Saturday, March 23, 2013

Embracing Imperfection

As an artisan, I am always looking at how things I try to create to see how actually look in reality. I think a lot of the time people want a stylized version of imperfection but don't want what is truly imperfect.

Sometimes I try to purposefully make something imperfect and then work around it. My conscious love of imperfection dates to my martial arts days training in Korea.

I know very little of Japanese culture and have to thank my friend Sharlee for telling me the Japanese term for embracing imperfection is "wabi-sabi." As the saying goes, "When the student is ready the teacher will appear." She knocked on my door when I was working on this paragraph. The definition below came from Wikipedia.
Wabi-sabi represents a comprehensive Japanese aesthetic  centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete." Characteristics of the wabi-sabi aesthetic include asymmetry, asperity (roughness or irregularity), simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy and appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes.
 Back to imperfection… Today I decided to stencil a bag with wrinkles and wash and iron it afterwards instead of doing that first. After all, that's the way the real ones are made minus the washing and ironing. Actual use will soften the wrinkles in authentic bags. In this case, washing and ironing will take the place of actual wear.

Here is the final version of the bag after ironing. Looks good I think

So that's the way this one will be evolving. But not tonight. Imperfection takes time, maybe tomorrow… I don't know if I'll make this a regular practice but it's fun in a challenging way. I kind of like it.


  1. Howdy! Cool pillow - and my three boys would love it too! :) Popping over from the Power of Pinterest Party & pinning.
    Have a great weekend,

  2. I really like your little pillow!
    I'd like to try stenciling one myself.
    Great on the lounge chair.
    happy spring!