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  • Writer's pictureMargarithe

The Art of Kintsugi (Mending the Broken)

I recently was privileged to participate in a workshop with Jon White who is the only Kintsugi Master in the U.K.

Jon asked us to bring broken pottery from home that could be used in the workshop. This was not going to be easy as I use mine at the bottom of my plant pots! I didn’t relish the thought of digging through the dirt to find pieces. Thankfully Jon brought a selection of broken bits that he has collected from various places

A break is something to remember, something of value, a way to make the piece more beautiful, rather than something to disguise. They use gold, not invisible superglue because mistakes shouldn’t be considered ugly." – Penny Reid

I chose a very small pink and white bowl; broken into three bits. It reminded me of our lives: the spiritual, the emotional, the physical. This made me think how we are, at times, broken in one or more of these areas. What I do know is that the brokenness can be made whole.

Kintsugi makes the broken beautiful. The pottery can never look perfect again, but it can look more beautiful once it’s completed. And that’s the key. Often circumstances affect us and we think that we will never heal. We do heal but we may look a little different. More beautiful.

Jon explained the steps needed to create something ‘new’. Superglue, putty, sandpaper, special resin and gold/copper paint and we were set. Focusing on each task, brings a new awareness. Slowly the bowl looks like a bowl again. The cracks are filled, sanded and painted. The broken bowl is now whole and more beautiful than before.

As a coach, I hear often the brokenness spill from people and it is always encouraging and satisfying to work with someone who identifies their brokenness, explores ways to heal and is then whole. The ‘cracks’ are there but they are now gold. They don’t define us; instead, they show that we have lived life and survived.

Margarithe Mayes

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