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Project Kin Tsugi

 Kin Tsugi Bonsai Pot Restoration

Some bonsai friends will know the problem: you have got a high-quality bonsai pot that is damaged. It is too beautiful to throw it away but you don't dare to use it either or you are bothered by the damages. A restoration with real gold (see ) is too expensive or maybe the value of the pot doesn't justify this repair method (what wasn't the case here of course).

This beautiful pot by Peter Krebs, one of a set of twins, had left the kiln with two long cracks, had been in a showcase for years and everybody who saw it thought it was a pity. 




Pot by Peter Krebs with cracks that occurred during the firing process. Measurements: 29 x 20 x 11,5 cm. 



 The bottom of the pot. For 14 years it had been placed in a showcase.




The cracks crossed the motifs.





Each crack went around a corner.


The Japanese ceramics artist Natsuyo Watanabe, living in Berlin, was willing to restore this pot, using the Japanese method Kin Tsugi, which is known since the 16th century. Restored with this method, ceramics, porcelain and glass objects are not only usable (with care) again but even more beautiful than before.

The damages are filled with urushi, Japanese lacquer, and then dusted with gold or other metal powder. In this way the restoration is not camouflaged and hidden, but accentuated in a classy way.

Mrs. Watanabe had learned the art of pottery in Japan and had practised it for many years when she began to occupy herself with the Kin Tsugi restoration technique and then brought it to perfection over the years.

On Mrs. Watanabe's website you can find basic information and many beautiful examples or her work.



The pot after restoration with the Japanese Kin Tsugi method.







In this case cheaper brass powder was used instead of gold. The difference is not visible with the bare eye and the aesthetic result is convincing!

Now the sight of this remarkable pot is a joy and not pitiable anymore.


Text and photographs: Heike van Gunst

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