Recently I have been super inspired by this idea of Kintsugi. I’m sure everyone has seen Lady Crappo’s manicure floating around on Tumblr with a definition attached of the repair technique, but basically Kintsugi, or Kintsukuroi, is a Japanese technique of fixing and repairing pottery with glue and gold dust. Not only is it super functional, it also looks beautiful.
I really like this idea, as someone from a city full of it’s own cracks like Christchurch, of filling them up with gold. In Christchurch, the gaps have been filled up with our own versions of gold, community projects, Gap Filler Gardens and street art. If there were any practicing kintsugi artists in Christchurch after the quakes, I’m sure they would have received an influx of jobs and requests, with so much china ware being broken and tossed away.
I think it is great to treat an item with such care by repairing, instead of throwing it away and replacing it which seems to the standard practice in today’s consumerist society.
Kowtow have done a print inspired by this method in their new summer range. I was actually looking on their site for one of their other designs, an abstract face print which I saw on a sweatshirt at the Tannery here in Christchurch that I wanted to look into DIY-ing, but when I saw this print, everything clicked in my head. I love the linear elements and the colour combinations. Clearly, at $95 for a teeshirt, its something I am only going to enjoy in pixel format, but the knowledge that these exist just makes me happy. It’s worth noting that Kowtow uses fair trade, organic cotton. (For comparison, Karen Walker tee’s cost $160 and are not advertised as being organic or fair trade……../casual side eye of manufacturing// u still cute tho KW)
For anyone interested in learning more about the process, there is a super cute short film about the process and some of those working within the craft on Vimeo here.
There are various online places selling kits for those willing to try at home- but I feel like they are not in the true spirit of the art. Firstly, they are promoting you break perfectly fine plates to attempt it on, and secondly, it kinda smacks of cultural appropriation, by ‘borrowing’ a long practiced art because all of a sudden white people think it is cool and trendy. Kind of a catch twenty two, with I, a white person, thinking it is cool and trendy, but by interpreting the ideas into different areas, like clothing and nail art, I think it still shows a cultural respect by utilising some aesthetic details. End of PC rant.
Hope everyone is having a wonderful Wednesday!