In "Windows and Mirrors," a Tapestry of Faith program
Pass around or show images of raku pottery, and/or invite children to see and touch raku pots you have brought.
Explain that raku pottery, American-style, is based on a technique started by Korean potters four hundred years ago, and since then it has been traditional in
and an integral part of a formal Japanese tea ceremony. In the American style, the irregular, smoky cracks in a pot are made by tossing pots into a fire in a metal container, such as a metal trash can, as the final step in making them.
The results of the raku process are wholly unpredictable. Thus, the goal is imperfection.
Ask the group for adjectives to describe the pots. Expect a range—for example, beautiful, ugly, weird—and affirm all responses.
Tell the group raku pots are intentionally imperfect. They are examples of a Japanese idea about beauty: wabi-sabi. You might say:
Wabi-sabi sees the singular beauty in an object that may first look flawed, decrepit, or ugly. The beauty comes from how the object shows the natural processes of life.
Help participants generate examples of wabi-sabi in everyday life. You might suggest a favorite pair of ripped jeans, an overgrown wildflower garden, a crumbling old castle, a well loved and well worn baby blanket or stuffed animal, a desk or table marked with use. To conclude, challenge participants to look for wabi-sabi—people, places, or things appreciated for their imperfections—between now and your next meeting.
Distribute self-hardening modeling clay and invite participants to make their own wabi-sabi pots. Indicate pencils with which children can make "cracks." Tell them they may take their pots home as a reminder of the beauty of imperfection.
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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.
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