We are not perfect yet we are Kintsugi.

Kintsugi, also known as Kintsukuroi, is a Japanese art form that involves repairing broken pottery using lacquer mixed with gold, silver, or platinum. While Kintsugi is primarily a visual art form, it is also rooted in both science and philosophy and has been used as a metaphor for resilience.

The beautiful practice of Kintsugi is about repairing what’s broken. There’s proof that you have suffered. Repairing and preserving an everyday object can remind you that you are strong.

At its core, Kintsugi is a form of ceramic repair that involves using a strong adhesive to reattach broken pieces of pottery. The adhesive used in Kintsugi is typically a type of lacquer made from the sap of the Japanese lacquer tree, which has been used in traditional Japanese crafts for centuries.

The lacquer is mixed with fine metal powder, such as gold, silver, or platinum, to create a shimmering, metallic effect in the repaired areas. In addition to its visual appeal, the use of metal in Kintsugi also has scientific benefits.

Metal has a higher thermal conductivity than ceramic, meaning that it can dissipate heat more quickly. This is important for ceramic objects, which can crack or shatter if exposed to sudden temperature changes. A big old crack can form, for example, placing a ceramic cup that goes piping hot from the microwave to a cold side table in another room.

By reinforcing the broken areas with metal, Kintsugi helps to strengthen the ceramic and reduce the risk of future breakage. It’s discovering how to pick up the pieces and repair what may have been damaged. Find out how to make them beautiful instead of leaving them broken and ugly.

Kintsugi is rooted in science, while also deeply influenced by Japanese philosophy and culture. In particular, Kintsugi reflects the idea of wabi-sabi, a concept that emphasizes the beauty of imperfection and transience.

The particular beauty in the art of Kintsugi lies in the knowledge that the time and love put into fixing something that is broken can apply just as much to ourselves as it can to a broken tea cup. In the context of Kintsugi, the philosophy of wabi-sabi tea ceremonies is reflected in the idea that the repaired object is not simply restored to its original state, but is transformed into something new and unique.

The cracks and imperfections in the pottery are not hidden or disguised but are instead celebrated and highlighted with gold or other precious metals. This transformation is seen as a metaphor, as it acknowledges the challenges and difficulties that we face in life, and encourages us to embrace them as opportunities for transformation.

While the science and philosophy of Kintsugi may seem like separate concepts, they are in fact deeply intertwined. The use of metal in Kintsugi is not just a practical consideration but is also a reflection of the idea that beauty can be found in repairing imperfections.

By using gold or other precious metals to repair broken pottery, Kintsugi artists are not just creating a visually striking object, but are also expressing a philosophical idea. Similarly, the philosophy of wabi-sabi is not just an abstract concept but is also reflected in the physical object created through Kintsugi. As an aesthetic, it is high design.

The repaired pottery embodies the idea of imperfection and transformation and serves as a tangible reminder of the philosophical principles that underlie the art form. And the beauty and precious nature of the gold used to fuse them together signifies the strength, confidence and value we put into repairing these fragile breaks.

Kintsugi’s unique and beautiful art form's use of metal reflects a practical consideration for the strength and durability of the object, while also expressing the idea that it’s been made perfect. Its emphasis on personal growth and resilience reflects a larger and more powerful reminder of the transformative power of adversity.

Whether viewed as a work of art or a metaphor for transformation, Kintsugi is a testament to forming a deep connection in a way that can be used to enrich our lives and our understanding of the world. Similarly, Wabi-sabi is a Japanese aesthetic and philosophical tradition that emphasizes the beauty of imperfection, transience, and simplicity. The sustainability of prized objects in our kitchens can extend the life of family heirlooms passed on to us.

It is closely connected to the art of Kintsugi, which is often seen as a physical expression of wabi-sabi principles. Here are some other wabi-sabi traditions that coincide with Kintsugi in the real world:


Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arranging, which emphasizes the use of natural materials and asymmetry to create simple, elegant compositions. Like Kintsugi, ikebana reflects the wabi-sabi principle of finding beauty in imperfection, as it often incorporates imperfect or withered flowers into the arrangement.

Tea ceremony

The Japanese tea ceremony, or chanoyu, is a traditional ritual that emphasizes simplicity, mindfulness, and respect for nature. It is closely connected to the principles of wabi-sabi, as it celebrates the imperfect and transient nature of life, and encourages participants to find beauty in the simplest things.


Bonsai is the art of growing miniature trees in small containers and is often associated with the principles of wabi-sabi. Like Kintsugi, bonsai celebrates the beauty of imperfection, as it emphasizes the natural asymmetry and irregularity of trees, and encourages the viewer to appreciate their unique character and history.

Shou Sugi Ban

Shou Sugi Ban is a traditional Japanese technique for charring wood, which is used to create a durable, water-resistant finish. The charred wood has a unique texture and color that reflects the wabi-sabi principle of finding beauty in imperfection and is often used in contemporary design to create a sense of warmth and depth.

Mono no aware

Mono no aware is a Japanese term that describes the bittersweet feeling of impermanence and transience. It is closely related to the wabi-sabi principle of finding beauty in the fleeting moments of life and is often reflected in Japanese art and literature.

All of these traditions reflect the wabi-sabi principle of finding beauty in imperfection and encourage us to appreciate the simple, natural, and transient aspects of life. Kintsugi, in particular, is a powerful expression of this philosophy, as it transforms broken and damaged objects into something new and beautiful, and serves as a powerful reminder of the transformative power of adversity. To be able to sustain changes and to persevere.

By embracing these principles in our own lives, we can learn to appreciate the beauty in transience, and find meaning and joy in the simplest things that repairing can show us are allowing us to transcend limitations. They are ancient art methods not only show us how beautiful something can be when it breaks, but also how strong it can be after it’s been repaired using these methods.