Kintsugi workshop

Saturday, November 16, 2019 - 09:30 ÷ 13:00
Via Vigevano, 18
Italy, 20144 Milano (MI)

Contemporary kintsugi workshop
held by ANIMAMUNDI ceramiche d'artista and Galleria Paraventi Giapponesi

What is kintsugi

Kintsugi, or kintsukuroi, literally 'repairing with gold', is a japanese practice that consists of using gold or liquid silver or lacquer with gold powder for repairing ceramic objects, using the precious metal to weld the fragments together.

The technique allows to obtain precious objects both from the economic point of view (due to the presence of precious metals) and from the artistic one: every repaired ceramic presents a different interweaving of unique and unrepeatable golden lines because of the randomness with which ceramics can shatter. The practice is born from the idea that from the imperfection and from a wound can originate an even greater form of aesthetic and interior perfection.

Kintsugi: historical traits

The birth of kintsugi 金継ぎ is lost over time; he probably made his appearance around the late fifteenth century following the request for repair of a chawan by the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa to some Chinese potters.

Not satisfied with the result obtained by a gross intervention, but just as tenacious in pursuing its purpose, entrusted the repair of the precious teacup to Japanese craftsmen who were motivated to find an aesthetically more appealing alternative; thus the technique still in use is born.

Ceramic pottery repaired with a japanese technique called kintsugi

Kintsugi philosophy

Kintsugi is imbued with some aesthetic values that persist in Japanese culture; especially it is connected to the feeling of the mottainai 勿体無い which literally means "displeasure for the waste of material objects or resources that have a functional and emotional value having punctuated the rhythm of our daily life".

The artisans who practice it still suggest the importance of understanding the spirit that animates the object and its history. In the West, the life of an artifact is exhausted with the loss of primary functionality due to break or damage. On th contrary, in Japan, every tool has its own life and is subject, like everything, to the continued dynamism of the impermanent world; there is an attitude of assiduous and systematic non-substitution of things of Buddhist origin.

Rather a sense of awe emerges, of content respect and loving care towards the object that has fulfilled its task over time; the break and subsequent repair have the value that the observer attributes to him, not only for the evident embellishment achieved thanks to the use of the materials used but, above all, because through the weaving of the medicine a return to new life occurs, allowing the evolution of the object and its survival to change.

And it is precisely in mushin 无心, a Zen expression which means 'the absence of the mind' and acceptance of circumstances, that one sees the spiritual foundation of this practice.

The object begins a new life cycle assuming a more precious form; the golden spider web emphasizes cracks and wounds and, despite being almost in contradiction with the rough beauty of the wabi sabi 侘寂 dictated by the inevitable patina of time, constantly testifies the transience, retracing and fixing forever the topical moments of the break and the repair.

The workshop

The workshop, organized in the spaces of Tenoha Milano, is supported by the collaboration of Mariangela Zabatino, visual artist and ceramist who will guide us in our first steps in the kintsugi technique through a cathartic and transformative process.

kintsugi work steps: breaking, fixing

Urushi is a natural resin extracted from a tree called toxidodendron vernicifluum, and normally used to repair precious handicrafts as well as traditional kintsugi technique.

Due to the limited time available for the workshop, it will be impossible to use real urushi because this process can take up to 3 months to complete. To fix the pieces of our pots we'll use epoxy glue, instead, in order to complete the process within the day. Il workshop è organizzato su due turni:

I session: Workshop & breakfast buffet | 9.30 ÷ 11.00

  • 9.00 breakfast
  • 9.30 introduction
  • 9.50 ÷ 11.00 workshop

II session: Workshop & lunch buffet | 11.30 ÷ 13.00

  • 11.30 ÷ 11:50 introduction
  • 11.50 ÷ 13.00 workshop
  • 13.00 ÷ 13.30 buffet lunch


  • Maximum 20 attendees per session
  • Cost € 55
  • All materials included
  • The repaired objects remain the property of the student
  • For subscriptions please write to

Cancellation and non-attendance

If the cancellation occurs:
  • 10 or more days before the course: we will refund 85% of the amount
  • 7,8,9 days before: 50% refund
  • less than 7 days or non-attendance: no refund

© Galleria Nobili - Paraventi Giapponesi - 2016 - All rights reserved    ---     Responsive web design & hosting by Reliance