Modern Kintsugi – gold leaf repair for ceramics with Richard Walker

Ref: S1D32991

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About this course

An introduction to Kintsugi, using modern materials and methods. Kintsugi is the art of celebrating damage, by showcasing it as part of an object's journey. Use gold-leaf to repair broken ceramic or pottery items.

Course Description

Kintsugi (golden joinery) first started in Japan around 500 years ago. The philosophy of Kintsugi is to celebrate the damage caused to a vessel, by showcasing the cracks and damage with the use of pure gold and resin. Instead of hiding the imperfections, they should be celebrated – a philosophy that is seen not only for craft, but perhaps also for life.

Favoured family ceramics and heirlooms were once repaired with ugly staples or bound together with glue that could not hide the cracks or repairs. Japanese craftsmen overcame this problem by binding the piece back together with a permanent adhesive made of natural resins and powdered gold. The repairs thus became highly visible and showcased the repairs as part of the history of the unit. The style became so popular that people would deliberately smash or damage valuable pieces for them to be repaired in this way.

In this one-day class, we will look at the art of Kintsugi, using contemporary glues and 23.5 carat gold-leaf. You may bring broken pieces from home to work on or bring along a piece to break specifically for the course. You may also work on as many pieces in the one day as time will allow.

Small pieces of missing ceramic/china may be recreated, using modern epoxy resins (up to around one-two cm).

You will be repairing these pieces, using superglue as a bonding agent. Any small holes or missing pieces will be recreated with epoxy resin. All the repairs will then be coated with a water-based product (Instacoll Rapid) to build up a thick layer, covering the cracks. 23.5 carat gold-leaf will then be applied to the Instacoll adhesive, effectively making the cracks visible as solid gold lines. The final result will then be cleaned and burnished.


Timetable for one day courses

Students should arrive by 9am for registration.

Classes are from 9.15 - 5pm

Lunch is included.

Course Materials


  • The cost of the glue, masking tape and materials for application and five sheets of 23.5 carat gold-leaf (more gold-leaf will be available for purchase, if required) are included.

What students need to bring

  • Any ceramic/pottery/china unit that is broken and in a relatively complete state (although small pieces can be recreated), for example, a non-valuable cup, plate, teapot, ornament or keepsake, as long as it is able to be glued back together (superglue) and safely handled.
  • After repair, the units will have aesthetic repairs conducted, but this will not make them safe for use as in cups, etc.
  • Abrasive wet and dry paper: 320, 600, 800 (one sheet of each). These will be available to buy from the tutor/college, if you have none.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A selection of gilding tools/brushes
  • Abrasive wet and dry paper: 180, 320, 600, 800

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio. This includes stout covered footwear, i.e. no open-toes or sandals, and safety boots, if specified.


Richard Walker portrait

Richard Walker

Richard Walker studied gilding at the University of Portsmouth. Gilding for twenty years and teaching for fifteen, he has developed a global reputation to top artists, framers, furniture designers, interior designers and museums, where he is renowned for creating new and interesting ways of gilding surfaces in traditional and modern methods.​

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Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or advance your learning with our BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft: Materials, Making, and Place (six years part-time). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.