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Kintsugi Mere

Repairing greenstone using golden joinery. 

The Refinery came to us with a broken, much loved Mere. 

Needing assistance to repair this large greenstone piece of history, MWDesign suggested the idea of Kintsugi. 

Kintsugi, also known as kintsukuroi, dates back to the 15th century. It is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. 

Kintsugi, meaning “to join with gold”,  fosters the idea that a broken object can be repaired and be made useful once again. Kintsugi teaches you that your broken places make you stronger and better than ever before.

We 3D scanned the broken pieces of greenstone, and assembled them in 3D modelling software. We then digitally bridged the gaps to create a model of the broken seam. The surface of the seam was offset proud of the pounamu so that it could be polished back to a flush finish.


This seam was then 3D printed using our Formlabs 0.025mm resolution resin printer. This part was then handed over to The Refinery to be cast in gold, fixed to the pounamu and finished using traditional jewelry processes.

The outcome is a stunning traditional Maori Mere, using traditional Japanese repair techniques to embrace the cracks, strengthening the design and showcasing the beauty of these imperfections. 

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