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Find Out More, Session 5: The Blessing Of Imperfection

In "Windows and Mirrors," a Tapestry of Faith program

Mistakes That Worked

More accidental discoveries can be found in the book Mistakes That Worked by Charlotte Foltz Jones (New York: Doubleday, 1991).

Resiliency, Diversity, and Personal "Flaws"

Resiliency is a quality that helps children who are teased about their differences understand that the teasing is the other person's problem. Children who are less resilient tend to interpret teasing as the naming of a personal, uncorrectable flaw.

By viewing their minority status as a strength, families that do not fit traditional structures or that fall outside the ethnic or economic mainstream have extraordinary potential to raise resilient children, according to a chapter, "Human Diversity," by Barbara Okun, in Family Therapy Review edited by Robert H. Coombs ( New York : Routledge, 2004).

Wabi-Sabi and Cracked Pots

A Japanese philosophical/aesthetic term often associated with raku pottery, wabi-sabi describes "the beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, incomplete, humble, modest, and unconventional." According to the New Tribal Visions website:

Wabi-sabi is at the core of all Japanese ideals of beauty; the quintessential aesthetic of a Zen culture. Objects wabi-sabi are simple, earthy, and unpretentious.

On his site, Ceramics with Wabi , Douglas Hooten gives accessible definitions of "wabi" and "sabi" and a brief history of raku.

In a blog article, "The Joy of Wabi-Sabi ," Anmaru writes:

... it's completely unlike Western ideals such as the golden ratio that require mathematical exactness. Wabi-sabi is appreciated with another part of the brain.

Some clothing manufacturers feel the need to label garments that are hand-knitted or made of some kinds of silk with little tags pointing out that oddities or apparent imperfections are characteristics of the fabric or the process, not flaws. This is a good example of wabi-sabi (the characteristics, not the rather condescending tags... ). Of course, many people appreciate that hand-made items have a charm and value no machine-made perfection can match.

Korean potters, under Japanese rule, began making raku ceramics in the 17th century. Ceramicist Paul Soldner writes in "American-style Raku " about how contemporary, Western-style raku pottery differs from traditional Japanese Raku, which is made by the Raku family, and is an integral part of Japanese tea ceremony.

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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.

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