Category: Mending

Kintsugi Update and Alternatives

You may remember the rather disappointing attempt at repairing a broken bowl using the Japanese technique of kintsugi.

Broken bowl - Misericordia

Recently, Scrapiana posted a video from the Pitt Rivers Museum who ran a workshop on the technique (with much greater success than I had). Some very useful comments include this blog post by Carys Davies with an alternative technique.

I realised that I had never posted an update on the bowl, so I thought this would be a good opportunity.

I got some really useful comments, especially from Laura who had bought a kit to play with prior to stocking them in her shop. She said that she had had some success in using nail varnish remover to tidy up spills and extra glitter. The next time I was in the same country as the pot, I had a go.

This was how I had left it, rather tearfully, on the way to the airport.

Kintsugi Repair before - Misericordia

This is how it turned out with a careful swab of nail varnish remover.

Kintsugi repair after - Misericordia

Kintsugi repair after - Misericordia

Where does it leave me?

I’m still interested in the technique (I’d really like to try it in a guided way, that workshop looked great), but I think maybe the kit isn’t the way forward.

Perhaps the materials didn’t suit my way of working, or I’m not experienced enough with glue (this isn’t facetious, I don’t use liquid glue very often and I struggle with not having a feel for it the way I do with thread or even nails and screws), or even that the formulation sacrificed adhesive quality for ease of use.

I think I might look into some of the techniques in the links above, but part of me really wants to try to lacquer to see if the rhythm suits me better.

Beyond the Fringe – Adventures in Mending

A recent dip into a familiar but long-neglected charity shop (I used to work around the corner, so it was a convenient place to pop in during lunch breaks) yielded a lovely wool Pavlovo Posad Russian shawl with the tags still on.

I’m on another Victorian literature bender, so a voluminous shawl seemed just the thing, and I’ve always loved Russian textiles, so I wasn’t even very disappointed to find a series of tears in one corner when I got it home. (Not even disappointed enough to take a before photo, I’m afraid.)

Scrapiana, mender extraordinaire, has inspired me to be a little more creative about my mending, so I grabbed a scrap of batiste and my trusty box of embroidery thread and set to work.

First I satin stitched over the cut portions and into the whole parts to ensure that there was good adhesion to the batiste (it’s very hard to break yourself of the habit of satin stitching in the most thread-conserving method) and then I buttonhole stitched around the edge of the mended areas with black sewing thread. About eight stitches into that buttonhole stitch I realised that I was a card-carrying obsessive hand embroiderer, I’m pretty sure that no one else would have thought it was a good idea!

In the end, I’m really pleased with how it came out, I’ve trimmed off the excess batiste (please ignore the bit where I folded the batiste accidentally) and it looks quite tidy.

I’m finding this mending thing quite therapeutic, I’d love to hear about your favourite mended pieces – they don’t even have to be yours!

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