The ancient Japanese ceramic restoration technique of kintsugi reveals a metaphor: finding opportunities within difficulties. Most Japanese craftsmen show some contempt towards an excessive mental approach to the practice, but for Anita Cerrato this metaphor is extremely important. She embraced kintsugi when her work as restorer began to fade, hindered by the younger generations’ lack of interest in antiques. The technique of fixing broken objects with gold gave her the possibility to revive old objects in a beautiful and inspiring way. Already a martial arts practitioner and tai chi instructor, Anita uses kintsugi to combine her two greatest passions: Taoist culture and working with her hands, describing artisanal work as the deepest form of meditation.Read the full interview
Kintsugi is a conservative restoration technique invented in Japan in the 15th century. The legend says that a Shogun once broke his teacup, a small accident that was however considered a bad omen. In order to fix the teacup while maintaining its beauty, his court invented kintsugi.How and why did you find out about this technique?
I used to work for a gilding master, Sabatelli. When he closed his shop, he left me his work tables and a large quantity of gold leaf. I had seen images of Japanese cups coated in gold and while searching for inspiration, I landed upon images of kintsugi ceramics.
Today you can find kintsugi tutorials online and buy the equipment on amazon. But back then (ten years ago) there was no information and hardly anyone who did it in Italy. I travelled all the way to Japan to learn from masters and find the right materials.Who are your clients today?
I work on commissions for large design companies and on smaller projects for private clients. What I find interesting is that people who come to me are often going through some kind of difficulty: they need to repair something in their lives.