How to Fix Broken Pottery : Kintsugi : DIY

How to Fix Broken Pottery : Kintsugi : DIY


Hey, everyone. So a little while ago my little hellraiser Uni ended up knocking d own a piece of pottery that I owned. It was given to me by a friend in college. He actually made it. We were in ceramics class together and if any of you have seen my thrift haul videos you would know the special place in my heart that I have for handmade pottery, so I didn’t want to throw it away. I wanted to try to fix it. I was just going to simply glue it back together but then I remembered a Japanese technique called 𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘴𝘶𝘨𝘪, which means to repair with gold. Basically what they would do is they would stick the pieces together with lacquer and then dust or mix in gold dust to highlight the cracks so that instead of hiding the cracks, it enhances them. I think that that’s a really cool idea and I think the pieces can end up being pretty beautiful when you do it, so I decided that I was going to try to do that. I started researching how to do it and the research brought me to these kintsugi kits that you can buy online. They’re pretty pricey. I didn’t really want to spend that much money on a tiny tube of resin and gold dust just to use it like once and then probably lose it, knowing me, and I also read that the resin is extremely irritating to skin and also, knowing me, I’m just scared that I would get it on myself and whatever, like I just didn’t want to deal with it. So I decided I was going to do a little bit more research and see if I could try to figure out a way how to sort of do it with stuff that I could get here and cheaper, so I packed that stuff away very carefully and put it aside while I did this research and of course I totally forgot about it for a while until I guess Uni was feeling impatient and wanted me to actually do it, so he knocked over a little planter that my sister bought me. That prompted me to revisit the whole kintsugi pottery repair thing that I was thinking about doing and I finally figured out a method that could potentially work. And it was stuff that I already had of course but it should be easy for you guys to find in like the home repair store or whatever and it’ll definitely be cheaper than the kits that they sell online Anyway, let’s get started. You’ll need a disposable plastic surface, popsicle craft sticks or some sort of disposable mixing utensil, an Xacto Knife, JB Weld which is basically a two-part epoxy resin paste, gloves—I didn’t wear any in this video, but don’t be like me. I thought that I had some latex gloves to wear, but I couldn’t find them and I was in a make-it -work kind of mode so I ended up forgoing them and I was just extremely careful when I used the paste, but really I should have been wearing gloves. Masking tape, liquid gold leaf, a very thin brush, and lastly, the broken pottery. Squeeze out equal amounts of JB Weld components and mix together according to the instructions. This stuff sets up pretty quickly, about four minutes I believe, so only squeeze out just as much as you need. Slather both broken edges of the broken pottery and piece it together. On this piece I was actually missing a tiny part of the leg so it wasn’t fitting together nicely and I ended up having to hold it together like this until it cured which thankfully wasn’t that big of a deal because it cures relatively quickly. For a more complicated break like on this piece, fit the pieces together first before starting to glue them. You may notice that you need to do them in a certain order in order to get some of the broken bits to fit correctly. For me, I had to piece all of these small bits back together and then attach them to one of the big pieces, and then I could finally glue the two big parts together. When I was doing this I realized that I was actually missing a piece. so I ended up having to build up the JB Weld in that spot to make up for that, which of course I will also show you how to do. Basically, you’re going to do the same thing as before: Mix a small amount together and start piecing the broken bits together. I would put a few parts together, let them cure, and then repeat that over and over again. On this big piece you can see right here that there was a crack that didn’t quite make it all the way so I had to fill that in as well. To do this I just squished some of the JB Weld into the crack and then I took a rag and wiped away the excess, leaving the rest in the crack. Then I continued piecing it together. An optional thing you can do after your piece is cured is to take an Xacto knife or craft blade or something and carefully run it along the cracks like so. This will remove some of the extra JB Weld that squished out when you are piecing it together. Some people like the look of the resin squishing out, but I prefer the more delicate look when it’s basically flush with the pottery. Now to fill in this missing piece. I took a piece of masking tape and stuck it to the inside of the cup with a little bit peeking above the lip like so. I made sure it was sealed really good, then I mixed up a batch of JB Weld. Then, while holding it sideways, I filled in the gap. Once it’s cured you can take the tape off and trim the fill to be more flush with the piece. Then, all that’s left is to do the tedious job of carefully painting all over the cracks. I actually didn’t have a thin enough brush to do this so I fashioned one out of a few brush bristles and a popsicle stick and jewelry crimp. It didn’t work as great as I thought it would. Like I said earlier, I was in a make-it-work kind of mode so I just did this instead of running out and buying a new brush, but I would suggest just trying to find a thin brush to use instead of attempting to make your own. And here’s where you can see why we used resin paste instead of a more liquidy resin or just straight-up superglue or something. You want there to still be a bit of resin showing in the crack so you can paint over it. If you use those other kinds of glue the pieces would stick together too closely and it just wouldn’t look good when you attempted to paint over it. You wouldn’t get the same effect. Anyway, once it’s all painted you’re done. I’m so thrilled with how these turned out. I know I didn’t do it how it’s traditionally done. which I’m sure would make people who know a thing or two about kintsugi cringe, but I’m happy with how they turned out and I’m going to probably display these pieces again and hopefully Uni stays far, far away. I hope you all enjoyed this week’s video. If you did, please leave a Like, and if you want to see more then feel free to subscribe. I post art videos every Tuesday and DIY videos every Thursday. Thank you to my patrons, who help me produce this video. If you are interested in becoming a patron or just learning about what Patreon is then I’ll leave a link to mine right here. You can go check it out. I post behind-the-scenes pictures and some progress photos of my projects. You can follow me on Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest, or Snapchat, and I’ll leave the information to those down below. If you have any questions, or suggestions for future videos, please leave a comment down below, and if you make any of my projects then feel free to share them using this hashtag on Twitter or Instagram. I would love to see how your projects turn out, and I’ll see you next week. you

