In this article we will explore how the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi is found in wooden objects. But first, it is important to understand what wabi-sabi is.
Wabi-sabi is an ancient Japanese philosophy, that encourages one to accept and appreciate life the way it is: imperfect. It teaches us to acknowledge three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.
Wabi refers to rustic simplicity, humility and being at one with nature. While sabi refers to the beauty and serenity that comes with age and time, the ability to accept the lifecycle of things. Hence wabi-sabi essentially refers to finding beauty in imperfections.
Wabi-sabi in wooden objects
There are countless links between wabi-sabi philosophy and wood. For starters, a big component of wabi-sabi is being connected with earth and decorating with organic materials such as wood and stone.
Similarly, wabi-sabi characteristics include asymmetry, roughness, simplicity and modesty. All things which are common when working with wood. After all, wood isn’t uniform (both its colour and texture vary), is rarely consistent, and is truly full of natural (yet beautiful) imperfections. This is why wooden objects are a must for wabi-sabi interior design.
Moreover, wabi-sabi also favours handmade and artisanal furniture and home accessories over mass-produced items. Why? Well, because handcrafted furnishing means no two pieces will ever be the same. But this does not mean that there isn’t quality control in handmade products, on the contrary, it means that any natural imperfections enhance the beauty of wooden items.
Japana and wabi-sabi
Here at Japana we have wabi-sabi as the heart of our brand. All our wooden objects are handcrafted by talented craftsmen that pride themselves on quality craftsmanship and using high quality materials. We maintain a minimalist design to all our products to bring out the wabi-sabi (beautiful imperfections) in them.
For instance, you will never find two identical Japana handles, as we highlight the wooden patterns in each one making them as unique as possible. This can be seen from batch to batch but also within batches as a true handmade product no two handle patterns is the same.