Thursday, May 28, 2015

Repairing Yixing with Kintsugi

I'm a very accident prone person but thankfully that fault has rarely extended to my teaware. I was a bit hearbroken when the lid of one my yixing teapots became the latest victim. I've dropped this lid on numerous occasions but my new apartment has ceramic tile floors that are very hard. The pot isn't a particularly nice one but it is the second yixing that I ever purchased. It's also dedicated to Taiwanese oolongs like Dong Ding, one of my favorite types of tea. While trying to figure out what to do, I remembered a repair kit that I had seen on Pinterest a while back.

A company in the Netherlands called Humade put together this kit that they call New Kintsugi. I was incredibly nervous but excited to give it a try. It basically combines epoxy and gold powder. Flashbacks to crafting in Girl Scouts and making repairs on porcelain figurines when I worked at a Christmas store popped into my head. The texture was similar to crazy glue but a bit less sticky. It mixed easily and applied fairly cleanly. The gold powder was somewhat messy but not out of control. Ladies, if you've ever opened a new pot of loose eye shadow you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.

The instructions said to mix a bit of powder into the epoxy prior to applying and then lightly dust the seams while they are still tacky. After letting it dry for a few hours, it was time to see what the final results were. It wasn't an expert job but it definitely turned out better than I expected. The sides did wind up a bit too thick to properly fit on the pot but that was easily remedied by sanding it down with my nail dremel. It will need to cure for 48 hours but I'm looking forward to using my pot again. Hopefully the repair will hold up over time.


Update: So far so good. The epoxy does soften up a bit when exposed to hot water. That's not a bit deal in this case since it's the lid but I wouldn't suggest this repair method for cups or other vessels that need to hold hot water.

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