Kintsugi art dates back to the late 15th century. According to legend, the craft commenced when Japanese shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa sent a cracked chawan—or tea bowl—back to China to undergo repairs. Upon its return, Yoshimasa was displeased to find that it had been mended with unsightly metal staples. This motivated contemporary craftsmen to find an alternative, aesthetically pleasing method of repair, and Kintsugi was born.
There are three types of joinery available in Kintsugi:
- Crack – using gold resin, lacquer or dust to fill
- Piece method – there may be a missing ceramic altogether, and is replaced entirely with gold/lacquer
- Joint call – ceramic piece replacement via a non-matching fragment and gold lacquer to achieve a patchwork effect