Thursday, 16 June 2011

Wabi sabi: The beauty of handmade-unique wobbles and gorgeous imperfections

Finally the crazy lady has let me loose on the blogging! It’s all a little alien to me as I am not the computer nerd side of this partnership. No offence Sarah! As you have probably noticed- Sarah likes to talk! Most of the time she is waffling on in computer language that I really don’t understand and the remainder of the time she is talking or “singing” in baby language. I can honestly say that for the first few months I knew Sarah I hadn’t a clue what she was going on about. Daddy day care, Craig crinkle bum and Pants pants  are all terms that you have to get used to. You do learn to understand it all a little better as time goes on, I promise!

We, Sarah and I, are hitting our first fayre of gorgeous products next week to try and find lots more gorgeous unique and heirloom gifts to share with you all. We’ll be looking for those complete treasures that we just can’t leave without. I’ll be personally looking for makers rather than suppliers. Maker’s is a friendlier word and has a friendlier feel that suits our whole  unique situation. A maker to me is someone who is passionate about what they make and how it is created.

Many an afternoon “mummy club” meeting over a cup of tea has been spent with Sarah and I ranting over the lack of originality and quality in baby products and gifts. Where have all the heirloom beauties and keepsake treasures disappeared to? Both Sarah and I were very lucky when our babies were born. Sarah taught herself to knit while waiting for Kathryn to arrive and made lots of gorgeous blankets and knitted pieces because she couldn’t find the quality, originality and simplicity she was looking for in shops. She is a very talented Mummy don’t you know! I come from a specialised retail background where I have been surrounded by beautiful products made by wonderful people. When Ida was born I was very lucky and was given gorgeous handmade gifts by many of my maker friends. As a result, I have asked a lot of these gorgeous things to be made especially for u-ni-k. So the pieces are absolutely unique to us.

Making things by hand and working with the fabric, paper, textile etc leaves a lot in the maker’s hand and imagination during the creative making process. This adds to the beauty and originality of the piece.  Things become alive rather than flat and solid. Pieces have life and look made with love! So even though a piece may be a replica of the first piece made, it will never be the same. For a true maker that is impossible to create. This also means that these wonderful handmade products come with small wobbles and imperfections that add to their beauty and make them special. Japanese people call this Wabi Sabi, the beauty of the aesthetic imperfect. As Leonard Koren wrote is his book Wabi Sabi: “Wabi-sabi is a beauty of things imperfect. It is a beauty of things modest and humble. It is a beauty of things unconventional.”

I am hoping that during our foraging at our fayre next week we will stumble across some true gems and treasures that are truly Wabi Sabi that we can share with you all and add to our already growing list of special makers.

Perhaps the other reason I love this Wabi Sabi concept is because it has widely been associated with the Japanese tea Ceremony! As Sarah told me this week- I am a bit of a tea fiend! It comes with listening to Sarah’s chitter chatter. No space to add comments while Sarah is on the verbal blurb…instead I just slurp my tea!

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