Kintsugi: The Art of Broken Pieces


Kintsugi (or kintsukuroi) is a Japanese method for repairing broken ceramics with a special lacquer mixed with gold, silver, or platinum. The philosophy behind the technique is to recognize the history of the object and to visibly incorporate the repair into the new piece instead of disguising it. The process usually results in something more beautiful than the original.

The video above was filmed at Tokyobike in London which recently had a Kintsugi workshop. If you’d like to try the technique yourself, Humade offers gold and silver DIY kintsugi kits. See also: When Mending Becomes an Art. (via Kottke and The Kid Should See This)




Video about the Kintsugi process

Late Arrivals, Goldfish, and Guinea Pigs: Unofficial Soldiers’ Clubs of WWII

"Late Arrivals Club" certificate

"Late Arrivals Club" certificate

From‘s history blog, the Vault:

During World War II, soldiers serving in Allied armies formed several exclusive clubs honoring troops who survived harrowing ordeals. Though unofficial, these clubs offered a morale boost to their members, as well as to other soldiers, as proof that survival—against all odds—was possible.

The Caterpillar Club, which was first formed in 1922 shortly after Lieutenant Harold Harris made an emergency jump at McCook Field near Dayton, Ohio, offered membership to tens of thousands during the war who used parachutes—made from caterpillar-produced silk—to bail out of disabled planes. Members included former president George H.W. Bush. Irvin Air Chute Company awarded unofficial badges in the form of gold caterpillars with red eyes along with membership certificates. A similar association, the Goldfish Club, honored those whose planes crashed in water and were saved by life rafts.

The Guinea Pig Club was started as a drinking club by aircrew who had been horribly burned and disfigured in the Battle of Britain and were treated by innovative surgeon Sir Archibald McIndoe at Queen Victoria’s Hospital in East Grinstead, West Sussex. The club claimed 649 members by the end of the war.

The Late Arrivals Club or Winged Boot Club honored those who walked back from behind enemy lines. Members were awarded certificates with the words, “It is never too late to come back,” along with badges designed as winged boots that could be worn on the left breast of flying suits. When an unknown American returned from occupied territory to England and started wearing a badge in 1943, other Americans had unauthorized badges made in the US. Among those who were eligible for membership were thirty Americans, including thirteen nurses, who walked hundreds of miles while trapped behind Nazi lines in the winter of 1943-44.

[Full article]

Hacker Heroes: 6 Women Who Have Changed Technology

Women Nerd Heroes

By at The Daily Muse:

When you think about women in tech, you probably instantly think Sheryl Sandberg, CEO of Facebook, and Marissa Mayer, President and CEO of Yahoo!. But there are plenty more women you should know about—women whose names you may have never heard before, but who truly shaped technology as we know it.

If you’re in the tech world (or want to be), check out this infographic to learn more about six female hacker heroes.

• Anita Borg, computer scientist and founder of the Institute of Women and Technology
• Angela Byron, software developer and evangelist for the Open Source and Drupal movements
• Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, early female programmer and U.S. military leader
• Mary Lou Jepsen, founder and CTO of the nonprofit, open source One Laptop Per Child, a global program to provide children laptops for $100
• Radia Perlman, software designer and network engineer, known as the mother of the Internet for her invention of network routing and bridging protocols
• Janie Tsao, Taiwanese immigrant and programmer who cofounded Linksys with her husband from their garage

If you want to see the future of software UI design, look to the history of print design

Interaction Design collage

This interesting article from posits that stylistic design choices follow from the limitations of their hardware or production:

Interaction Design collageLike many trends in technical areas, interaction design is being led by technical ability.

8bit games looked 8bit-y, because of limited colour palettes and giant pixels. 16bit games looked 16bit-y because of better colour abilities and slightly smaller pixels than their 8bit counterparts. Newer games look newer, because GPU hardware developed to the point where full 3D games were possible. These aren’t stylistic choices, they’re hardware limitations, dictating how software looks.

In the same respect, print design has limitations to work with. Most body copy in print design is black, because of hardware abilities — black is one of the four printing plates, so it can be reproduced at high quality, with sharp, fine lines needed for text. Back off a little to a mid-grey and the quality drops significantly, because you’re still using black to print, but you’re building mid-grey from a dither pattern of small black dots on white paper. It’s a trick. There is no mid-grey, only black or white. And because of this, smallish text printed as mid-grey looks horrible (please note that I’m talking about typical four colour CMYK offset printing, not the use of special colours).

[Full article]

Cats haven’t changed much

Inky cat pawprints on 15th century manuscript

Inky cat pawprints on 15th century manuscriptFrom medievalfragments:

Everyone who has ever owned a cat will be familiar with their unmannerly feline habit of walking across your keyboard while you are typing. One of the manuscript pictures tweeted by @erik_kwakkel [link] revealed that this is nothing new.…

Cat urine on manuscriptAlthough the medieval owner of this manuscript may have been quite annoyed with these paw marks on his otherwise neat manuscript, another fifteenth-century manuscript reveals that he got off lucky.  A Deventer scribe, writing around 1420, found his manuscript ruined by a urine stain left there by a cat the night before.

[Full article]