Wabi-Sabi | Sharmishta Roy for ManyManyThings

 

Attention!!!  We are flagging off collaborations with some of the master’s from the reel and the real world where they share observations, experiences and learnings from encounters old, new and trendy. We are super excited to introduce our very first chapter by Production Designer Sharmishta Roy (she promises to write many many more!)

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Chapter 1 | Wabi Sabi 

I first heard the term ‘Wabi Sabi’ not so long ago, when I attended Interior Design classes in the US.

I was intrigued! My work as a Production Designer for mainstream Bollywood films had largely revolved around creating pristine, glamorous and luxurious environment inspired by western lifestyles. Now, sitting in a classroom in California, I was being educated about an ideology prevalent amongst people on the other side of the globe. The Japanese word ‘Wabi Sabi’ implying – ‘Beauty found in simplicity’, ‘imperfections’ and ‘being true’.

Wabi Sabi is not a decorating style…it is a philosophy. It aligns with the Western philosophy of ‘Less is More’.

It advocates doing away with the superfluous, being austere. In addition, it is about being aesthetically sound and having a deep appreciation for the conditioning brought about by the passage of time.

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Just a bunch of words you say! Let me help you understand Wabi Sabi better.

Maybe you own a handmade earthen vase, plate or mug. You will notice its undulating edges, uneven coloring, flecks etc. All part of the Wabi Sabi of that piece!

I have inherited from my father a beautiful, much-used wooden table of English ancestry. I intend to use it as a desk, just as my father did! The various blemishes on its surface induce a sense of warmth and nostalgia. In turn, I hope to leave my imprint on it! Also, when paired with other furniture along modern lines, it will create an interesting contrast. More Wabi Sabi!

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On the right, the inherited wooden table. And to the left an image showing various earthen vases decorated on a table, sourced from enversdudecor.tumblr.com

So, does Wabi Sabi advocate filling up our homes with faded, chipped, rusted miscellaneous objects? Negative! It simply means you cherish the imprints of the past and want it to accent the present.

And does it mean that an unkempt house can pass off as Wabi Sabi aesthetic? On the contrary! An important part of this aesthetic is the respect for tidiness and hygiene.

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Mood Board Appreciation

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Villa Branco | Architecture & Interior Design by Momo-Studios influenced by Wabi Sabi

The Wabi Sabi aesthetic can be infused into any decor – use it when employing the austere, industrial lines of Modern or Minimalistic styles.

Or then express your appreciation for the “truth in materials” a la Arts and Crafts style.

Or yet again, let it guide you in the selection of organic materials and textures typical of Rustic style interiors.

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Villa Branco | A luxurious villa – modestly decorated, located in Anjuna, Goa.

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The villa is designed on the principles of wabi-sabi with the use of natural materials and finishes and locally made paints and polishes.

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Since Wabi Sabi is the appreciation of all things natural, an earthy palette is in keeping with this aesthetic – warm browns, creams, whites, ochers, and greens. Patinas, crackles, and yellowed pictures strengthen the sense of rootedness. On an ecological note, Wabi Sabi works at creating sustainable interiors by reusing the old and the loved.

Go Wabi Sabi!

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Pictures showing the wabi-sabi textures beautifully.

 

#DID YOU KNOW Wabi-sabi enthusiasts (called “wabibitos”) are described as being “a person who could make something complete out of eight parts when most of us would use ten.”

The Images for this post are contributed by Studio Momo.
Which is a wabi-sabi inspired Architectural and Interior Design firm based out of Goa.
Their conscientious designs are a result of a shared passion for creating eco-friendly interior-architectural finishes through an environmentally sensitive practice.

Which we think is so admirable!! Do take a look at their other wonderful projects here

 

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The Source | Bombay Paperie

Walk in to gape at the massive antique wooden table right in the centre with all paper products on display – as if it were an island on its own; stacks of paper lined on the sides and graded by colour – as if gazing at a rainbow so near;  colonial architecture holding various exhibits of paper and paper products – as if to belong together; further in (by this time I have already decided my favourite spot) to the back and then to the corner is a dedicated section flaunting images of the craftsmen at the mill, their work in progress and a showcase of the different processes in the making of the paper – as if inside a museum making a connection felt through the story they are trying to tell —- Bombay Paperie – where paper is made without cutting trees and sold planting just love.

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BLOCK AND PRINT – not just a clothing dye. |Inspiration|

I have always thought the beauty of block printing lies in its tedious process - the detailed designing of the patterns, carving of the blocks, layering of colors and of course the history of its artisans!

Even though block printing is a widely known art of printing on fabrics and textiles not many are aware of its extensive use on wallpapers and leather products. In-fact block printing was the standard method of producing wallpaper until the early 20th century and is still used by a few traditionalist firms.

I happened to stumble upon an enlightening video on the Victoria and Albert Museum website that inspired me to write this post and share my two bits.
The V&A video shows the woodblock printing process William Morris went through to create some of his timeless wallpaper designs; for this pattern he used 30 different blocks, 15 colors and took about 4 weeks to complete the entire printing process!!!
(Sharing a few screenshots for a quick scroll but I encourage you all to watch the full video – linked above.)

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Paper Prowess |Source|

One thing that has totally impressed me always is the use of the right paper. It's that background which upholds the identity of one's design, the intend of a photograph, the character of your writing...... it's like a foundation of any building. Well yes! That's how important choosing the right paper is because you may ignore it, but it is that little detail that enhances the overall experience.
Sun Papers in Bora Bazaar, Chimanlals in Wallace Street, and Sona Commercial in Lower Parel, bombay (mumbai), India are MMT’s favourite shop stops for paper.
Chimanlals has been making and selling handmade paper and paper products for the past 50 years bringing along a paper culture in India and overseas. Their pursuit of traditional designs and printing techniques reflect in their stationery collateral (letterheads, envelops, visiting cards, desk organizers) wrapping papers, wedding invites, gift cards and many other accessories. If you want all the Indianness in your paper – ikkat, bandhani, ghumar, patola, warli, block etc etc. Chimanlal’s is your must go to store.

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The Second Life_ Waste for change

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To expect a third party to save the environment is passé, when everyone of us can help the cause by reusing things of daily requirements

Well…. we are glad someone is thinking and thinking right and thats why we absolutely love the ideology and products of “The Second Life”  by StudioABCD.

The Second Life is an honest attempt at making products and stationery, reusing and recycling the most basic items like the newspaper- that keeps piling up to be given to the scrap dealer after it’s everyday read; and film posters – that are printed way more than really required. The whole idea is to find and create an alternative & sustain it by adding value to it – – almost like giving it another lifeline!!!

“Every time we dispose a product and call it ‘waste’ we also dispose the energy spent on making it… it must be our conscious responsibility to step out of the system of ‘disposable culture’ and enter a cycle of living with absorbing systems.” 

They block print on newspaper and film poster backs and have a range of stationery that includes wrapping papers, envelopes and notebooks. We totally encourage the idea!

P.S. Love the Up-cycled Film Poster Envelope!