It is 5am in Bangkok and still dark out. Today I’m taking a short flight to the north of Thailand, to meet with a kintsugi master.
Although I have dabbled in kintsugi prior to this I am eager to learn the process authentically, step by step, from one who has truly mastered the art so I may share it with the world.
My fascination with Kintsugi started when I stumbled upon a gift given me by a Japanese client in 1989 at the World Fashion Fair, in Osaka, Japan where I was showing my St. Pucchi collection – a gift that lay dormant in its original wrapping for almost three decades only to surface recently in my life.
Kintsugi art dates back to the late fifteenth century. Kintsugi, or kintsukuroi as it is known, means “golden rejoining”.
Legend has it that the craft commenced when Japanese shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa sent his favorite tea bowl—a chawan—that was cracked back to China for repair. Upon its return, Yoshimasa was displeased to find that it had been mended with unsightly metal staples. Clearly this was less than esthetically pleasing. The shogun immediately tasked Japanese craftsmen to come up with an alternate, more pleasing method of repair. And thus kintsugi was born.
They say the teacher appears when the student is ready, and apparently this was the right time as this message was vital in my forward journey to wellness and wholeness. So much had happened in my life that there is not enough space here to share, even less to hope others would fully understand and comprehend. My entire life up until this moment had been about overcoming one trauma after another that there were days I would wake up wondering when the next shoe will drop, and ask God (again!) why it must be me?
Then I am reminded that when I came into this world and was asked by God what I wished to experience in this lifetime, I had innocently checked the box marked “growth” and ignored the one marked “stability”. And my soul has been growing ever since.
So this gift, still beautifully wrapped in its original wrapping cloth called furoshiki, appeared in my life after all this while as I finally found time to go thru and unpack a few remaining boxes of belongings accumulated over the years during yet another one of those emotional journeys I was forced to take while saying goodbye to a part of my life that was no longer serving my higher purpose.
As I opened the gift for the very first time, I was introduced to the most beautiful piece of art – a jade bowl with golden veins running through it. A note inside the bowl read: “May you become a Kintsugi Master”.
Looking at the jade bowl I had a profound awakening – that it was time to bring all the scattered pieces of my past together, and just like this bowl, piece them together and become whole again. I thought, “Is this where I’m being lead? To understand my life thru the art of kintsugi and master the process?” I believed so.
I also believe that there are no accidents in life. The Universe is perfectly orchestrated. It sends the right people and reveals events at the perfect moment, all appearing in our lives at the exact right time. The message was very clear. To become a master of this art I had to learn from the master herself.
I know this trip I am about to take is part of the Grand Plan, and that my teacher too has been sent into my life by the Universe. Isn’t that amazing? Synchronicity is a powerful phenomenon indeed, and every time I have experienced synchronicity I have had an accompanying feeling that some grace came along with it.
What I have learned from this trip can only be summed up in one word: Wow!
Fixing broken ceramics thru the proper kintsugi method is a lot more complicated than what I had previously read about, learned and practiced. I thought I knew it all, but there are so many more steps to the art than what many teach you. The process is a lengthy one and way more detailed than I can express here in words. Authentic kintsugi art must be learned personally and can only be appreciated by physically doing and practicing the process first hand.
Below is an excerpt from my soon to be released book, Gold in the Cracks: Move from Shattered to Whole and Reveal Your Light that sums up well what I know now…
What I’ve since learned from the kintsugi master, what is not apparent is the time and patience it takes to gather the broken pieces and fill in the cracks. Each crack is unique, and to fill it properly and make it stronger, one must figure out which kind of lacquer is best to use and continuously monitor, adjust, and refine the tiny details.
It feels as if the broken bowl is talking to you as you touch and feel each broken piece with the hands of your heart, the lacquer running through it like bloody veins, and the gold adding to its beauty. There’s an intention that’s expressed as you invest time, energy, and intelligence to fix something that will be a part of your life, which perhaps you might use to consume food or drink.
The kintsugi master is essentially expressing that a broken vessel deserves more than just being forgotten and replaced and is worth the investment of time so that it can continue to exist.
Many people talk about feeling “broken” after enduring heartbreak, grief, and trauma. It’s time we rethink our philosophy of life and remember there’s an entire art dedicated to filling in the cracks of broken things with lacquered gold, an art form that proves that even the broken and damaged history of an object is beautiful and should be treasured. I love the concept of kintsugi. It’s such a wonderful metaphor for life.
The same is true for your life. Every wrinkle is a road map of your life journey; every scar is a solemn decoration, a perception that writes timeless poetry upon flesh and mind, like the stroke of a painter’s brush dipped in golden paint, creating art that is timeless despite the wrinkled grooves, deep creases, torn and broken parts.
For that is where true beauty emerges.
It is time.
Time to gather all your broken pieces and fill your cracks with gold. As Rumi says so beautifully, “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
Are you ready?
© Rani St. Pucchi, 2018
Rani St. Pucchi is an award-winning Couture Fashion Designer, Style & Image Consultant, and a Relationship Expert. She is a Bestselling Author, an Inspirational Speaker, and a Success Coach and Trainer. Her TEDx talk: Is Your Body Image Holding You Back has received worldwide acclaim. Rani’s#1 International Bestselling Books, Your Body, Your Style: Simple Tips on Dressing to Flatter Your Body Type ; The SoulMate Checklist: Keys to Finding Your Perfect Partner; and Your Bridal Style: Everything You Need to Know to Design the Wedding of Your Dreams are available on Amazon and at Barnes & Nobles. Her fourth book, Gold in the Cracks: Move from Shattered to Whole and Reveal Your Light, will be released globally on October 17th, 2018.
For more information on Rani please visit www.ranistpucchi.com