In a surprising new twist, Pomellato turns to a traditional Japanese mending technique to upcycle damaged gemstones in a stunning and highly original capsule collection. In Pomellato’s luxurious take on recycling, the Italian house’s superlative jewellery-making skills meet the ancient Japanese art of kintsugi.
Pomellato Kintsugi Collection: revealing the beauty of the perfectly imperfect
The Kintsugi capsule collection is available only in selected Pomellato Boutiques.
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Damaged jet and kogolong, which would normally be discarded, are repurposed to reveal a novel approach to creating precious jewels in this sophisticated re-interpretation of the ancient Japanese technique of kintsugi.
Committed to finding sustainable solutions and driven by an innovative attitude to luxury, Pomellato embraces imperfection in its inclusive choice of materials. Flaws, inclusions and now even broken gemstones have their place in the house’s distinctive design approach.
The jewels are the fruit of the collaboration with a female master kintsugi artist in Tokyo who lovingly brings new life and preciousness to shattered pieces of jet and kogolong. In a true cross-pollination of cultures, the skilled artisans of Casa Pomellato in Milan craft the repaired stones into strikingly minimalist rings, earrings and pendants.
Pomellato Creative Director Vincenzo Castaldo explains how kintsugi found its way into this Milanese jeweller’s ateliers: ‘I travelled to Japan in 2019 and while I was in Tokyo, I deepened my knowledge of the art of kintsugi and immediately felt an affinity with the spirit of this ancient art. I was drawn to the elegance of Japanese thinking and the idea of something broken becoming more precious through this ritual of repairing. The idea of celebrating your scars as a sign of strength through healing is a very contemporary philosophy. And repurposing rather than discarding is so relevant to our own lives and our commitment to sustainability. I was inspired to find a way to bring kintsugi to Pomellato and though Milan and Tokyo may be many miles apart, we share a poetic and uncommon vision of beauty over an artificially perfect ideal and we both embrace diversity and imperfection in similar ways.’
The name kintsugi comes from the Japanese ‘kin’ meaning gold and ‘tsugi’ to mend. First seen in the 15th century, the craft is an expression of the Japanese philosophy of resilience and compassion through a repair process that brings new life and value to a damaged object.
Legend has it that the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa sent his favourite tea-bowl to China to be repaired. Deeply disappointed with the unsightly metal staples used to mend the fractured bowl, he challenged his Japanese craftsman to find a better solution. After much thought, they restored the vessel using resin and powdered gold, bringing the world the very first example of kintsugi.
In the hands of a lacquer master, a glue paste is made that is swiftly but precisely applied. The expertise lies in reassembling the many components before the lacquer bonds forever. After several weeks of gentle drying, the glue is sanded down to lie flush with the surface. As a final step, the master craftsman skillfully applies gold to the seams.
‘We were very respectful of the centuries old wisdom of the craft, and the aim is not to create perfection but a very individual and spontaneous result,’ explains Castaldo. ‘Each jewel is truly one of a kind and this to me is the real essence of preciousness.’