It happens to us all. Maybe you’re washing the dishes and your hands are slippery with soap. Or maybe you just lost your grip.
Either way, there’s now a ceramic plate shattered on the floor. If you’re lucky, there wasn’t any food on it, but breaking a plate, or a bowl, or a mug, is always a pain. You have a mess to clean up and you’re out a dish!
If you’re like most of us, you’ll probably just throw the broken pieces away. If you’re crafty, maybe you can find a use for them for a project. But its days as a plate? They’re over. Right?
Well, not if you know the ways of a Japanese craft called kintsugi.
A philosophy as much as an art form, kintsugi takes broken pottery and repairs it using lacquer mixed with powdered gold. The result is a stunning series of gleaming golden seams where the breaks once were.
But it’s more than just a pretty way to repair something broken. It’s also a way of communicating the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, which is all about embracing flaws and imperfections as beautiful and unique.
By highlighting the cracks in a dish, for example, it shows the history of the dish, and how it’s overcome being broken.
It’s something that we can also see in ourselves, like that even though we may not be “perfect,” we’re perfect in our own unique ways, and whatever marks we might bear actually tell the stories of what we’ve been through, which is what one artist is doing to teach kids about transplants. And when we learn to love our “flaws,” we learn to love ourselves.
Check out some of the amazing examples of kintsugi that have been made throughout history below, and see that even flaws can be beautiful.