Wabi-Sabi: The Japanese Art of Finding the Beauty in Imperfections

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Rather than find faults in cracks, tears and other imperfections, the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi encourages us to appreciate that nothing is truly perfect or permanent. From a new crack in a favorite plate or tear in the elbow of a beloved jacket to life’s much more monumental losses, wabi-sabi gives us a way to frame these challenges and allows us to find strength and beauty in the process of healing and repair. With resources spanning everything from crafting how-tos to mindful self-care after a tragedy or loss, the list below provides a helpful introduction into the Japanese art of finding beauty in life’s imperfections. Also check out @clpvideo for an inspired craft tutorial.

The Art of Kintsugi: Learning the Japanese Craft of Beautiful Repair

Learn the ancient Japanese art of kintsugi and understand why, in the way of kintsugi artists, broken is better than new. This is your guide to putting the pieces back together to restore broken plates, vases and other items to be even better than before. Starting with repairing a simple dent or crack, you’ll gain the skills to reconstruct goblets, vases, plates, spherical objects and statues. Transform your broken pieces and heirlooms or create new works of art and wearable art with this method as well as explore the method’s fascinating origins in 1400s Japan.

Kintsugi: The Japanese Art of Embracing the Imperfect and Loving Your Flaws

When we lose a person we love, a job or our health, it can feel like a precious piece of ourselves falling to the ground and shattering. But in the Japanese art of kintsugi, that’s where the creation of beauty begins—in the delicate re-joining and mending of shards with loving attention. Psychologist Tomás Navarro encourages us to approach our lives in the same way. With Kintsugi, Navarro presents a sensitive and contemplative approach to the suffering that he’s seen in his professional practice and in his own life. Through gentle stories, practices and insights, readers gain deeper perspective and courage in the face of life’s inevitable losses.

Title also available on Hoopla Digital.

Elements of Japanese Design: Key Terms for Understanding & Using Japan's Classic Wabi-Sabi-Shibui Concepts

Learn the elements of the timeless beauty that is Japanese design in this concise reference volume. Japanese design is known throughout the world for its beauty, simplicity and blending of traditional and contemporary effects. This succinct guide describes the influence and importance of 65 key elements that make up Japanese design, detailing their origins—and their impact on fields ranging from architecture and interior design to consumer products and high fashion. This book offers new insights into the historical and cultural developments at the root of this now international aesthetic movement.

Wabi-Sabi Sewing: 20 Sewing Patterns for Perfectly Imperfect Projects

Capture the essence of Japanese style in your sewing with this collection of projects inspired by the wabi-sabi concept of ‘perfect imperfection.’ This collection of 20 sewing projects for home decor and accessories is based on the popular Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi which celebrates the beauty in the ordinary and imperfect. Sewing and quilting expert and fabric designer, Karen Lewis, has used a limited palette of earthy tones and the best quality natural fabrics including linen, cotton, denim and wool to create a stunning collection of simple sewing projects.

Title also available on Hoopla Digital.

Wabi Sabi: The Japanese Art of Impermanence

Developed out of the aesthetic philosophy of cha-no-yu (the tea ceremony) in fifteenth-century Japan, wabi-sabi is an aesthetic that finds beauty in things imperfect, impermanent and incomplete. Taken from the Japanese words wabi, which translates to less is more, and sabi, which means attentive melancholy, wabi-sabi refers to an awareness of the transient nature of earthly things and a corresponding pleasure in the things that bear the mark of this impermanence. In addition to presenting the philosophy of wabi-sabi, this book includes how-to design advice—so that a transformation of body, mind and home can emerge.

Title also available on Hoopla Digital.

Simply Sashiko: Classic Japanese Embroidery Made Easy

With just four key materials needed–needle, thread, thimble and fabric—Sashiko stitches have long been a favorite for quilting and embroidery. Today, the style is popular in the visible mending movement because of its simplicity, efficiency and aesthetic appeal. With Simply Sashiko, you can apply centuries-old Japanese techniques to your home, clothing and accessories in a fun, modern way. This book gives you simple but thorough lessons on the ins and outs of 36 different patterns, plus designs for stylish home and personal accessories.

Title also available on Hoopla Digital.

The Ultimate Sashiko Sourcebook

Sashiko is a traditional Japanese stitching technique that uses simple running stitches to create beautiful, decorative patterns ideal for patchwork, quilting and embroidery. This easy-to-learn technique opens up a whole new world to sewers, quilters and embroiderers, and this one-of-a-kind new reference offers more than 90 gorgeous patterns, including square, spiral, starfish, waves and diamonds. Readers get an overview of the techniques involved in Sashiko, complete with an equipment and tools checklist.

Title also available on Hoopla Digital.