How to make your own museum-worthy kinsugi bowl

April 9 2015 | Guest post by rosesinister
 Our completed handfasting cords inside the kinsugi/kintsukouri bowl I made for our wedding.
Our handfasting cords for our wedding inside the kinsugi/kintsukouri bowl I made for our wedding.

I wanted my DIY kinsugi bowl to look like some sort of weird space rock, or rare mineral. And when we honeymooned in Washington DC, I spent hours in the Natural History museum where I verified that my results were spot-on.

Here was the process I went through to make it…

  1. I used four blocks of polymer clay (2 black, 2 translucent) and mixed them together til they were marbled in appearance.
  2. I rolled them out onto a sheet with fine and coarse salt spread out on the rolling surface for texture, and cut out a large circle.
  3. I draped the circle over the bottom of an Anchor borosylicate glass bowl (like Pyrex so it's oven safe).
  4. I baked the piece according to the polymer clay's package directions.
  5. I let it cool completely.
  6. Then soaked it in lukewarm water to dissolve the embedded salt.
  7. I used an old toothbrush to get it completely clean.
  8. Then I threw the bowl repeatedly onto the floor as hard as I could until it broke into several pieces.
  9. I glued those pieces back together with E-600 glue, being generous and letting the glue bulge up through the join seams.
  10. Once it was completely dry, I used a very fine paintbrush and Martha Stewart Liquid Gilding in silver to paint over the glue, highlighting the re-joined seams of the bowl.
  11. I sealed everything with spray-on polycrylic.
  1. Very cool! I wonder if it would have worked to mix the silver paint in with the glue so you wouldn't have to go back over it, or if that would change the glue composition too much and it wouldn't hold.

  2. I see that you linked to a Wikipedia page, but could you add some more info to the article about kintsugi? Otherwise your readers may not understand the meaning or importance you wish to convey.

  3. Your bowl is beautiful. I love mix of black and translucent polymer clay.

    What is the meaning of kinsugi for you? I've seen the technique before, but I don't know much about it.

    Thanks!

  4. I don't mean this to be offensive in any way, because your bowl is absolutely stunning, but as I understand it, kinsugi (and the Wabi Sabi philosophy) is all about embracing imperfections as they naturally occur through the general wear and love of an object as it ages. To me, creating something new to look this way (and smashing it to look "perfectly" distressed), is missing the entire point. This is also why I disagree with faux vintage, and purposely ripped jeans.

    • I wanted to add: from an artistic discovery perspective, I think your technique is brilliant. Especially the use of salt – how clever!

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