Beauty in the broken

/Beauty in the broken

Beauty in the broken

Since, in recent years, we have been introduced, to the Japanese ‘Wabi-Sabi’  philosophy that represents a world centered on the acceptance of the imperfection and to the Wabi-Sabi aesthetics, describing art as one of beauty that is imperfect, impermanent and incomplete, this unique style has penetrated the field of architecture, interior design, arts and fashion.

Forget the sleek, modern and perfect designed interiors by embracing the imperfection of the unique Wabi-Sabi interior, that is accepting asymmetry, irregularity and simplicity. Our home interior doesn’t need to be perfect anymore. Cracked floors, furniture with ‘scars’, a bouquet arrangement with a set of different shaped and sized flowers, are allowed.

Through the Wabi-Sabi aesthetics we were even introduced to the traditional Japanese art of golden repair ‘Kintsugi’, a method for repairing broken ceramic pieces with a lacquer mixed with gold or other precious metals, this with the philosophy of Wabi-Sabi behind it, embracing the idea that repaired objects are even better and more beautiful than the original pieces. By repairing and illuminating the cracked ceramics, the pottery’s damaged history is rather emphasized than disguised. The flaws and imperfections are considered to be part of the history of the items. Kintsugi is giving the pottery a new life.

Googling ‘kintsugi’ you soon discover lots of images of beautiful repaired pottery and ceramics.

Tea bowl with gold lacquer kintsugi repair work, Korea, Joseon dynasty, 16th century AD –  Ethnological Museum, Berlin   

Image source Wikipedia – User Daderot

‘The healing process of repairing can give it even more positive energy and beauty.’ (Axel Vervoordt)   

Image source Axel Vervoordt Instagram page

Japanese Kintsugi bowl   Image source The Ceramic School

Shoki-Imari blue and white porcelein kintsugi sake cup   Image source Pinterest


‘Kintsugi’ that means finding the beauty in the flaw, the imperfect and the broken, has even found its way into the field of interior design and arts.

We do see a lot of artists creating their ‘kintsugi’ inspired works of art.


In this installation by artist Catherine Bertola, a crack in a concrete slab is filled with gold. What could have been considered as an imperfection is turned into something beautiful.

Artist Catherine Bertola – Seam , Installation 2007   Image source Apartment Therapy


Kintsugi inspired work of art by Philippines based artist Alain Hablo.

“kintsugi”   Image source Hablo Art FB page


The interior design industry is very keen to respond to this unique Kintsugi ‘beauty in the broken’ aesthetic.


Kintsugi inspired – oak shade with gold leaf detail – ‘Surya’ pendant by Ochre.

 Image source Ochre

‘Kintsugi’ coffee table top by Olivier Milne, made from a black concrete slab that has been purposefully shattered and meticulously repaired with a resin and golden metallic powder blend.

Image source Olivier Milne

Brass inlay petrified wood table top at Defleure Home Collection.

Image courtesy of Defleure

 Nero Marquina Kintsugi tile from the collection ‘Kintsugi stone mosaics – the art of broken pieces’ at Claybrook Interiors.

Image source Claybrook Interiors

Kintsugi inspired table top of a cast bronze edge table by Taylor Donsker.

Image source Taylor Donsker Design


The most remarkable article I came across when doing some research about ‘Kintsugi’, was about the public installation of anonymous artists in the area where the La Tuna Canyon Fire burned in September 2017. The article was published in Curbed LA.

With their socially committed and kintsugi inspired installation, the artists focused on the beauty of the imperfection by repairing the damage the fire has caused and encouraged people to see the ‘beauty in the broken’.

‘The installation, called “Lost and Found LA” , will transform burned trees along a walking trail in the La Tuna Canyon. The trees will be decorated with golden veins, in the style of a Japanese art form that involves “repairing broken pottery by filling cracks with lacquer dusted with gold,” says an announcement from the artists. The gold will be applied with natural beeswax and pigments, a rep for the artists tells Curbed.

Handmade furniture, also featuring golden accents, will be placed along the path offering observers a place to sit and consider the installation.

By celebrating the flaws of these charred trees, the installation “reflects on the fragility of the environment, while also alluding to the ever-renewing forces of nature and recovery.” ‘  TEXT by Blanca Barragan for CURBED LOS ANGELES

Trees decorated with golden veins, inspired by the art of Kintsugi.

Image source Curbed LA

Image courtesy of Archives and Records, the website of the anonymous artists

Image courtesy of Archives and Records, the website of the anonymous artists

Handmade furniture, featuring golden accents, along the paths.

Image courtesy of Archives and Records, the website of the anonymous artists

A call from the artists to the visitors. Nice!

Image courtesy of Archives and Records, the website of the anonymous artists   Photo by Dean Musgrove, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG


Now it’s your turn to see if there is anything to repair in your home interior and to enjoy the beauty of this imperfection.

Here is a picture of the parquet floor at my home studio of which my husband recently repaired a small damage with a butterfly joint. And yes, I do enjoy the beauty of this imperfection every day!

‘Beauty in the broken’



By |2018-07-11T10:53:53+00:00March 12th, 2018|Categories: Belgian Pearls|Tags: , |4 Comments


  1. michele@hellolovely Monday, March 12, 2018 at 5:23 PM - Reply

    I’m a wabi sabi girl for sure, and kintsugi has influenced my art and my heart. What a beautiful gesture happening in LA with those trees, and it is such a lovely way to bring beauty from ashes. Anything with a spiritual nature always brings our attention back to the trees, yes? They are magnificent teachers for us. I think of the palms and how they twist and bend in hurricane winds without breaking. I think of Redwoods with their intertwining root systems which anchor them from underneath. And I think of the walnut tree just outside of my window where the squirrels in my yard play everyday, entertaining me and relaxing me at once. Yours is such a lovely heart, Greet – the art and subtleties that touch it also touch mine. Peace to you, friend. xox

    • Greet Lefèvre Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at 7:47 PM - Reply

      Hello dearest Michele, I am always so pleased to read your thoughtful comments! You are so very dear to me!
      Warmest regards, Greet

  2. Amy Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at 7:12 PM - Reply

    Cant tell you enough how much I appreciate your thoughtful posts! thank you..Amy

    • Greet Lefèvre Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at 7:46 PM - Reply

      Thank you so much dear Amy! Your comment is so very much appreciated!
      Warm regards, Greet

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