Instructables
Picture of DIY Faux Kintsugi
Kintsugi is a Japanese art in which broken ceramics and pottery are fixed with resin and powdered gold dating back to the 15th century.  It is the process of taking something that is broken and, to many, now worthless and transforming it into a work of art.  It is both beautiful and broken.  It became so popular that people were accused of purposely breaking expensive pieces in order to have the coveted repair done.
 
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Step 1: It's also quite expensive...

Picture of It's also quite expensive...
You can find Kintsugi pieces in auctions.  It is very expensive, as the repairs are usually done in real gold and by craftsmen whose talents far exceed mine.  So, while we will be making our own Kintsugi pieces, we're going to be doing it on the cheap.  On Ebay, this gorgeous Kintsugi piece is going for $250.  As much as I'd love to own it, it's a bit beyond my means.

Step 2: Materials Listing

Picture of Materials Listing
First, I wish this wasn't necessary to point out, but PLEASE don't choose an expensive piece for this project.  I suggest shopping for your piece at a thrift shop.  Pay close attention to any markings on the bottom of the piece you choose and do a modicum of research to ensure you're not smashing an irreplaceable item.

Now that we have that out of the way:

1.  Your ceramics piece.  DO NOT choose anything made of clay or glass.  You want porcelain or ceramic pieces.  Clay or glass won't break well, it will absolutely SHATTER.  Save yourself some time and money and make sure you're choosing an appropriate piece.
2.  5 Minute Epoxy (I use Gorilla brand, but there are others that will work similarly).
3.  An old pillow case.
4.  A small art paint brush.
5.  Liquid gold leaf (I used Martha Stewart's brand, which can be found at any craft store).
6.  Protective gloves (not pictured).
7.  Razor blade or box cutters (not pictured).
8.  A disposable plastic container for the glue (not pictured, but you can use the plastic from the front of the glue package).
9.  A popsicle or lollipop stick for spreading the glue (not pictured).
c_l_sage4 months ago

Nice Instructable.

Just a thought: have you ever experimented and mixed the gold leaf into the epoxy, so as to turn it into a 'gold glue' and thus potentially make the trimming and painting steps into one?

I was wondering the same, this piece looks good from the picture, though I imagine you would be able to see evidence of strokes that may distract rather than compliment the piece. I'm looking to try my hand at a faux kintsugi as well and wondered if anyone else has put it right into the epoxy?

Hi, Perhaps you may consider using more epoxy so that when it squeezes out during the mending process, it creates a hump over the break line. When painted with gold, it will then hide the repair traces (missing fragments, repair lines cavities, etc.) and will look more organic. More about the process of Kintzugi
aeray1 year ago
I've always wondered about this process.

FYI, porcelain=ceramic=clay. Ceramic refers to fired clay, and porcelain is a type clay.
biskies (author)  aeray1 year ago
Ahhh that makes sense. When I refer to clay, I mean the pottery that is brown and feels chalky (if that makes sense). It's typically found in planters, but recently, a pretty jug I bought was made from it and painted over. I believe what I'm thinking of is terra cotta, but I could be wrong.
aeray biskies1 year ago
Clay generally comes in three categories; earthenware (like terra cotta), stoneware, and porcelain. These categories are based on ingredients and firing temperatures, and there are many variations. I occasionally work at a facility that produces more than twenty types of clay for art use, some with only three ingredients, and some with a dozen or more. It is fairly fascinating, and here is a link: http://www.archiebray.org/clay_business/clay_business.html
biskies (author)  aeray1 year ago
Thank you so much! This is awesome information. I haven't really done anything with clay since I took pottery in high school. I really appreciate this!
MonkiMan1 year ago
just googled Kintsugi, i really liked them. You did really good job, i think l'll try my hand at this.
Li Sashay1 year ago
Love this as a way to turn old family broken pieces into modern works of art. :-) Thank you so much for posting this.
close enough. lol :/
biskies (author)  underworldguardian1 year ago
Fair enough, but this was the only piece I found for sale, which is why I posted it. If you google search kintsugi, you'll find that most pieces are not as understated as the EBay screen grab I posted :)