wabi sabi

Wabi Sabi by Anne Copeland

This piece is not an angel, but a persona representing wabi sabi, a philosophy I love in this life. 

“Wabi-sabi is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. It is a beauty of things modest and humble. It is a beauty of things unconventional.” – 
“Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets and Philosophers”, Leonard Koren

There is a lot more to this life philosophy, a later outcome of Zen, than what is stated here and it is well worth reading. 

When I think of wabi-sabi, I think of raku pottery, where the pots, when they are in their cooling stage, are taken and put into a bucket of leaves, papers, or other various natural materials that give the pottery its beautiful sheen.  Raku pottery is my favorite, because I enjoy any art form that has a stage where you cannot be in control any longer.  You have to accept that which is perhaps imperfect, and for me, that has always been a pleasant experience.

This version of wabi sabi, in keeping with the philosophy, uses recycled coffee filters for the aura and the wings, and shows only one hand, holding a broken branch with a single leaf falling from it. The leaf has not reached the ground, so it represents all the things in the statement.  Although you may not be able to see it very well, there is a clock beneath the heart, and there is a single teardrop, for it reminds me that there is a beauty in this way of seeing life.


8 thoughts on “wabi sabi

  1. Oh, I love this, Anne. I hadn’t heard of wabi-sabi before, but I love the graceful philosophy that you describe. And the same with Ratu pottery. It reminds me of Kintsugi: the art of precious scars. It’s the centuries-old Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with a special lacquer dusted with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. Like wabi-sabi it honors the fullness of an item including its broken parts and imperfections. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you most kindly. Yes, that is a beautiful way to describe it. What a wonderful way to see life. I love this too very much. I always think that everything on this earth is sacred in its own way. For example, humankind calls some plants weeds, but that is a a perception and not reality. Each type of thing in this world has a value. It was up here because it belongs here. It is performing an important function that we may not understand with our limited vision, but it is guided by something within as we each are.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I’m sorry it has taken me so long to respond. I have some 5,000+ e-mails I am trying to clear out. I actually love your comment and did not realize I had anymore comments to go through when in fact I had a lot. Thank you kindly for this. Yes, I took Raku pottery, and part of the process if for making the pottery without worries whether it comes out perfect or not, but treasuring it for the process. I remember smelling like a big cough drop all that summer at the junior college. I really loved the process and I love so many of the thoughtful processes that are done in the course of a day. It is a lovely way to think. Peace and blessings, Anne

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow, Anne. That’s a lot of emails and it sounds overwhelming! You might consider just deleting them and starting fresh. Honestly, we’ll all survive. Ha ha. Like Raku, perfection isn’t necessary; enjoy the process without worry. Breath and enjoy your blog.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this too Anne … I too have always loved Raku and one of my favorite collections of Raku is a Christmas nativity set … loved your description of letting go of the process when the pottery is in its cooling stages, and the end result is so unique to each piece. Thanks for the introduction to wabi-sabi …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The idea of a Raku Christmas nativity set is a wonderful one because it challenges our beliefs about the meaning of the nativity and even about the Idea of Christmas in general, and I don’t mean any of this in a negative way. The idea of a birth being sacred is so important, not just for the one who is symbolized in that story, but for every person, every creature, every plant and blade of grass, and every grain of sand and whatever other things make up this earth. Life is sacred, and we are so important to help the universe to stay alive and in balance. It is lovely to recognize that uniqueness of every piece because life as a whole is like that. The idea of Christmas too is a wonderful life lesson. We have a man who came to life and was in integrity with the Universe and the idea of respecting and doing the right things to help all of mankind and also to help keep balance in the world. He was in integrity to the very end, even when suffering so greatly. He gave the greatest gift any of us can give to the world – life itself. So this wonderful recounting of a time in history is important because it brings with it such wisdom.

      All the great religious figures in some way sacrificed their lives to live in integrity with their belief systems, and these belief systems in general benefitted the universe. It is not to say that there are some belief systems that are based in hatred and a desire to be in control to the detriment of anyone or anything that does not fit that way of thinking.

      This is a world of duality, and so we have opposites in everything we know. We have cold and heat, floods and droughts, night and day, etc. I appreciate your truly thoughtful comments very much, and that you are creating such beauty in Raku. I don’t know the technology involved in having a guest author or commentator, but if you ever want to write something about Raku and have a photo or photos on the site, I would welcome that. Thank you kindly.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Oh do write something about Raku and I would love the one about the Christmas nativity set. That is just beautiful, and I was thinking just today that Jesus was born when the largest number of people tend to pass on, and he died when the largest number of people are born. That is such a fantastic subject matter and I would love to see the photo and your writing. And yes, the end result is so unique, and it is a very sensual process overall. You don’t just make the pottery; you go through a number of processes – spiritual, emotional and a sense of wonder. It is just about the best thing I know. It is hard to make it without becoming totally immersed in it. Thank you so much! I was taken with reading about the process of repairing pieces of Raku too and how it is like a special ceremony too. I cannot remember the name, but then I have not done that, but it too is an excellent topic. Thank you so kindly. I will post it if you send it to me at anneappraiser@gmail.com.


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