Sidewalk kintsugi: repairing cracks with gold

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as a life-long pedestrian and non-driver, i love this. what a great idea!


I do too, but I can still think of better uses for gold.


I’m pleased to see that all of the many masonry cracks I have filled with epoxy may now be referred to as “installations.”


Something almost similar: I have seen locations where a downed power line hits a sidewalk and pits the concrete. Often, those pits are at least partially filled with copper from the sparking line, visible with green verdigris. Really quite cool.


That’s a repair that won’t last long. And leave a bigger mess afterwards.


One could probably start a thriving business in Dubai doing this sort of repair work. Wretched excess of this sort is their forte.

Unless that’s a thin veneer though, those repairs are only going to last until someone pries up the chunk of concrete and hauls it away top retrieve the gold.


Brother, can you spare some gold?


“Honey, where did you put the gold? I broke a plate.”

It’s great to have enough gold lying around to just fill in cracks in things and stuff. I used to use glue but I ran out and was like - well, I have this gold I guess I can use this.


Just from a processes standpoint, is there someplace that explains how it is actually done? If you had a much beloved plate from your grandparents or childhood memento, I could see doing this.


Isn’t that how one of the biblical temples got destroyed. They put gold in the mortar and that full filled a prophecy that ‘no two bricks would be left together’.

They seem to add the gold to enamel once the enamel repair is finished. I’m surprised they don’t mix metallic powder into the enamel first.

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Kate Martin- Kintsukuroi

At what point does it become worthwhile for the crackheads to start ripping up the sidewalks? (Much safer than stealing live power-lines for copper!)


I like the “it’s okay to be visibly mended” aesthetic, but yeah, not impressed about the gold part. I’m not sure about the sidewalk either – gold isn’t something that’s meant to be walked on. Too soft. I wonder what she mixed it with.

The part about a mended broken thing being more interesting than a never-broken thing – that’s highly cool. It reminds me of that Michael Ondaatje line about how people with no scars haven’t had a life.

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Interesting. I’ve only seen examples that some museum deemed worth displaying; but at least those ones gave a very, very, convincing impression of being an actual metallic joint; not a gilded lacquer seam. I always assumed that this was in fact the case, and some sort of gold solder with adequate wetting of ceramics had been used.

In retrospect, it seems less plausible. Gold produces pretty dramatic colors when it diffuses into glass, so all but the darkest glazes would be quite a trick to leave unscathed in the presence of a gold alloy solder; and apparently getting solder to wet ceramics without either doing some vapor deposition ahead of time or employing somewhat exotic alloys is deeply nontrivial.

The illusion is very skillful.

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