We first met Tanaka san when we had a chawan of our own to mend. Following a few recommendations we arrived at his atelier in Kyoto to have a look at his work. Nearly ten years later we are still using him for our Kintsugi.
What attracted us to him was his delicate and sensitive work. Using too much gold and having a very luxurious effect is not the style of Kintsugi we enjoy. We prefer a subtle, elegant and modest approach to mending, and Tanaka san is the perfect fit for us.
Kyoto is full of traditional Japanese restaurants and breakages inevitably happen, so Tanaka san has a steady stream of work from top class restaurants and he likes nothing more than visiting the same restaurants to eat from the plates that he has mended.
This is why he always focuses on food safety and making practical things that can still be used. Kintsugi is not art, it is a way of bringing things back to life. He describes Kintsugi as like “drawing gold/silver lines on a finished work. The mending is not the most difficult part, the most difficult thing is to keep the beauty of the original work or to harmonise between new lines and the original work”. With this philosophy, he makes sure his Kintsugi does not overwhelm the original work and always seeks for the best balance between harmonious beauty and practicality. We can see his philosophy in his works. His lines are very delicate, sympathetic and elegant.