The Ancient Japanese Art of Kintsugi

I’ll always choose the cracked bowl, as that’s the one with the story to tell of an adventure and a life well lived.

Why discard a loved object because it is less than perfect, because it has a flaw? This is a guiding principle that has led me though collecting for pleasure and now buying for Quintessentially French.


Kintsugi teaches us that flaws, breaks and traumatic damage can be repaired with love and care to create something unique, beautiful and strong once again. The metaphors we can gather to learn from this are clearly many, and I'd love to hear how it inspires you.


The word Kintsugi literally means ‘Golden repair’: Kin - gold and tsugi - repair



A broken bowl becomes a beautiful, valued and unique work of art with its own story. The cracks as if wounds healed to scars, golden scars to be proud of – they are the sign of an object’s life well lived and the golden epoxy gluing them back together has been carefully and lovingly applied.


“The wound is the place where the light enters you”

Rumi (1207-1273)


This is the essence of resilience. A broken object still has value, to some increased value. In the same way a person who has been dealt blows that leave dreams shattered can emerge positively, stronger. The shattering experience making each person unique and precious. The analogy suggests a Zen reconciliation with the flaws and accidents of time. The imperfections are gifts to be worked with, not shameful and to be concealed.


Rather than revering the new, consumeristic and often mass produced where the expectation is for everything to be perfect; have the confidence to respect that which is imperfect but beautiful; has been loved and wears the scars of a life well lived.


Kintsugi belongs to the wabi sabi Zen ideals which cherishes what is simple, unpretentious and aged, especially if it is rustic or weathered.


Spurred by my recent reading and a life time of being drawn to the rustic, I have created a 'Rustic Home' Collection on Quintessentiallyfrench.com which will be progressively stocked with re-found artisanal French finds, all of which chosen for their individuality, I hope you like it.


Helen x







Cover image from the album Second Sight by Hey Rosetta

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