The Beauty in Broken Things

round brown and white ceramic plate


We’ve probably all broken something before: perhaps a coffee mug, a plate, or
our mother’s prized crystal swan. The general notion is that these things are
beyond repair. What’s more, they’re dangerous! They have sharp edges and
potential to injure us. As such, they aren’t just useless; they are a hazard and
must be disposed of carefully. There is, however, an art of repair in Japan, called
kintsugi. Artisans will take shattered objects and repair them using gold, silver, or
another precious metal. These objects, then, are not just made useful again but
made exceptionally more valuable. This is what God does with us and with all of
creation, once thought “profane” (Sophia Smith, “The Japanese Art of
Recognizing Beauty in Broken Things,” Make, August 17, 2015,