Kintsugi inspiration – better through imperfection


Creative design inspiration can really come from anywhere. My interior design inspiration for the bus has actually come from the exterior of the camper. Since owning this VW bus, I have become aware of something called KintsugiThe Japanese Art of recognizing beauty in broken things. It seems a really interesting and intriguing concept. It also feels really appropriate and kind of makes sense as to why I really appreciate its originality, the faded paint and various character marks from its use over time.

Yes it’s cool. No I’m not going to paint it

Yes it’s cool. No I’m not going to paint it

To me the bus has a story. The story can be told through its imperfections, and in these imperfections it has an inherent beauty. As the saying goes, you only get originality once. It would be relatively easy to paint it and make everything look perfect. Better than when it left the factory in Germany even! However doing this would rob it of its history, its character and the story of its life over in California and now over here in the UK. This is something I have no intention of doing anytime soon! Preservation not restoration! 😉

original inspiration… Anthony Burrill's ‘I Like It. What Is It?’ letterpress poster

original inspiration… Anthony Burrill’s ‘I Like It. What Is It?’ letterpress poster

Associated to Kintsugi is a Japanese aesthetic called Wabi-sabi which represents a Japanese world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection – better through imperfection 🙂 I think this must be something I have a hidden intrinsic fascination by. My original source of inspiration was Graphic artist, printmaker and designer Anthony Burrill’sI Like It. What Is It?letterpress poster which utilises traditional letterpress print and woodblock type. Apart from the charm of the traditional process, I love the worn imperfections associated with the age worn, woodblock type.

However sometimes you have to break something to make something… is there a special kind of typographic Graphic Design hell for someone who cuts up a traditional letterpress print poster? So why have I cut it up? Its going to have a repurposed new life as part of my ideas for the interior design… all will be revealed soon! 😉

original ‘dogbone’ hinges from my old Canterbury Pitt spares box

original ‘dogbone’ hinges from my old Canterbury Pitt spares box

The interior design will consist of a mix of old and new, traditional and repurposed items. For the Westfalia inspired rear overhead ‘headbanger’ locker, I’ve refreshed a pair of original ‘dog bone’ hinges from my parts box from my old Canterbury Pitt interior bus. It will be a nice little heritage feature rather than buying new hinges. These were often used in Devon interiors (amongst others) as well as Canterbury Pitt conversions.

new life for an original vintage Triumph spanner

new life for an original vintage Triumph spanner

I found this old rusty original Triumph spanner in the bottom of a toolbox, and thought this could be repurposed to become a useful feature in the interior in someway. I have a cunning plan for it…

cartographic cut up time as a vintage map gets a new life

cartographic cut up time as a vintage map gets a new life

My scalpel skills are getting a good work out at the moment! Apart from cutting up the Anthony Burrill poster, I also have a fascination and love of old maps. I have a selection of vintage world maps in various conditions, and think they will also make an interesting feature in the new interior in some way…

Devon style aluminium edge trim

Devon style aluminium edge trim

However, where necessary, there will also be some new bits. I wanted to get some cool aluminium trim for the edge of my forthcoming table design. The really helpful guys at Camper Interiors carry some excellent VW Devon aluminium table edge trim and colour insert which should be perfect for my needs. They also have a great range of fixtures, fittings, accessories and hard to find parts. I’m sure I will be using them again in the near future!

me behind the wheel of a 4.2 litre V8 Aston Martin Vantage convertible

me behind the wheel of a 4.2 litre V8 Aston Martin Vantage convertible

As a bit of a break from all this interior work, I had a late Christmas present sneak up on me. My youngest daughter Sky had very kindly bought me a driver experience session with a 4.2 litre V8 Aston Martin Vantage convertible 🙂 Apparently 390 bhp, top speed of 190 mph and 0-60 in 4.9 sec! Quite a change from the splitscreen bus that’s for sure!

you don’t often see a Spitfire when you’re driving along

you don’t often see a Spitfire when you’re driving along

It gave us a good excuse to have a little 160 mile road trip together in the bus and a day out which was great! I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for Aston Martins so it really was a dream come true to actually drive one! Unfortunately it was all over a bit too quickly, but I really enjoyed the experience. That said, not sure I’d swap it for the bus, but it would make a great second car!

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