Can I repair my bowl which was broken into 21 pieces?

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Can I repair my bowl which was broken into 21 pieces?

Hi everyone! Japan is now in the summer and a typhoon is comming 🙁

But actually it is the best season for kintsugi lovers because urushi lacquer can dry faster with high temperature and humidity 🙂

Today I’m gonna talk about my experience which I repaired badly broken bowl which took me for long time to finish!!

How I got such a badly broken bowl?

When I was practicing kintsugi under my master, I was always looking for broken ceramics.

One day, my French friend gave me a bowl…

His son slipped his hand and dropped this huge red bowl. The diameter of this bowl is around 25cm (9.84 inch).

According to my friend, it wasn’ t expensive when he bought it in France. (maybe around 10 euro)

However, he thought, if I repair this item and he show this to his son, it would be a great surprise and education of eco-friendly mind 😀

So I accepted to repair this bowl (for free…) not knowing that it takes over 1 year…

Kintsugi educates kids to grow eco-conscious mind

my friend’s son (and baby)

When my friend’s son broke this large bowl, he started crying very badly..

(I don’t know why my friend took this photo of his crying son lol)

I am excited when I imagine how happy his son will be when he see the repaired bowl with kintsugi !!

I believe that he has never seen the real kintsugi 😀

Most people think that, after breaking ceramics/plates, they should just throw them away.

However, there is a second chance for the item to revive!

And it turns into even more beautiful!!!

FAQ1: How many broken pieces can we repair with kintsugi?

I’m often asked the maximum number of broken pieces which I can repair with kintsugi.

My answer is – no limit !! – only if you have patience and time. \٩( ‘ω’ )و /

Wao!!!!!

However, as the number of pieces increases, the level of the difficulty also rises.

The reason behind this is that, when we stick the pieces together, there is always the risk of having gap between them.

The most basic but important step of kintsugi is sticking pieces together seamlessly and without gap.

FAQ2: Should we stick pieces one by one or all at once?

Second FAQ is if we should stick 2 of many broken pieces and dry, and 1 week later, we can stick one more pieces, and leave it 1 more week… (continue)

or

all the broken pieces will be sticked at once and leave it in urushibox for a week?

My answer is, ideally, we recommend the former method.

Why?

Because if you stick all together, there is a higher risk you touch mugi-urushi (natural adhesive which you make with flour, water and urushi) and the stained glove will touch the other surface and … the item becomes a lot of stain everywhere.

When the item is glazed, you can scrape off the stain later, but if the item is unglazed, the stain will not be removed.

But if you stick only 2 pieces together at once, you can concentrate only one broken surface, so you can avoid touching adhesive.

The other reason is that if you stick, let’s say 5 pieces together, all the fragments shifts due to its weight, and sometimes it becomes uncontrollable to fix with masking tape.

Especially when I was sticking my friend’s large bowl, eace pieces are so heavy so the masking tape could not hold all the pieces properly.

So the best way to stick many pieces is that stick two pieces at once with mugi-urushi, and fix the other parts without mugi-urushi but with scotch tape in order to prevent any gap.

It’s better to show the photo to describe 🙂Broken plate into 3 piecesOnly the two left pieces are sticked together and the rest were just fixed with tape.

And you should leave the item in perpendicular to the gravity.

You can see what I mean in the photo below.

The pressure goes up to down because of gravity and its weight.

Especially, broken thin sticks should treat carefully and leave perpendicular like below.Beak of the bird was brokenChinese tea spoonanother Chinese tea spoon

YouTube video shows how I repaired this bowl

I regret that I didn’t record all the processes, but I hope you can enjoy watching it 🙂

My YouTube channel has many kintsugi tutorial video in English, so the other videos are also helpful !!

My Canadian friend living in Japan is also trying kintsugi 😀

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