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4-day Kintsugi workshop using real Urushi lacquer

juli 3 - juli 17


JCE introduced the Kintsugi workshop last August. During this workshop, for which the fast technique was applied, traditional materials and chemical glues were combined in order to be able to finish the potteries in 1 day. It was very popular; many people attended the workshop and afterwards we received many requests for another Kintsugi workshop. This summer we would like to introduce the traditional way of Kintsugi by using only natural materials, Urushi lacquer and pure gold powder. The real Urushi needs a certain humidity to become dry and therefore the workshop will be for 4 days. The workshop price is therefore also higher than last time, but this is absolutely a rare opportunity to work with real materials and to learn from a real Urushi craftswoman. Please do not miss this amazing opportunity!

Kintsugi and Maki-e  

Kintsugi is a process in which broken pottery is put back together using Japanese lacquer and Maki-e painting. Lacquer is a tree sap of the Urushi tree, which can be found all over Asia. In Japan, 5000-year-old lacquered baskets with Urushi have been excavated. Somewhat influenced by the Korean craft, the Japanese lacquer technique evolved on its own. By the Heian era (794–1185), the Maki-e painting, where Monyo design drawn with lacquer of Urushi is sprinkled with gold or silver dust, emerged as an art form. Kintsugi, which blossomed during the Muromachi period (1336–1573) due to the emergence of tea culture, wasn’t seen just as a way of fixing broken pottery, it was also seen as part of the Maki-e genre, and was admired as an artwork in itself. During the Age of Exploration, Westerners who came to Japan were drawn to Maki-e paintings, and commissioned many lacquer wares that they took back to Europe with them. The Urushi black background and beautiful gold lines were called ‘Japan’, and many lacquer wares were exported to the Netherlands.


Only 200 grams of lacquer can be squeezed out of a tree. The lacquer gatherers, who are called Kakiko’, tap the tree with a special knife and collect each drop during the summer months. The lacquerer called Nushi’ is put to rest in order to harden by a chemical process. It is kept in a special shelf called a Furo’ during a few days. The Furo’s temperature and humidity are kept stable (20℃ and 70%)

urushikin清水焼金継ぎ 朱


We invite a real Urushi craftswoman, Mio Heki to teach us how to fix the potteries by Kintsugi in a traditional way. In Europe, you can buy a “Kintsugi kit”, but it will contain chemical glues. For this workshop, we will use real Urushi and gold, no glues, no chemicals. The process will take longer, but your potteries will be safe to use for eating and drinking. This is also a very rare opportunity to experience working with real materials and to experience the traditional process. Furthermore it is a rare chance to learn about Urushi, which is the traditional lacquer for Japanese crafts. The traditional technique of Kintsugi with Urushi involves a longer process. Putting the broken pieces together by Urushi, filling, grinding, painting, sprinkling, coating and polishing will normally take several months.

In this workshop, we’ll divide the whole process of traditional Kintsugi into 4 sessions. It takes time, but you will be able to work and learn with real materials (with real Ursuhi and gold powder). At the same time, you will learn about the traditional Japanese way of putting big value on and taking time to repair high quality products.

About the pieces of pottery to bring for repairing

We will repair the pottery with Urushi , rice powder , land powder, polishing powder and gold powder. Please refer to the following picture for what you can bring to the workshop. The cracks can be up to 5 mm and one broken pottery should consist of no more than two pieces (please don’t bring pottery that is broken into more than 2 pieces). Because the time is limited each participant can only repair two cracks and one pottery that is broken into 2 parts. Please bring 2 ceramic products and 2 boxes (to keep your pottery for the next session of the workshop).

欠け 辰砂 中皿裏 皿割れ 鍵

*Paint lacquer can cause to irritation to the skin.

*Please wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty or bring an apron.

Mio Heki

The workshop leader, Ms. Mio Heki from Kyoto, studied Urushi at Kyoto University of art. She repairs temples, shrines, Buddha statues and tea utensils.

She leads the ‘URUSHI atelier Hifumi’ and organizes Kintsugi workshops and makes products for the Urushi jewelry studio in Kyoto.

Dates & Time: 

Day 1: Sunday 3 July: 10:00 – 13:00

Day 2: Sunday 10 July: 10:00 – 13:00

Day 3: Saturday 16 July: 14:00 – 17:00

Day 4: Sunday 17 July: 10:00 – 13:00

Participation fee:  317 euro (for 4 days *consecutive participation only! incl. VAT and the material cost)

Minimum participant: 4 persons

Maximum participants: 8 persons


Cancellation fee after the payment
Within 1 week: 50% of the participation cost
Within 3 days: 100% of the participation cost


juli 3
juli 17
Evenement Categorie:


Japan Cultural Exchange


‘t Japan Cultureel Centrum
Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 177-2
Amsterdam, 1012 RK Netherlands