Category: <span>Getting Crafty</span>

Faux Kintsugi

I had a recent Kickstarter for Calamityware that arrived, and sadly one of the four plates arrived broken.  I absolutely adore Calamityware and using some slightly off-center tableware, so while the company’s customer service replaced the broken plate, I still had four pieces of a broken plate that I didn’t want to just throw away.  Enter Kintsugi.

Well, faux Kintsugi.  And let me be clear, this isn’t in any way, shape, or form, the traditional method of Kintsugi from Japan.  The traditional method uses a lacquer called Urushi and if that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s derived from a plant with the same allergic compound as poison ivy.  Being someone who is pretty badly allergic to poison ivy meant the traditional method was off the table.  I joke about being able to break out in an itchy rash from just looking at the stuff, so using a lacquer that has a long cure time, and then sanding said lacquer, well, no thanks.  I also read stories on reddit about people getting rashes and ohh goodness, no, nope, no thank you.  (One bad episode as a kid in the summertime that involved steroid cream and not being able to bend my legs for weeks was plenty enough of that nonsense, thank you).  Anyway, I’ve got a reel on Instagram that follows the whole process (here), but basically it’s epoxy with gold mica powder for color.  The seams between the pieces aren’t flat, but I actually like the feel of the bumps outlining where the broken pieces were mended together.  Of course, epoxy isn’t food safe, despite the kit I purchased from a large internet retailer saying it was (it’s not, it’s SO completely not), but that doesn’t mean I can’t use it as a candle plate, saucer for tea, water-catcher for plants, and so on.

  • Lessons learned:
    • My first seam, I didn’t hold long enough, so it bubbled out funny when I released and realized what I had done.  Patience.  Stay the course and let it cure completely, but not too long.  The seam does need to be dusted with mica powder to get a good shine.
    • Cleanup is easy with acetone or isopropyl alcohol, but it will dull the finish of your lines.  Also a good sharp x-acto blade will work for cleaning up epoxy.
    • I should’ve marked the spots where there were gaps and tiny slivers missing – it would’ve been easier to add a little extra epoxy there before fitting them and then adding more after.
    • Use way less epoxy than you think.  Seriously, unless you want a thick line, use less, way less.  And do a new mix for each seam, working/curing each seam one at a time.

Yarn Scraps

Because I’m a crunchy granola hippie who can’t seem to part with .. anything .. I’ve been saving yarn scraps for AGES.  We’re not talking those partial balls of yarn leftover from knitting socks, we’re talking the teeny balls leftover after I’ve taken the sock yarn leftovers to make a blanket, the bits cut off after weaving in ends, trimmed off pieces from a long-tail cast on, etc.  The leftovers of the leftovers.  I’ve kept a little yellow pail near my usual knitting corner that has slowly been filling up over the last few years I’ve been knitting.  It finally got to the point that even after squishing the contents down over and over, it wasn’t really fitting in the pail anymore and it was finally time to go ahead with an alternative use for the yarn scraps.

VOILA!  A yarn scrap ball for the birds.  Yep, really!  The scraps are mostly between 2-4 inches long and are perfect for birds to weave into their nests.  I started with a grapevine ball from Michael’s ($6.99) and stuffed it full of my yarn scraps.  I found a chunk of leftover ribbon (scavenged from a gift box at one point), weaved it around the metal support wires inside the ball, and hung it near the bird feeder in the back yard.  I can’t wait to see how it goes over with our backyard birds and I look forward to seeing some colorful bird nests!

As usual, click any photo to view larger.