Patcraft’s Metal Collective Inspired by Japanese Art of Kintsugi

09/27/2019 By Ryan Reebenacker

Some of the best modern designs take inspiration from the arts and techniques of generations past. One example is the Japanese art of Kintsugi, a process where broken pottery is repaired in a way that celebrates the imperfection. Patcraft’s Metal Collective tile series puts a modern spin on this classic art form.

Product dropbox oxidized2
(Photo: Oxidized features sweeping metallic details to delicately alter the effects of light within a space, creating subtle light reflections. Credit: Patcraft) 

From Broken to Beautiful

In Kintsugi, broken pottery is put back together with lacquer that is mixed or dusted with metallic powder.

The end result is intended to drive home the idea that “breakage and repair [are] important details that serve as part of the design history and sustainability of a piece—highlighting the beauty in imperfection and embracing the ‘scars’ that tell a story,” explains Shannon Cochran, vice president of creative and design for Patcraft.

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(Photo: Molten’s registered emboss reflects the texture of a natural surface, and the metallic inks highlight the crevices in the pattern. Credit: Patcraft)

The idea behind Metal Collective was to create something new by restoring broken and imperfect items, like the way Kintsugi treats breakage and repair as part of pottery’s design history and sustainability.

The collection features metallic accents within a concrete visual that’s been curated to reflect the patina of natural surfaces.

[More inspirations for Patcraft: Flooring Collections Find Beauty in Imperfection]

“We carried this through to the product design by highlighting the crevices in the pattern of the resilient tiles and creating subtle light reflections with the metallic inks,” Cochran says. “The realistic texturing and intricate detail created through the embossed in register process brings new life to the traditional concrete visual.”

Patcraft_Metal Collective_Molten

By showcasing the inherent beauty and creativity in imperfection, Patcraft highlights how flawed our perception of perfection can be across many walks of life.

(Photo: Metal Collective consists of two designs, each available in seven colorways. Credit: Patcraft)

“We’ve been inspired by the idea that there is beauty in imperfection and how as designers we can look at something in a new way,” Cochran says. “By exploring the outtakes, the sketches, the initial designs that aren’t quite perfect, we’re pushed to create something different—something with imagination that started without intention.”

By bringing together the fails, the scars and the pieces that don't quite fit, purposeful products are created to transform space and experience, Cochran explains.

Product dropbox Molten4
(Photo: Metal Collective, featured here in both Oxidized and Molten. Credit: Patcraft) 

A Modern Take on the Traditional

Metal Collective consists of two designs, each available in seven colorways:

  • Oxidized features sweeping metallic details to delicately alter the effects of light within a space, creating subtle light reflections.
  • Molten’s registered emboss reflects the texture of a natural surface, and the metallic inks highlight the crevices in the pattern. 

Metal Collective offers a modern take on a traditional and often-specified flooring material.

Cochran considers realistic concrete visuals to be a market-driven trend within commercial interiors, and Metal Collective’s metallic details soften the built environment with these delicate features.

Product_dropbox_Molten3
(Photo credit: Patcraft)

“With Kintsugi pottery, what was broken is created anew in a beautiful way,” Cochran says. “Metal Collective is an interpretation of this idea, transforming the design of a traditional concrete visual and recreating the product design with metallic details.”

Read next: How Durkan’s New Collection Preserves Centuries of Design Tradition

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