We are Japanese Kintsugi Ambassadors!
Our Founding Story
Save the mass discard of vessels and spread the beauty of Kintsugi!
We have learned that a large amount of unsalable and precious vessels are discarded here in Japan due to defects like cracks or chips during the production or accidental falls, or because their owners have passed away and they have no place to go.
We launched this business in 2020 with the hope of realizing sustainable art by reviving the time and thoughts of the artisans who have worked on these vessels using "Kintsugi", the ancient Japanese urushi repairing method.
Basically, kintsugi is regarded of reusing a broken vessel after it has been repaired by the owner or artisan, so kintsugi pieces have not been generally distributed.
We heard from a designer friend of us that he had received inquiries from people overseas asking where they could buy kintsugi pieces, so we decided to launch this online store so that people overseas could pick up Kintsugi pieces created by Japanese lacquer artisans using the traditional Kintsugi technique and learn more about the beauty of Japanese authentic Kintsugi.
A spirit of respect for things by a traditional Japanese Kintsugi
Kintsugi is a traditional Japanese technique of repairing broken or chipped vessels with urushi and decorating the jointed parts with gold or other materials.
i.e. Kintsugi represents the spirit, cherishing a thing.
In keeping with that spirit, we NEVER intentionally break brand new vessels to make Kintsugi piece, but rather stock up on vessels at a reasonable price, that have some defects during the production process or that have cracks or chips even in the pottery and porcelain dealers or antique stores.
A long journey to collect the broken vessels for Kintsugi
In starting this business, when we actually visited pottery and porcelain production areas and antique stores in Japan to stock up on vessels that were supposed to be discarded, we learned that although these people are aware of the problem of being discarded in this way, the reality is that they are unable to take any concrete actions to solve it.
Some of the artists and potter that we have offered to purchase pieces with cracks and chips did not want to release their unwilling works to the world, so collecting such vessels were the most difficult part for us.
However the number of cooperators who agreed with our kintsugi philosophy and allowed us to stock up on vessels that should have been discarded is gradually increasing.
After such a journey to find the broken vessels, we finally managed to collect more than 100 pieces, thanks to our collaborators.
Bring a Peace to the World through Kintsugi!
By using Kintsugi as a "Vessel of Thought" to reunite people and the world that have been divided and hurt, and by spreading the good old sustainable art of Japan to the world, we hope to realize world peace. We believe Kintsugi has the power to change the world!
Who We Are
Team "The Kintsugi Labo JAPAN"
Mr. Suginaka is a lacquer&kintsugi artist who has an urushi workshop called "SOWEIDO" in Nagahama City in the northern part of Shiga Prefecture, next to Kyoto JAPAN.
He is a master urushi artisan who uses not only kintsugi, but also various techniques such as lacquering, foil stamping, and maki-e, and is known for his beautiful finishes.
He specializes in "Kawaritsugi," an original kintsugi technique. The "kawaritsugi" technique is a variant of the kintsugi technique, which has been developed into an art form and can be used in combination with various colors, patterns, and materials beyond gold.
He is particular about applying kintsugi without using petroleum-based materials such as adhesives, but only plant-based materials. Although it takes a long time to complete a piece, he creates his kintsugi works by sticking to the traditional and authentic Kintsugi method, which has been handed down from ancient times in Japan and is now rare.
His wife is also a member of the team and provides advice and support for his work.
Isono Revitalizing Office, LLC.
Isono Revitalizing Office LLC., run by a kintsugi couple, Ken and Michie, is a Japanese management consulting firm specializing in the art field, with the concept of "Revitalize Local People & Businesses!
Initially, we were providing a consulting to Mr. Suginaka as a management consultant, but as we talked with him, we became fascinated with the beauty of Kintsugi. Nowadays, we are apprentices of Mr. Suginaka, and while training in lacquer ware and kintsugi, we are also working together on this new kintsugi business.
It is very difficult for an artisan to expand his business overseas by himself, and it is necessary to build a team to overcome various obstacles such as language, brand launch, trade, and logistics.
We hope to increase the number of people who agree with our attempts and connect with people all over the world through kintsugi!
Mr. Yosuke Inui, a designer with a deep knowledge of branding in the art field, is helping us with the design of our brand logo and store cards, as well as providing advice.Learn more
Our Business Model
Return a fair profit to the artisans!
- @ 2022 The Kintsugi Labo JAPAN All Rights Reserved.