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Japanese Kintsugi Repair
Kintsugi (or Kintsukuroi) is the Japanese art of using Urushi lacquer, mixed with silver, gold, or metallic powders to repair broken pottery or porcelain. The philosophy behind this technique is to treat the repair as part of the object’s history as opposed to treating the repair as something to hide as if it never happened.
You will repair in a traditional method using real Uushi lacquers, without any artificial materials. With the Kintsugi Repair Kit, it is possible to effectively repair damaged pottery on your onw. The resulting repaired pottery will be both visually appealing and durable as well. The Japanese have been using Urushi lacquering techniques for approximately 9,000 years, and this skill and art form is still valued to this day.
Although the Urushi tree is native to China, Korea and Japan, the knowledge of this tree’s lacquer qualities dates back to the beginning of man. Contemporary research supports the idea that Urushi’s lacquer technology was first discovered in China, and later introduced to Korea and then to Japan. The discovery of Japanese lacquerware dating back to the Jomon period (ca.10500-ca.300BC) however supports the theory that Urushi tree lacquer was discovered and developed in Japan independent of China or Korea.
The sap of the Urushi (or lacquer) tree has long been prized for its ability to become very mirror-like, durable, and hard once it has been exposed to air and moisture. Urushi sap contains a resin which polymerizes under these conditions, which made it ideal for coating bone, wood and pottery objects in ancient times. Early man also used the unique adhesive properties of Urushi sap to attach points to their arrows and spears.
Urushi lacquer became an important industry in Japan with the arrival of Buddhism, as it was useful in creating Buddhist figures. Japanese culture continued to develop, and Urushi lacquer and its unique application was soon being used to create everything from sake cups to plates, bowls and even personal items such as combs. Lacquer techniques continued to develop and by the Nara period (710-794), the makie-art form—sprinkling a gold dust design on a lacquered surface—had been discovered.