100 thoughts on “How to Fix Broken Pottery : Kintsugi : DIY

  1. I really appreciate her going the extra mile to make sure the gold was flushed against the surface of the pottery as opposed to it oozing out through the cracks.

  2. If you use non-toxic epoxy, and genuine gold powder (which is able to be metabolized in the human alimentary system) then it can be food safe.

  3. This is a very creative solution!
    I actually think if you showed me your work and the real kintsugi I wouldn't be able to tell which one was done the "correct way" and which one was yours – this looks great to me!

  4. Good job, I admire your using your common sense to make a lovely repair, if different than traditional, still very nice!

  5. while not the "traditional" method, I think that the people complaining about this are actually missing the point. Kintsugi is, at heart, the art of joining together a broken piece and giving it new beauty. just because you didn't use the traditional materials doesn't mean that this doesn't follow that philosophy.

  6. Thanks for this quick diy. I recently broke my favorite Gaiwan and couldn't stand to rid of it. Kintsugi gave it a new life.

  7. i just fired an ashtray and it cracked in the kiln :/ I think this is my solution to ashes leaking through.

  8. Are all kintsugi techniques toxic? I'm thinking of my favorite ceramic cups always chipping or getting broken by my kids!

  9. Thank you so much for this! I accidentally broke a plate that my father in law used during wartime, and I was broken-hearted and felt so awful. I am so excited to try this! Thank you again so much for this tutorial!!!!

    Your end result is gorgeous!!

  10. My next art project: Buy a gorgeous coffee table bowl and break the shit out of it.
    I'm so serious.

    Not that I already didnt know about Kintsugi or anything: It's Go Time.

  11. Thanks for the awesome video =) I used the technique to repair a cup that my girlfriend made for me and it worked fantastically. I might want to add a question about the liquid leaf: I fixed a cup primarily used for tea and hot beverages – do I have to be concerned, that some of the liquid leaf on this inside of the cup might get off from the combination of hot water and spoons, or is it safe to drink out of it? 😀

  12. for use with food safe use waterweld. its a putty that is NSF approved for potable water once it dries.

  13. For the first time in two and a half years I'm not sad that one of my favorite bowls has a big crack and is missing a piece. Thank you.

  14. be curious to know if its possible to find a resin that you can add gold paint to, so that when the resin cures, youve already got the gold inlay in the crack and no need to repaint it.. 🙂

  15. I'm Japanese but I'm not mad at being not traditional. I'm so happy that you know kintsugi and thought it was beautiful. Thank you for amazing video!!

