A Wabi-sabi Approach to Using Reclaimed and Recycled Materials in Your Custom Projects
Finding beauty and inspiration in the imperfect and fleeting is one of the principles of the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi. It’s an aesthetic approach that’s well-suited for developing a custom piece made from reclaimed resources. CustomMade artisans can work with an amazing variety of recycled materials. Some of these elements have been broken through their previous use, while others may have been overlooked as trash or as objects of little worth. Take a look at some of the transformations CustomMade artisans have accomplished using reclaimed materials such as glass and metal in various projects.
A customer approached artisan Ben Raphael of Wooden Hammer LLC with a fractured piece of glass and a story. The customer was a retired airline pilot who had saved a windshield that had cracked in flight years before. He wanted a coffee table made from the piece. The result: the airplane windshield glass coffee table. Two new glass panes and a sturdy painted poplar frame protect the broken windshield, and its angles give the table an unusual, contoured appearance.
A fractured windshield turned into a centerpiece for a living room is one example of wabi-sabi, and so is a lamp created from recycled glass tiles, weathered metal washers, and concrete, like this found table lamp by Rough Edges Design LLC. Artisan Mona Hoffman strives to find the beauty in “things modest, humble and unconventional” in her work. This “earthy and unassuming lamp is tactile and beckons to be touched” and has a serene presence that will allow it to be at home in décors that range from Mission style and Arts and Crafts to rustic.
If beer caps could talk, they could tell quite a few stories. Thus, it seems oddly appropriate that Barry Gross of BG Artforms has created beer cap pens from recycled and cleaned discarded beer bottle caps. The caps are individually cut by hand and then shaped and glued to fit a particular pen style, whether a fountain, roller ball, or ink gel variety. These unique custom pens are then coated in acrylic and polished. Beer that can loosen your tongue can now help your hand record your tales.
Whether you already possess an object with a history all its own that you’d like to have incorporated into a custom furniture project or you simply want to invest your custom dollars in an eco-friendly production, a CustomMade artisan near you can turn reclaimed or recycled materials into one-of-a-kind creations. Adopt a wabi-sabi approach to your world and your style and you could find an inspiration for a beautiful treasure in the most unlikely places.