The Beauty of Wabi-Sabi

Michelle Luu

Wabi-sabi (侘寂) represents a comprehensive Japanese world view or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”.

My pottery pieces are not perfect.  There are so many steps that go into making a finished piece and “mistakes” can happen during any one of these stages–wedging the clay, throwing (which is an entirely long process in itself), drying, trimming, more drying, bisque firing, cooling, sanding rough edges, glazing, firing again, and then sanding once more.  I’ve had my fair share of uneven trims and messed up glazing but I feel that there’s a certain beauty to these so-called imperfections. That is what makes it hand made and there is something authentic and unique about hand crafted items in a mass produced society. Everything made by hand are truly one-of-a-kind.

That’s the beauty of Wabi-Sabi.

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