What a truly fascinating six weeks!
My last entry on this blog was about the overwhelming interest in Chesapeake Pen Co. and our offerings to pen enthusiasts. The segment featuring Chesapeake Pens had just aired the week before on "Handcrafted America" and the response was incredible. And it remains incredible. Funny things happen when funny things start to happen. Inertia. Momentum. Synergy. I'm reminded how capricious and random things can become. I'm reminded of the fascinating and inexpiable realities of reality. I remind myself to enjoy the ride.
In addition to turning pens, I gather the wood used in many of them from the beach to take to the shop to dry and cut and cure and stabilize before I ever get near a lathe. I design and cast my own blanks, the wooden or synthetic part of the pen that you hold. I cut and drill and glue and turn and sand and finish. Often, I explore. Like most explorations, most of mine end without discovering anything new or useful. But occasionally, serendipity makes her presence known. Recently, I made a discovery. Perhaps better said, a discovery found me.
I was casting a series of pen blanks that emerged from the end of the process nothing like I had intended. A mistake. An exploration gone awry. I turned the seemingly undesirable blank anyway and posted a picture on Instagram. That's where a funny thing happened. Funny things happen when funny things start to happen. Someone at the world's premier publication for pen lovers, Pen World magazine, noticed the picture of my so-called mistake.
In a glorious exchange with the writer at Pen World, our discussion meandered through philosophical hallways and landed in the room marked "Wabi-sabi." I just looked up wabi-sabi on wikipedia and here's a great description: In traditional Japanese aesthetics, Wabi-sabi (侘寂) is a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete"
Wabi-sabi. I love it.