My First Kintsugi Attempt

January 02, 2024

At one of my December shows I was a klutz and knocked over my ornament trees. Surprisingly I only had 4 ornaments break. One was beyond repair, but the other three were just broken in one place. I've been wanting to try kintsugi for a long time and even had a few other pieces set aside for when I finally got around to it. I decided to take the plunge and try it. I already have e6000 that I use for making magnets and decided for this first foray that would be good enough as an adhesive. So all I needed was the leaf adhesive and the metal leaf paper.

I had done a good bit of research and decided that I could use imitation leaf vs spending on the real thing for my first try. I did have 3 colors to choose from (gold, silver, brass), but for these I went with all gold.

My First Kintsugi Attempt

Step 1 was to do a little sanding. Two of the larger plates weren't actually broken they just had a deep crack. I sanded the edges so they weren't as rough. Step 2 was to glue the pieces together. As I said before I used e-6000 as the glue. For the pieces with the cracks I just wanted to fill them in. It took me a couple of tries to figure out how to get glue into the cracks without having it spill over. It was some careful wiping down. I let the glue dry overnight so it had time to solidify.

My First Kintsugi Attempt

Step 3 is to add the leaf adhesive. The directions said to let it dry for 30 minutes or until it isn't cloudy any more. I made my fingers sticky touching it. Step 4 is to add the gold leaf. It's hard because if you get the adhesive on your fingers then the paper sticks to your hands and not the pottery. Took me only one try to learn that lesson. It helped at some points to break the leaf into smaller pieces before I tried to apply it. I found that for different pieces I liked different widths of the leaf. For the first piece I did the front first and then switched to doing the back first so that I could learn more. The first side you do needs to be completely done so that you don't have other things sticking to the adhesive.

My First Kintsugi Attempt

The last step is to spray with a sealer. I only had a matte sealer and I thought it wouldn't make a difference. It absolutely did. I still like these pieces, but I will definitely be buying a gloss sealer for the future.

My First Kintsugi Attempt

This was really fun to try, but I definitely won't be doing it frequently. I did put the ornaments on my tree immediately and love them. However, the plates aren't functional. They will make nice wall art, but these aren't things that I think most people would want. I don't have a lot of pieces break in the firing process, but those that do will likely continue to end up in the trash. I will reserve this for speical pieces that break that I don't want to lose.

My First Kintsugi Attempt

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