Sunday, June 13, 2021

Kintsugi repairs


I don't understand antiques. When I watch experts on TV, they stand there biting into china things and announcing that the item has been restored and is therefore worthless. 

My thought is - if someone has taken time, or spent money, on restoration, surely this means the item in question was considered so valuable that it was worth the time or money used to make it perfect again. You only have to watch a few episodes of The Repair Shop to realise the efforts put in to make something look like it's fresh from the box. 

I quite like the Japanese concept of Kintsugi. Instead of making the repair invisible, they conside it part of the life of the object - a piece of its history - and celebrate this by making the rectification obvious with gold mixed into the glue. 

Old objects have a tale to tell. The antique expert will bang on about patina, which basically means dirt, wear and tear, but look horrified at a crack acquired during the same time. Now, I know we prefer things perfect, but if that crack has been repaired really well, how is this different? 

All this is a way of explaining why much battered pedometer now had a piece of plastic where the battery compartment door used to be, because the door fell off and I lost it. I can't make a replacement that slips in, but I can cover the gap to keep the battery from falling out. When this runs low, I'll just undo the screws and take the back off to replace it. And in the style of the great Japanese repair masters, I'll not be hiding the fix, even if this does reduce the resale value on the 2nd hand pedometer market.

1 comment:

Paul B. said...

I've taken to darning socks (fed up with holes appearing and having to keep buying the things, and learning a new skill is always a Good Thing), in darning visible mending is not only acceptable but actually encouraged. Blankets and jumpers next when my skill improves.