Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Discovering Wabi-Sabi

Something clicked.
After 50+ years of living, I've discovered it.
Now I feel defined, emboldened and free.

What is it?
wabi-sabi 
Not to be confused with wasabi 
which I also love.  :)

www.rebeccahaegelephotography.com
Be Still My Heart: Cobalt Blue Glass 
iso 1000, 50mm, f 2.8 1/80 sec

It's been there all my life,
but my life had never met wabi-sabi before.
And now, I know what I have loved,
and my love is justified.

What is wabi-sabi?
It is a Japanese world view of 
finding beauty in the imperfect 
and embracing the humble. 
A life where old and battered objects
are preferred over the new and pristine.

www.rebeccahaegelephotography.com
Teapot by Hall (USA) Teacup by Copeland-Spode (England) 
iso 1000, 62mm, f 2.8 1/30 sec

This explains why,
when you come to my house for dinner,
I won't have a new, matching dinner set on the table.
Rather,
each place setting will have a unique piece
of {mostly} vintage ironstone transferware
that I searched for and found
one at a time.
(And do you know,
no one has ever commented on this.
Ever.
It is unnoticed. )
Maybe that is why I felt so alone in my wabi-sabi-ing.

www.rebeccahaegelephotography.com
Keys to Unknown Doors
iso 500, 70mm, f 2.8 1/4 sec

I have collected my dinner glassware,
French, red, retro,
the same way - although this is a matching set.
A few pieces here,
a few pieces there.
And now, I have enough for a party.
Each glass is special.
I found it and
 it became part of my life.

www.rebeccahaegelephotography.com
Vintage Red French Glassware {Luminarc}
iso 1000, 55mm, f 2.8 1/15 sec

I haunt thrift stores, flea markets and the like.
I bring home the old, battered, unloved
and give it a home.
Why?
I like to look at it.
Something about it is special in my eye.
It stimulates my imagination.

How about you?
Do you wabi-sabi?

www.rebeccahaegelephotography.com
Good Riddance Martha Stewart
(or More Reading on Wabi-Sabi)
iso 500, 63mm, f 2.8 1/20 sec

Until next time,
wabi-sabi on.


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39 comments:

Sandra said...

I LOVE THAT FIRST PHOTO... and I to am a Wabi-Saby but not as much as you are, I prefer old over new except for a mattress.. I love all the up cyle things people create...i have 2 blue bottles, clear glass and green glass are what call to me, hubby prefers red glass like yours. but i don't buy any of it now. i used to. at one time i had a wall in our house in St Pete that had 40 antique oil lamps... i only have 5 now. your photos are STUNNING, but then they always are.

Mersad said...

That's a great world view. I share it as well (but knowing it's name though or origin). :)
Great photos as well Rebecca!

Mersad
Mersad Donko Photography

Jenn said...

This is lovely...you've given me the word for something that up until now was always just a feeling!

Buckeroomama said...

I was just reading about wabi-sabi yesterday... and when I read what it is, I was thinking, "Hey, that's me!"

I love those blue bottles --they're so pretty!

aspiritofsimplicity said...

I have wabi sabi-ed my whole life...and now there is a name for it.

Linda Kay said...

Rebecca, this post says so much about you and your personality. I have many wabi-sabis in my home, mostly passed down from my parents and grandparents, and I love them. Some may want to clean out and get rid of stuff, but these will probably all go to my daughters, and I don't even want to know what happens to them after that. Lovely post.

Sarah Carletti said...

Yes, living on a budget I use hand-me-downs and make things work! Thanks for sharing and lovely photos!

Lisa Comperry said...

I love repurposing old into new..Whether it be overhauling a photo, making a sweater into a scarf or readjusting my attitude for the day, lol..It takes talent to gather a pretty combination of these lovely wabi-sables for table settings, other uses around the house..Such a beautiful post :-)

Curtains in My Tree said...


wabi-sabi to you

We are living in the redo repurpose , use odd dishes at tables etc world
I have done this for years and sure others have also. Love it
I have 2 windows in my studio full of cobalt bottles

I had a dinner party and used all odd place setting of dishes with roses on them, they blended wonderfully

Tamar SB said...

Loved this! What a fun to say expression, too!
The colbolt glass is amazing!!

Wayne (Woody), whatever said...

Neat expression. I would go for wabi-sabi just because I like lots of different things. My wife, on the other hand, would probably go crazy if things didn't match. You have a cool collection, beautifully photographed.

