Thursday, August 15, 2019

Kintsugi and Transforming Your Writing

By Annette Cole Mastron, Communications Director for Southern Writers Magazine

I recently purchased a serving piece of my Haviland china pattern. When the package arrived, I could hear it was broken before opening the package. It is a unique limited piece, a lidded serving bowl. Instead of crying into the broken bowl, I turned to the internet. I discovered Kintsugi (golden rejoining), a 15th-century Japanese ancient art form of restoration of broken ceramic pieces. I’ve been toying with the idea of trying my hand at this technique, but do I have the ability? Kintsugi, the artistry of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum, a method similar to the maki-e technique. It treats repaired breakage as part of the history of an object, rather than something to hide. My philosophy is everybody starts with their first piece they repair using the Kintsugi method before they master the technique. What do I have to lose? The Haviland piece is already broken.

Last week, I received the latest seasonal Magnolia Journal issue magazine. It's the magazine started by JoAnna and Chip Gaines of HGTV fame. They theme each of their magazine's issues. The fall 2019 issue 12 is about “In Pursuit of Wholeness.” Don't you just love how the cover shows "JoJo" sitting in a cozy library? They highlight throughout the magazine the power of transformation. Finding beauty in brokenness of ceramic pottery or life and resurrecting them into truly beautiful masterpieces. Kintsugi’s essence is discovering hidden beauty in the repaired cracks.

I suggest digging through your rejected work file. Pull out that rejected “broken” piece you wrote years ago or yesterday. Focus on the potential of discovering your “cracked” rejected piece. Read what you’ve written and find its hidden beauty. Fill in the cracks with what you’ve learned since you first wrote this piece. Polish it and then submit it and try again. If it’s again rejected, fill in more cracks, polish again and send again.

Like Kintsugi enjoy the imperfections or as we writers call them, the rejection process. Learn how to create a new and beautiful shiny piece that will become accepted and published. As Winston Churchill stated, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is courage to continue that counts.”