Six Arts Members recently had an opportunity to enjoy the hands-on JinShan repair craft, the traditional Chinese craft of turning imperfection into unique beauty.
The traditional Chinese craft JinShan is the process of skillfully repairing broken or incomplete artifacts with pure natural materials. Faced with imperfect artifacts, the JinShan process allows the budding or experienced artisan to restore the item and bring it back to life.
The handmade materials placed in front of the participating children are beautiful traditionally decorated plates with varying degrees of breakage. The first thing they needed to do is to observe the plates carefully, and then to restore the fragment to its original position on the broken plate.
A brush is used by the participants to remove debris from the broken part of the plate, then glue is applied to the same place. It took great patience and care to complete this step, which is also the first step in repairing and renewing the plate.
It takes great concentration and patience to carefully hold the repaired plate and broken piece together until the glue dries. Once the glue has dried, gold dust is slowly and patiently added to the crack where the pieces have been repaired.
The addition of sparkling gold dust to the repair lines turned the plates’ imperfections into uniquely beautiful additions to the plates. The plates, which originally started with auspicious patterns, could be considered to have added a bit of good fortune with the addition of the new golden repair lines.