North London's Cultural Guide


Need a boost? Explore the art of Kintsugi

This ancient Japanese artform embraces the idea of cracks and flaws

‘Nothing is ever truly broken’ is the philosophy behind Kintsugi, the ancient Japanese art of repairing broken pottery using shimmering veins of lacquer mixed with gold, silver or other pigments. And at the start of the bleakest part of the year, that’s a phrase worth remembering.

Far from trying to hide damage, Kintsugi emphasizes breaks and cracks as an important and valuable part of the object’s history.

If that gets you going – hell, we’re in – why not attend a two-and-a-half-hour workshop this month at Free Space Gallery with artist Michael Crossan?

He’ll teach you to the fundamentals of this meditative art form, and using photographs and ceramics, participants will come away with their own unique Kintsugi objet, made “stronger and more beautiful”, he says, through its cracks and flaws. It’s a tangible reminder of “resilience, continuity, and transformation”.


Better still, no prior experience is required, with materials included in the cost. Forget the gym, this sounds 100% like our kind of restorative New Year activity.

Tickets £5-£11, available here, 1:30pm, 14th and 28th Jan, 2 Bartholomew Road NW5

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The award-winning print and online title Kentishtowner was founded in 2010 and is part of London Belongs To Me, a citywide network of travel guides for locals. For more info on what we write about and why, see our About section.