- By Helen
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I first heard the term Wabi-Sabi many years ago and was pleased that there is an ancient appreciation for beauty to be found in the imperfect. What is perfect or imperfect is a relative thing, however, whilst there is a general appreciation of things perfect this is counterbalanced by an appreciation of things imperfect. It is the latter that has always interested me for its uniqueness and more interesting appearance.
Best summed up by author Leonard Koren in his book Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets and Philosophers, the material qualities of wabi-sabi are: following the natural process; things irregular; intimate; unpretentious; earthy; murky; simple. Wabi-sabi is about getting rid of all that is unnecessary and to focus on the intrinsic and ignore material hierarchy.
It is this process that I adopt for shroud making so that all ideas of ‘perfection’ are removed in order to focus on a natural process that on a physical level connects to our brain for memory, that connects to our heart for feeling and to intestinal organs that resonate intuition. Creativity lies within us all and will surface when all barriers are removed.