Wabi-sabi is a Japanese aesthetic philosophy that celebrates the beauty of impermanence and imperfection, emphasizing natural materials and simple designs. This same principle can be seen in pottery, with pieces featuring unique details and textures that often invoke a sense of serenity. In this article, learn more about wabi-sabi and how it can bring balance to your life.
What is Wabi-Sabi?
Wabi-sabi is a Japanese philosophy and aesthetic that focuses on accepting and embracing the imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. It’s an appreciation of the beauty of things that are weathered, worn, or even cracked. By embodying wabi-sabi into your life, you can create an environment of balance and contentment with what you have instead of craving for what’s out of reach.
Appreciating Uniqueness and Imperfection
Wabi-sabi encourages us to look at objects and moments as they really are, instead of trying to make them perfect. By allowing yourself to accept that nothing is ever truly perfect, you can come to appreciate the beauty within each irregularity and imperfection. Wabi-sabi truly celebrates the beauty found in nature and craftsmanship that is individualistic yet still connected to the larger whole.
The embrace of impermanence is one of the core values of wabi-sabi. There are no two pieces that are identical, and this forms a vital part of the aesthetic that is unique to each piece. Working with handmade pottery, each piece is allowed to be unique and have its own character, which includes uneven glaze, small chips and variations in texture. While some may see minor chips as flaws, from a wabi-sabi perspective these features feel natural and free from artificiality, creating an atmosphere that feels alive and comforting.
Finding Inspiration in Nature and Everyday Life
Nature has an organic beauty that is often reflected in traditional Japanese pottery that uses wabi-sabi principles. When using natural forms, consider design elements such as curved edges, asymmetrical shapes and a variety of color pigments from oxides and slips. Natural forms are meant to be found in nature, so look for moments in your everyday life to draw inspiration from – raindrops on grass, ripples on the sea or even the texture of a pebble.