For a long time now I have been fascinated by Wabi-Sabi. According to Leonard Koren, in his interesting and thought-provoking book - “Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers” it “is the quintessential Japanese aesthetic. It is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. It is a beauty of things modest and humble. It is a beauty of things unconventional.....”.
So it would be something handmade or natural, rather than machine-made, it would have an earthy, rustic quality, an irregularity, a warmth to it. It would be made of natural materials in muted shades, not brightly coloured, and it would invite sensory interaction - you would want to feast your eyes on it and feel the texture of it.
I am very aware, when I notice something that I consider to have wabi-sabi qualities, that it is in the process of becoming, or more often of disappearing - in other words, there is a process of change going on. I find most often that the item is in the process of returning to nature, by unravelling, weathering, crumbling, rusting etc.
The very fact that I am conscious that it will one day cease to exist, lends it a kind of wistful, poignant beauty. Its transience is an essential part of its charm - as are its imperfections and Amy, over at Less Ordinary, recently wrote a delightful post about Finding Beauty in the Imperfect. Actually, it is the, so-called, flaws which make it even more interesting than it would be otherwise - the worn corners, the cracked and splintered wood, the chipped edges, the weathered marks and the patina of use and age. The driftwood cover of the “Island Bound” book, pictured above, which I made last spring illustrates these points well, I think.
Have you made, or do you own, anything which you love for its wabi-sabi qualities?