gold powder on the crack lines. It is a unique Japanese repair method. It is said that it began in the world of Japanese tea ceremony during the Muromachi period (around 14th – 16th century) when Japanese tea ceremonies became popular. The line after the repair is called “Keshiki (landscape)”, the real pleasure of Kintsugi , is that you can enjoy the differences from before and after the damage. Continuing to use repaired ware and finding a new characteristic in the line of the repair is a beautiful part of Japanese culture. In addition to arts and crafts, we are more than happy to provide people with a chance to enjoy their products for a long time, which is why we accept doing Kintsugi not only for our products, but also other company’s products.Please contact us about repairs via our inquiry page.
There is a phrase, ” lacquerware (can be passed down) until the last generation”. It came from the wisdom of the ancestors that lacquerware can be used for a long time because even if it is greatly damaged, it can be repaired like new. It also includes the meaning of the Japanese spirit of Mottainai *1 and repairing and using it carefully. Shitsurindo accepts repairs of lacquerware damage such as chips, fragments or even missing parts from the base product. If there is Makie lacquer work or Chinkin ( laquer on wood with gold inlay), we will recreate the patterns from the original and decorate depending on your budget. We will repair not only bowls, but also any other lacquerwares. Please feel free to contact us. ※We accept not only chipped or cracked items, but also repaintings of color faded items.
For repair requests, please contact us on our contact page.
(*1: This word can be translated as a sense of regret concerning waste.)
<Repair case 1>
The edge of the wooden bowl is chipped. Even though its chipped off completely, we can repair it.
Here is the work of joining the missing pieces together. We apply the kokuso lacquer to the core layer of the bowl to strengthen its structure.
Now it looks like a new product. It is repaired back to its original form and ready for use.
<Repair case 2>
This is a sake cup pedestal with a painting of cranes which is used on New Year’s day.
We went through the process of base coating, intermediate coating and finally top coating. Then we restored the painting of the cranes at the request of the customer.
Our makie artist drew the cranes with gold powder as if it were the original. Now, it can be used for New Year.
Q&A for repairs
- The edge of the bowl is chipped. Can you repair it?
- Yes, we can. We would be happy if you can send us the fragments together, but even if you have lost the fragments, please contact us as it can still be repaired without the missing pieces.
- How many days will it take to repair?
- Please expect that it will take about 2 to 3 months depending on the damage. The lacquer takes a long time to dry as it will be repaired with natural urushi (Japanese lacquer). The process requires three coatings: base, intermediate and top coating.
- How much will it cost to repair?
- It will depend on the damage and the repair parts even for a single bowl. We will quote you if you send us pictures or something showing the damage. The basic cost of a full re-coating of a soup bowl starts from 2,500 yen.
- Can you repair and repaint the lacqureware that I bought at an antique market?
- Yes, we can. This depends on the time, the method of wood conversion and the condition of the base product. The techniques and crafts of lacquerware can vary, but it can be repaired. Please feel free to contact us.
- Is it possible to repair lacquerwares from other production districts?
- Yes, but please tell us as much as you can which production district you bought your lacquerware from.
- How can I send the lacqureware for repairing?
- Please send it by express home delivery or postal parcel. In this case, put it in the middle of a cardboad box with cushioning material, such as newspaper, so that it will not move in the box avoiding further damage to the lacquerware.