Ebb & Flow ©2013 bronze, nickel, brass
Ebb & Flow ©2013 bronze, nickel, brass – Is every part of this bowl perfect? No, but it received all the attention it deserved to finish it.

I used to want my work to be clean and precise. No scratches, symmetrical, smooth, geometric(ish). Then I started foldforming and freed myself. I began to embrace elements of wabi-sabi.

Wabi-sabi 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”. – from Wikipedia

I began to revel in roughness, relish dirty, dark metal. I strove to design work that was balanced, but asymmetrical. This now defines my work.

Great dynamic edge. Now I need to start layering.
Even without planishing I worked to smooth out the lumps and bumps in this bowl, but left the fabulous texture.

What I didn’t become was sloppy. Each scratch, bump, or wonky line is there because I chose to keep it. I still file and sand my work. Planishing my formed bowls is the most important step.

Wabi-sabi isn’t about leaving things sloppy, not finishing properly, and using inexperience as an excuse for laziness. The beauty of imperfection is realizing that a human can’t reach the ideal. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive to be better. The journey is the important part.

8 thoughts on “Wonky

  1. The difference is in the intent, isn’t it, Wendy – to strive for beauty and balance, but to preserve and honor the joy of the journey by setting an impossible goal of perfection. Lovely post. Thank you.


  2. Now I know the name for the aesthetic I love. It’s an honorable journey to strive for perfection, but, frankly, it’s kinda boring. Give me that fold-formed, patinaed, organic grunge metal anytime…it’s beautiful!!


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