Life is far from perfect, yet we often strive to reach it – to check off our to-do lists, to have perfect jobs and relationships. In our homes, every plate, bowl and cup should be flawless. Or should it be? When it comes to home décor and pottery, many are going against the grain and reaching for those imperfect pieces that are each beautiful in their own way.
Why embrace imperfection when society and culture demand the opposite? Because underneath it all, there is beauty in flaws.
In pottery, home décor and tableware, the beauty of imperfection really shines through and helps transform your space into something special.
To understand the allure of imperfection, we can turn to Eastern cultures, which have been embracing this concept for centuries.
Wabi-Sabi and the Art of Embracing Imperfection
The idea of embracing and even celebrating imperfection is perhaps best encapsulated in the Japanese term wabi-sabi. “Wabi” refers to the beauty of asymmetry, and “sabi” the beauty of aging and impermanence. The expression is deeply rooted in the Zen Buddhism tradition and the teachings relating to impermanence, suffering and non-self.
In traditional Japanese culture, wabi-sabi items like pottery, home décor and tableware are considered more beautiful with age. The greater the imperfections, the greater the beauty. The art of Kintsugi further celebrates the imperfect, as artists put broken pottery back together again with beautiful gold adhesives.
Rather than hiding these flaws, kintsugi draws attention to them. Each golden seam is yet another line in the piece’s story. The results are visually stunning, but there’s an underlying message – our imperfections make us who we are. Kintsugi reminds us that imperfection is both inevitable and beautiful and that to live simply is to live with beauty and grace.
Every Piece Has Its Own Story to Tell
The beauty of imperfection in pottery and ceramics is that each piece has its own story to tell. No two handmade pieces are alike. Each item is a tangible encapsulation of the artist’s time, energy and vision. In a way, every bowl, teapot, plate and piece of décor is an individual work of art. They are excellent conversation pieces, and they add something special to your home.
Imperfection creates a character and charm that mass production cannot replicate.
These qualities make imperfect pieces so highly sought after. It’s the idea that no other person in the world will have the same bowl, cup or vase as you. Designs may be similar, but the fine details and shape are slightly different with every piece. That's because each piece is handcrafted – not produced in a factory using a mold.
Our homes say a lot about who we are. Do you want to fill your space with cookie-cutter pottery and décor, or do you want pieces that are just as unique as your personality? When you fill your home with imperfect, unique items, your space starts look more like “you” and less like a page in a catalog.
Connect with The Urban Kiln
Here at the Urban Kiln, we celebrate and embrace imperfection. The Urban Kiln is a contemporary handmade pottery and ceramics store in Richmond, Virginia. We showcase the beautiful artistry of Mumbai-based potter Shalan Dere, owner of Potter's Place.
Our handmade pottery, home décor and tableware will add character to your space. Though seemingly perfect, each item is perfectly imperfect in its own unique way. Connect yourself with The Urban Kiln’s one of a kind handmade organically designed pottery and celebrate Imperfection!