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October 20, 2020

Filling the cracks with gold: POJ Studio

The newly founded Pieces of Japan (POJ) is an online outlet showcasing the beauty and function of traditional Japanese homewares.

Serving as the modern bridge between local creators and consumers, POJ Studio has collaborated closely with skilled craftspeople to share a stunning collection of authentic and artisanal hand-crafted lifestyle goods.

Alongside providing the retail arm for these goods, POJ supports the preservation of these artforms and endeavours to share the unique history that accompanies each creation.

The aim of POJ Studio is to help keep dying traditions alive by building an ecosystem that helps Japanese artisans by offering a point of sale for their goods, whilst celebrating their sustainability.
— TINA KOYAMA AND HANA TSUKAMOTO, POJ FOUNDERS

Casper Magazine is no stranger to the work of these incredible founders, having travelled last year to Hana Tsukamoto’s masterfully spirited guest establishment, Maana Homes in Kyoto. (You can check out the link to that wonderful feature here.)

Some of the bespoke offerings from POJ include Incense Leaves, delicately crafted from paper, alongside Oryoki, a traditional set of nested wooden bowls that have been used by Buddhist monks for centuries. Perhaps the highlight of the range is the Kintsugi Kit - a DIY toolkit allowing you to replicate the 400 year-old restorative technique in your own home.

Kintsugi, literally translated as ‘gold joinery’, is the ancient Japanese craft of repairing broken artefacts and ceramics with gold. By carefully dusting gold powder over urushi, a Japanese lacquer, the former flaws become the feature of the renewed design, decorating the item’s history and transforming it into something more rare and ornate than ever before. The cracks inadvertently add character, often taking the shape of glowing natural forms like rivers and waterfalls, and transform the pieces through embellishment.

So, don’t throw away your broken bowls or mugs - the toolkit provides everything you need to attempt Kintsugi yourself. Additionally, POJ has collaborated with a master Kintsugi restorer to produce a comprehensive instructional video. Led by the master and his apprentice, they systematically guide you through the most authentic steps of Kintsugi to produce long lasting results. That’s an incredible use of new-age technology - sharing ancient secrets!

...instead of encouraging buying something new, we wanted to advocate for a mindset of using and appreciating something for many years, decades even.
— POJ

We love how there’s nothing pretentious or artsy about POJ: they are simply serving to highlight and sustain the timely aspects of their culture. By cleverly educating wider communities through the sale of these items, they are generating the much needed funds to prevent these artforms from dying.

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Casper Magazine is an independent Australian-based digital magazine produced in Melbourne.

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