Barbara @ 21 Rosemary Lane said...

Rebecca your photos are truly inspirational! Just beautiful! And those cobolt blue bottles are stunning. But I have to ask you about the grist mill in your blog header...is it the one in Clinton NJ? I am only asking because I have photographed the one in Clinton many times. Great picture.
Visiting you from Ivy & Elephants WIW party.
XO Barbara

sweet violets said...

Beautiful photos!! So glad there is a name to my life style!! Does asymmetrical fit in there too?? That's me.......xoxo

Nicki said...

A fabulous post and your wabi-sabi so beautifully painted and shared. Yes, I wabi-sabi, just not flea-market but rather hand-me-downs from generations and generations and stuff I've accumulated since before the time of man.

Love love love your edits on these images. Inspiring.

Lisa said...

Wabi-sabi is a wonderful way to look at life. I love your eclectic mix of surroundings. The cobalt blue glass collection is so lovely! Thanks for sharing.

Lisa at Four Simply Living said...

AGH, I LOVE this set of photos. And I totally would not mind being over for tea with your mismatched set. in fact, I would love to hear the story behind each piece. I am so happy to have you over at LTTL. :-D I think I'll have to sit a bit with your blog and my cup of coffee.

Snap said...

I do wabi-sabi (and wasabi). I'd much rather have the old and often wonder what wonderful tales the pieces might tell me if I'd only listen. Beautiful post.

Jill Foley said...

Beautiful photos

Kim Cunningham said...

I do! I discovered this way of thinking a few years ago. It's not something that is a complete adoption in my life, but I do love the beauty of things worn from time, the imperfect, the patina, etc... There is a lesson in the concept for sure.

Cathy Keller said...

Really beautiful!! It must be fun gathering these treasures!!!

bettyl-NZ said...

I'm sure every kind of outlook of life has a similar view but it's always good to find a label! Great finds. Old keys always intrigue me.

abrianna said...

Beautiful blue and cobalt glass. I am not Martha Stewart-not at all!

Susan W said...

It's great to meet someone else who's china for dinner consists of a collection found and collected. Each piece is so beautiful, why would one limit themselves to collecting one pattern. I also feel that if my four year old grandson has an accident with a piece, it's not too hard to find a replacement.

Viv@Thoughts from the Desktop said...

Well I never blue bottles, love em. My favourite glass is Bristol Blue they are exquisite. Love your work.

J Bonafilla said...

Fabulous images and wonderful sentiment. Wabi-sabi is totally the way to go. All the best, Bonny

Michelle B said...

Beautiful images! Love the blue bottles and the keys... Wabi-sabi is good.

Donna said...

Awesome images... I love wabi-sabi too... you've done a great job of finding some real treasures.

Cheryl McCain said...

Blue is my favorite color, so I'm so loving your top image and those amazing bottles/jars! I'm right there with you when it comes to searching for the old and actually USING it! Wabi sabi on! Yes!
visting from Friday Finds: http://cherylmccainphotography.com/one-little-word-synomym/

Tom said...

Such a wonderful collection. Thanks for teaching me about wabi-sabi. Tom The Backroads Traveller

EG CameraGirl said...

Wabi-sabi is a way of life for me! :) Great post!

Marie said...

Yes, I do! Wabi-sabi is so ME and I never knew what to call it. Thank you! :-) Great photos and I adore your collections!!!!!

LV said...

Loved seeing you vintage goodies. Not familiar with the life you are describing.

doodles n daydreams said...

I love your blue glass, very pretty. No, O don't wabi-sabi at all but my husband and youngest daughter do.

Diana
http://adifferentlenslens365.blogspot.co.nz/2015/01/the-old-wool-store.html

Roan said...

I've never heard the term wabi-sabi, but that's me! Love everything old! You have some wonderful collections!

Rose said...

I have it, too. I just never knew there was a name for it. Not that I have a lot of it in my home, but it does not mean I don't love it. I must say I love your photographs of it.

Tanya Breese said...

i didn't know i was wabi sabi! love that phrase...beautiful photos!

Judy said...

Wabi-sabi - I must remember that!!! I have serious envy issues with your cobalt blue glass collection! And the macro of the keys has me thinking I need to pull my collection out again... What fun I have had looking at your images!!!

Kathy McB said...

Beautiful processing.

jandi said...

Just LOVE this!