The word kintsugi (金継ぎ) translates literally to "golden joinery" and is a Japanese artform in which broken pottery is reassembled and breaks are filled with pure gold or silver. But, more than just an artform, kintsugi is a philosophy that recognizes damage as part of the history of the object that should be celebrated rather than hidden. Kintsugi teaches us to embrace and appreciate the changes and imperfections that come with time and use, rather than trying to hide or fix them.
The resulting pieces, with their highlighted cracks and scars, are considered more beautiful and stronger than the original unbroken pottery. It is a powerful and healing perspective when used as a lens for seeing the universal human experience of trauma. It allows us to judge ourselves not by what happens to us, but how we respond and persevere.
Angela builds on the traditional ideas behind kintsugi in her glass artwork. Unlike glass blowers who directly manipulate molten glass taken from a furnace, Angela’s glasswork is kilnformed, meaning that it is arranged, reshaped, and formed using a kiln built specifically for the demands of glass.
Angela starts by making “whole” objects (hearts, bowls, sculpture) and then deliberately breaks them. They are reassembled, often incorporating pieces from other broken objects, and remelted together with pure silver fused into the seams and, for some, with handmade staples placed across the breaks.