Your cart

Your cart is empty

Perfekt unvollkommen: Das Paradox des Kunsthandwerks

Perfectly imperfect: The paradox of arts and crafts

The other day I held a Yixing teapot in my hands, made with such precision that it was almost indistinguishable from a machine-made one. I was deeply impressed by the impeccable workmanship; I had never seen such precision before. But the pot itself was boring. It was too perfect, just like its cousins from the assembly line. This experience got me thinking, because I also strive for constant improvement and perfection in my own ceramic work. I had to ask myself: "Is perfection really the goal?"

Achieving technical perfection in ceramics means that every product corresponds exactly to the ideas you have in your head, without any visible faults or deviations. This kind of perfection requires outstanding skills and precise control over the material and technique. But if a piece of ceramics can no longer be distinguished from a machine, what does that say about the craft? Isn't craftsmanship then obsolete?
In my own work, I have learnt that small imperfections give a piece character and depth. It is the traces that lead the viewer to the story of the creation. They offer the opportunity to feel connected.

In our society, we are often driven to achieve the best result. Accordingly, we only want the best when we buy something. Because anything else would be inferior. In Japan, however, there is the concept of wabi-sabi, which sees beauty in imperfection and impermanence. This philosophy teaches us that art and life are not about flawless beauty, but about appreciating what is genuine and imperfect. This view often stands in contrast to Western ideals of perfection, where mistakes are seen as flaws.

But we are also noticing a change here. The customers who come to me are often not looking for the technically perfect product, but for something genuine and authentic. They appreciate quality craftsmanship and a personalised touch. This reinforces my belief that preserving the individual signature is more important than blindly imitating industrial perfection.

Perfection may be the ultimate goal in some eyes, but in the world of ceramics, it is often imperfection that makes a piece valuable. It is important that we as artisans not only improve our technical skills, but also appreciate the small imperfections that make our work valuable.

I invite you to discuss in the comments Let's celebrate the uniqueness that can only come from the human hand.

Previous post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published