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  • Writer's pictureElise_the_Dado

Mistake or Wabi-Sabi Opportunity?

While sanding this bowl, I decided to make one last finishing cut and busted through the bottom!



In my initial frustration, I considered throwing this now-ruined bowl into the firewood pile. Though after a bit of thinking, I realized this mistake is the perfect opportunity to employ wabi-sabi. Instead of throwing out all the work I've done, I'm going to "fix" the mistake by making it into a accent.


The piece of scrap I used to carve this bowl was naturally angled downward and not completely square. In order to correct my mistake, I've decided to glue a piece of wood to the bottom of the bowl and angle it so the bowl is square. The end result will look like a small wedge on the bottom that evens out the top of the bowl, making a more traditional rectangular shape.


Once I've added a new bottom, I can continue to carve and create a shape out of the different woods. Since the original hole looks somewhat like a heart, I'm considering carving a heart into the bottom and to use the mistake to my advantage. Another idea I've had is to carve further into the bottom and create an interesting texture change as I carve through layers of wood and glue.


Stay tuned to see how I use this mistake as a design opportunity!


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Update 4/26:


After much contemplation, I decided to go with one of my original ideas from above: I added a walnut

wedge to make the bowl more square. Then I kept carving until I achieved a shape I liked. I did not end up carving the hole into a heart like I thought I might, but I like the teardrop shape that naturally came of my carving. In a way it almost looks like a dark spot in the grain, like a knot.


I'm so glad I decided to fix this bowl rather than tossing it out of frustration.

Check out the bowl and see what you think!




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