I have been taking advantage of my ever-clumsy nature and my increasing stash of chipped and broken crockery to undertake some experiments with the kintsugi kits. However, not wanting to rely on my own experiences, I have also taken advantage of other people to be guinea pigs and roped in little sis' to have a go and report back on how best to use it. After an evening sticking cups and saucers back together in style - and also sticking fingers to each other and sprinkling liberal amounts of gold dust everywhere - she reported back.
Here are her top five tips and suggestions about what to do, what not to do, and how to get the most from the kit. Here goes...
1) "If you've previously ever tried to fix your broken item with glue, make sure you clean it off properly or the pieces won't fit snugly and it creates more problems and gaps."
2) "Mix up small amounts of the fixing solution. It dries quickly once mixed and you don't want to be rushed or to try desperately to apply half-cured materials."
3) "Apply the gold adhesive mix liberally or it won't create a visible line on both top and bottom. Make sure you check what the underside looks like as you go as it is shame if it is let down by it's bottom (as true for life in general as it is for kintsugi, right?). If there are gaps, you can dab on a little more but the line created by the inital squeeze-together of the pieces is most satisfying."
4) "Make sure you knead the putty material thoroughly as the mixing process creates the reaction that helps it set."
5) "Hold it for way longer than you think, as it takes time to set. Let gravity help you here. Also, if mending more than one break, do it step by step, allowing each to dry and mixing up glue for each piece. Patience is definitely key."
Big thank you to little sis' for acting as guinea pig. Following her experiments, she presented me with a beautifully kintsugi-ed cup and saucer which I promptly dropped and smashed into even more pieces. Plus ca change! I am going to add my own sixth point here... once you have finished the kintsugi process, put the thing down, leave it alone and don't blimmin' drop it!!