Kintsugi The Poetic Mend

Author: Bonnie Kemske
Homepage 9781912217991

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General Fields

  • : $59.99(AUD)
  • : 9781912217991
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : Herbert Press
  • : 1.01
  • : February 2021
  • : 1.7 Centimeters X 23.2 Centimeters X 29 Centimeters
  • : 59.99
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  • :
  • : books

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  • : Hardback
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  • : 176
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Barcode 9781912217991


In Western cultures the aim of traditional ceramic repair has been to make the broken item 'as good as new'. Kintsugi on the other hand, leaves an obvious repair, one that may appear fragile but which actually makes the restored ceramic piece stronger, more beautiful, and more valuable than before.

In Kintsugi- The Poetic Mend, Bonnie Kemske explores kintsugi, its history as well as modern practices, using interviews with traditional kintsugi masters in Japan. This book reflects on the reasons for its development, looking especially at a cultural attitude of 'creativity through destruction'. Different kinds of repairs are discussed, including the earlier 'staple' repair often seen in Chinese ceramic wares and the development of yobitsugi, in which shards from different vessels are pieced together in a patchwork, and other kintsugi techniques.

Kintsugi came to the West through ceramics, and contemporary ceramicists have embraced the technique, as evidenced by the prevalence of recent exhibitions. Adapted techniques and extended aesthetics have developed in the West. The work of ceramicists working with the technique today is reviewed and explored.

The underlying concept of kintsugi, which encompasses the wabi aesthetic of accepting the imperfect, has struck a chord in other fields. The metaphoric richness of a broken pot made stronger and more beautiful is both universal and deeply personal. This book explores how this is being used in music and literature, with the inclusion of short works of fiction and/or poetry separating the chapters. In addition, kintsugi has been applied not only in ceramics, but to other art forms, such as fine art, textiles, graphics, and product design, as well in psychology and therapy, well-being, music, and emotional healing and spirituality.
There have been recent ceramic exhibitions with a kintsugi theme, including 'Golden Seams' at the Smithsonian's Freer Gallery in Washington DC/ An example of its metaphoric application can be seen in the Radio 4 programme, 'Mending Cracks of Gold' (part of the series Something Understood, which presents 'ethical and religious discussion that examines some of the larger questions of life, taking a spiritual theme and exploring it through music, prose and poetry'), for which Bonnie was a contributor. There have been two TED Talks about kintsugi.