  16. It’s lovely! I like it better now repaired than before. And you have memories and a hand in the creation.

  17. I do get that this is a cheap alternative to Kintsugi, but maybe the title should reflect that. Rather than "How to Fix Broken Pottery : Kintsugi" It's misleading.

  18. You mention not to use this with food or drink, but I'm looking to repair a mug handle, will it be strong after repair and usable?

  19. Thanks for the great idea and the steps. I really dont care if its right or not. I love the idea and will be using it.

  20. I've watched videos and read web pages on Kintsugi now, possibly a dozen all together, and this is the most helpful of the bunch. Congratulations on a very nice tutorial!

    As far as the kvetching comments about this not being authentic Kintsugi, come on guys, grow up!

  21. It looks absolutely beautiful! 😍
    Sure, it won't work on china that you eat/drink from (like you said in the description), but a flower pot or vase is just fine. My cat don't really break anything, so I might have to break something myself 😉

  22. Thank you for this. There are lots on Etsy available to buy, but they're sloppy and lack the delicacy and artistry your technique offers. Heading to the hardware store and Goodwill; some dear friends could use kintsugi.

  23. Awesome! I just did a repair to a broken mug using some gold glitter craft puffy paint bc that’s what I had on hand – now I can use the cup as a succulent planter! Like yours, it wasn’t the traditional repair, but the idea behind it is the same – non-attachment to perfection! Love your video, subbed!

  24. Can you use ceramics as normal e.g. a cereal bowl, after you've repaired them using kintsugi?

  25. This is so so gorgeous. I always wanted to try kintsugi, but I couldn't afford to buy the kit.. Thanks for this tutorial.

  26. I actually like this! Very thorough instructions. And ok so you didnt do it traditionally but the point is taking something broken and making it useful again and even more beautiful than it was before!

  27. The center of the platter I'm working on is missing. I tried the epoxy but it is still pliable. How do I buttress it so that it is solid? Should I simply add more epoxy?

  28. So, basically, it's not really kintsugi. If you can't repair a soup bowl and then eat out of it afterwards, then the alternative method you're demonstrating here is really limited to non-food non-kitchen items, which is half the point of the art anyway. Btw, if it's not safe in contact with food, that means you probably shouldn't use it with anything organic either. That is especially the case if you're using non-biodegradable polymer epoxies. I don't believe kintsugi is merely a tradition, but a very distinct form of artistic exploration with natural beauty at its core. Your potteries were very beautiful to look at, and the method is really handy, but I do believe some of the natural artistic impression was lost.

  29. I loved the result of this! It’s such a beautiful art form. I have a question about the strength of JB weld… I have a favourite coffee mug which has a broken handle. Is the weld strong enough to support the mug and liquid inside if I hold on to the handle only? I don’t want tot falling off with hot liquid inside 😳

  30. If I heard you correctly, your cat’s name is Uni. (Could be spelling it wrong lol) What exactly does that mean? Where does it come from?

  31. Simply beautiful! Wonderful job. Wish they had actual gold dust or paint available. But either way, more beautiful than before. Excellent job.

  32. The traditional method was just the best way Japanese people could do with the materials they had, and does not mean it’s the best way for everyone. Don’t be afraid to look for a better option!

  33. Impressed with the brush! They look great! My wife and I have a collection of broken china and pottery. We are going to try this this weekend!

  34. This is so cool! Thank you for sharing!💗
    What's the liquid gold you use here? Do you have the link to where you purchased it?

  35. I regret throwing away my broken ceramic mug from Starbucks, I used to luv that mug but I didn’t know it was possible to fix 😖😖😖

  36. maybe if you live in Indonesia and we are the same age, I will look for you and marry you …… so beautiful as my dream

  37. 仕上げが雑ですね金粉を大目に塗って特殊な液を使用して吹き取る作業をすれば金粉が鮮やかに浮かび上がり別の陶器に生まれ変わりますよ

  38. I must say this is the most beautiful modern day version of kintsugi I have seen in my binge-watching hour of kintsugi tutorials. I think you very appropriately choose the black epoxy in order to make that gold POP! Thank you for this tutorial!!

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