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BronxLens's avatar

Ever used wabi-sabi?

Asked by BronxLens (1539points) June 17th, 2008

Have you ever used the priciples of wabi-sabi for decorating your living / work / other space &/or other key aspect of your life? How did it affect you short term/long term? Pros & cons?

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5 Answers

PupnTaco's avatar

I appreciate the philosophy and find examples of it everywhere. Although sometimes it’s an excuse to keep shitty-looking stuff lying around.

susanc's avatar

In reading the wikipedia entry I felt a very strong sense of this being familiar and known.
I’ve always loved things that are old, hurt, repaired, or used. When I make art, if it gets
too “slick” I rough it up. I’m with pup, I notice things with this quality; I crave their
message; they cheer me up.

that1mom's avatar

HAHAHA @ PupnTaco! I agree. I do not really like that style, but to each his own. I do not knock it either, but there is a thin line between what some people consider a part of this type of decorating, and crap. Ya know?

Harp's avatar

I recently restored a very old, massive bench vise for someone who had salvaged it from the trash. All of the metal surfaces were very rusted, so I sandblasted and buffed and painted and otherwise fussed over it until it looked like new. I was about to make a new wooden handle for it too, but luckily I realized in time how beautiful that old piece of oak was, stained and burnished by a century’s worth of craftsmen’s hands. The finished product did look a bit odd with that venerable dowel against the bright new surfaces, but I figured that in another 20 years or so of use it will even out a bit.

bonus's avatar

I’ve long had a copy of the book by Leonard Koren shown at the bottom of the piece in wikipedia. I really have no other training in the concept other than what I could see at Japonesque. Somehow, I think, it should be no other way. Similar to @Harp I have restored some old tools and they are really only beautiful when I have managed to preserve the integrity of their history. When something has worn with time, it becomes somehow less provocative or comforting when its flaws are concealed. The effect it has had on me and my sensibilities has lasted for decades now. An excellent furnituremaker I used to work with jokingly described it as signature. That is, when you make a mistake, it becomes clear that the piece was made by a human. Whenever I mess something up, it is pretty liberating to think of this as one of the possible options available to me to sign the piece. Lastly, it dawned on me, years after reading the book, that, as a woodworker in particular, revealing the true nature of the material (literally wormholes and all) is showing the deepest respect and understanding to something organic. This seems very zen to me to let go of all you have been taught in order to see the beauty of the truth.

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