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  • Manju Sadarangani


Updated: Feb 10, 2021


Sugar bowl, Porcelain, Rococo style

(restored between July 2019-2020)

There is something so sacred when someone trusts you to kintsugi a treasured antique.

This delicate porcelain, hand-painted sugar bowl was inherited by a friend, a professional gypsy. It belonged to her grand aunt, a war bride from Germany, who brought it with her to America. My friend was upset when It broke during one of her many, many moves across the planet. It arrived into my hands in 2019, shattered.

I researched the marks on this delicate rococo painted piece, and based on which source we believe, it was either made between 1825 and 1917, or between 1870 and 1945.

I am not exaggerating when I say this has been the most challenging kintsugi project I have attempted. When I showed it to my kintsugi master, over a year ago, he shook his head.

It has taken months of excitement, hope, frustration, tears, hives from the urushi lacquer, screaming loud obscenities, ruined manicures, nicks, scrapes, and zen focus to get where we are.

The time and energy it took, the journey became really meaningful to me. The path to recovery, the steps forward, the push back, the vulnerability required to entrust your healing to others, the sense of sacred responsibility, the determination, the acceptance. It pushed me to learn, to try, to fail, to dust myself off and try again. And again, And again. I hold this object in my mind as a metaphor for my own healing.

So here we are today, looking at a Prussian object, fixed by an American immigrant woman of color using an ancient Japanese technique.

I can’t wait to get this bowl to my friend. Thank you for your patience, and trust.

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