The Process of Kintsugi Works
Watanabe-san explained the basic process of Kintsugi works. The techniques of Kintsugi are extensive. They depend on the cracking level, the owner’s requests, and materials. Here is a simple time line of the process.
1. First, the intentions for the final design must be considered. Kintsugi is not a simple restoration. Energy, thoughtfulness, and intelligence are required to produce the desired results. In addition, the final results should be considered in coordination with the pottery design.
2. The cracked pieces are glued back together with Glue Lacquer.
Glue Lacquer (Noriurushi) is made by mixing Raw Lacquer (Kiurushi) and non-glutinous rice powder (Joshinko) at the ratio of 1:1. The cracked parts are subsequently glued back together with the Glue Lacquer and fixed with tape.
Using barley—instead of Joshinko—could be a choice. They must be dried in Muro for 3 to 7 days.
3. The cracked parts are filled with Pate (Sabiurushi).
Pate (Sabiurushi) is made by mixing Raw Lacquer and clay powder (Tonoko). The Pate is then used to fill the cracks and small spaces to make it harder.
When the Sabiurushi dries, the surface is smoothed with waterproof paper in water.
4. Applying black Lacquer (Kurourushi).
Black Lacquer (Kurourushi)—which contains ferric-oxide—is applied twice to increase the water resistance so that they can be washed in water.
5. The application of Bengara Urushi and the spreading of Gold powder.
Bengara Urushi is a half-translucent Lacquer. Gold powder is spread on the Bengara Urushi before the Lacquer dries to further increase durability and beauty. The paint is subsequently left to dry.