Kintsugi is the art of repairing broken pottery lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold. In this way valued cups, dishes and other ceramics not only can continue to be used and enjoyed, they become even more beautiful through the skill of the artist’s repair work. This tradition of repairing items rather than discarding and replacing them is part of the Japanese concept of mottainai, in which nothing should be wasted if possible. This kind of thinking helps everyone to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

A cracked Japanese-style ceramic cup that has been repaired with gold lacquer
A craftsperson repairing a cracked cup with gold lacquer

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