Can gold fix things? “Jin Shan”, an introduction to traditional Japanese restoration techniques | JEWEL CAFÉ Malaysia

Date published: September 11, 2020

Can gold fix things? “Jin Shan”, an introduction to traditional Japanese restoration techniques | JEWEL CAFÉ Malaysia

Do you know the [Jin Shan “Japan is called as Kintsugi”] craft that has been handed down in Japan since ancient times? Jin Shan is a traditional technique that uses gold to repair damaged utensils.

Many people think of investment or asset utilization when hear of gold or yellow gold nowadays.But in fact, gold is a metal that blends into daily life and contributes a lot to people in live.

What kind of the technology is “Jin Shan”, and how is it actually used? The following will introduce the characteristics of “Jin Shan” craft and help deepen the understanding of gold.

What kind of technique is “Jin Shan”?

“Jin Shan” is a technique that uses gold to repair defective or broken ceramics and glass products.

In the modern era of material surplus, when ceramics of glass products are damaged or broken, the general method is “throw it away and buy a new one”; but in the age when the material is not so sufficient, “repair it before continuing to use” is the most basic idea.

The Japanese concept of cherishing things gave birth to the exquisite craftsmanship “Jin Shan”.

Although this traditional technique is rarely heard in recent years, it has a long history. It is said that as early as in the Jomon period cultural relics, there were utensils restored using techniques similar to “Jin Shan”.

In fact, “Jin Shan” is a traditional technique that even laymen can easily do as long as they master the know-how. When your favorite utensil is broken, you might try it out.

Introduction of “Jin shan” Restoration

How to do “Jin Shan” restoration?
The following will introduce the specific approach:
• The cup breaks into large pieces
• The bowls & utensils are slightly chipped
Let us explain these two situations separately.

The “Jin Shan” method when the cup breaks into large pieces

When you accidentally break the cup, it is not uncommon for it to split into two big pieces.
In this case, you can follow the following 3 steps to repair:

1. Collect the fragments and join them one by one with the adhesive made of paint
2. Prepare paint paste to fill the gap after joining.
3. Remove the excess paint, and carefully paint along the cracks.
4. Sprinkle gold powder while the paint is not completely dry.

It can be imagined that the cracked dinner plate is tightly joined with an adhesive made of lacquer, and then the joint is decorated with gold powder. The cracks will turn into beautiful golden lines, giving the utensil a unique charm after being reborn.

The “Jin Shan” method when the bowls & utensil slightly chipped

When you accidentally break the tableware, in addition to cracking into large pieces, it may also be slightly damaged. In such a situation, you may also have the opportunity to use the “Jin Shan” method to complete the repair.

The following steps as for references:
1. Protect the area around the defect with paper tape.
2. Prepare paint paste to fill the missing parts.
3. Paint the filled part and sprinkle with gold powder while it is not dry.

Ingeniously use lacquer to fill in the defects, so that the utensils can be used safely. When your beloved utensil is unfortunately damaged, you can try to repair it by the above steps.

“Jin Shan” use only gold powder

Generally speaking, when they hear “Jin Shan”, many people may have the impression of “repairing utensils with gold”, and then think of the cost of expensive gold. But in fact, lacquer is the most important adhesive when doing “Jin Shan” repair, and gold can be said is to be a decoration to beautify the appearance, and because it uses gold powder, there is no worry about the cost.

Recently, there are also many “Jin Shan” tool sets suitable for novices on the Internet. With such a tool set, novices can easily try “Jin Shan” repair.

Jin Shan is also Japanese art

“Jin Shan” is not only a method for repairing utensils, but also an art that brings Japan’s unique aesthetics to the international stage.

After the restoration is completed, the gold pattern will extend along the cracks of the utensil. Using this stripe path, new patterns can be drawn on the utensil and add value to it. This can be said to be the unique advantage of “Jin Shan”.

It is said that the beautiful craftsmanship of “Jin Shan” was established in the Muromachi period, when tea ceremony was popular in Japan and many utensils were used.

In addition to the concept of cherishing things and cherishing things, many people are deeply fascinated by the beauty of “Jin Shan”, which makes the craft of “Jin Shan” very popular.

Unfortunately, fewer and fewer people will want to repair broken items before continuing to use them in recent years. The traditional restoration technique of Jin Shan is becoming less and less known.

Moreover, although Jin Shan is easy to get started, he still needs a lot of knowledge and skill to sublimate the works to the field of art. Experts in “Jin Shan” crafts are dying day by day, and it has been regarded as a problem that must be faced in passing on traditional skills.

Conclusion

The technique of using lacquer and gold powder to repair utensils is a traditional technique in Japan since ancient times. In recent years, the number of craftsmen engaged in the restoration of gold in Japan has gradually decreased. However, the appearance of this technique in the movie “Interstellar Wars” has caused a topic overseas. It is known as “creating unique works from old things and unique techniques” and it has attracted wide attention.

As long as some know-hows are mastered, novices can also start making “Jin Shan”. Let’s start with a commercially available toolkit.

When your beloved utensil is accidentally broken, please try to regain a new life with a “Jin Shan”.

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