Hello everyone ^^,
This Wednesday we (Chris and Erik) went to a kintsugi workshop and set up two damaged Meiji era (1868-1912) sake / tea cups ^^.
What is kintsugi?
Kintsugi (or Kintsukuroi) is an old Japanese ship of arranging the broken things, making them more beautiful. In kintsugi, broken bowls are reattached and chips on the cups are cured, not trying to erase the 'failures', but improves with lacquer and gold powder, transforming them into Beautifully Scarred art pieces (See Wikipedia ( Https: //En.Wikipedia.Org/wiki/Kintsugi ) or watch this video ( Https://Www.Youtube.Com/watch?V=lT55_u8URU0 ) ^^). In this way objects are given another life, where they actually become more valuable because of their previous damage.
We loved the idea behind kintsugi for a long time (not to mention that the results look incredible), so when we came across an ad for a kintsugi workshop in Tokyo, we decided to see if we could make my own. The original workshop was overpriced for us (poor wretches) so we sleuthed around some on the internet and found kuge-crafts. This is a small studio boat near Shin-Koenji (we will include a map below) which offers 2-hour kintsugi workshops as well as longer term kintsugi courses and jewelry making, painting and ceramics classes. We decided to take his workshop ^^.
After we got to the small craft studio we had some coffee and cake, while the owners told us about their studio, kintsugi and what we would be doing. Around us we can see the beautiful examples of his own work, with in the background gently the country with old school rock (nice touch XD). We were given a few cups to choose from, and then set to work. First, knead and applied in two-part epoxy-paste to the chips in our chosen cups. This will be the material that replaces the lost pottery. Waiting for it to dry (about five minutes) the owners explained about the different approach for different types of damage, and different types of pottery. We have learned that in case of a complete break, or if you are working with a porous material such as porcelain, instead of using epoxy paste, a more liquid epoxy is used.
After a short period of time, we present below the epoxy, and then use water and sandpaper to smooth the surface even more. When our cups meet the approval of the owners (yes, it took a couple of tries, we have to learn XD patience) we got in the last part: add the gold the Kuges really use a technique that differs a bit from tradition Here The gold dust is mixed with the lacquer. (1: 1), instead of just brushing the gold dust a little later on paint thinner on a fine brush, and then we began to apply the gold.
Damn I was afraid to ruin my cup at this point XD. But in the end, it looks pretty good. It was created upside down to dry for another five minutes, while we got Japanese green tea and a snack-rice cookie (yay ^ ^). We then picked up large soft brushes and tapped on gold powder all over the chips' end and then carefully pushed it over the liquid gold where it sticks. Fact! ^^
Hard at work xd
Usually you pick up the drinks the next day after they have dried up a bit more, but in our case the owners gave us plastic boxes to keep our new treasure safe. We were also told to remove excess gold dust after two days and wait another two weeks with the use of our pottery, and we definitely did not put them in the dishwasher every time ^^.
Before removing the excess goldpowder …. and after ^^
In short, it was a very cool experience and we feel we have the best memories ^^. The owners were very efficient and helpful, they are generous and very friendly. The snacks and tea were great, so was the atmosphere, and we learned a lot about the history of kintsugi and about his work, and the work of his students.
Some information if you would like to try this, like this:
We paid ¥ 5,000 each, all inclusive.
How to book?
Reserved his shop through a company named Veltra ( Http://Www.Veltra.Com/en/asia/japan/tokyo/a/116573 ), but also you can check out own website kuge Crafts' ( http: / / Teshigotoya -Kuge.Com/index.Html ) for dates and times, and just spend and pay on the spot. The website has English and Japanese.
Do I need to speak Japanese?
The owners speak some English. According to the information you do not need to be able to speak in Japanese, and this is true to follow the instructions. Especially because you can reflect what they do. However, it would certainly be an advantage if you have spoken some, otherwise you may experience some of the language barrier, and overlook some of the knowledge that the Kuges have to share. (Luckily for us there was another guest who was able to help translate for us.)
So, where is it?
The study is actually very close to Yadoya:. You can easily reach by bike or even on foot, or you can take the metro stop 1 to the west for Koenji Here is the detailed description we have:
"Nearest station is Shin-Koenji Station, on the Marunouchi Line.
Exit at Exit 1, and take immediately to the right (between the exit and the blue building). Walk down the road, and then go right down a big path. Walk straight for about 7 ~ 8 minutes. You will most likely pass a Summit supermarket (with a big green leaf sign). Make sure it is on the same side of the road as the Summit. Stay in this direction, and you will see a
Blue pedestrian bridge The study is just before the bridge, under a yellow awning. "
*Dorm bed only 2300yen/night, Private 3700yen～, cheapest hostel in west Tokyo, Nakano.
YADOYA Guesthouse for Backpackers D (3min walk):
*Dorm bed start from 2500yen~3000yen/night.
YADOYA Guesthouse Tokyo for long stay:
*Dorm bed only 40,000yen/month(including utilities), private room from 45,000yen/month. It`s nice to live in Nakano, and we support your Tokyo life!