Leaving a mistake in your art is often done on purpose. Around the world, countless cultures have left these deliberate mistakes in their art. Turkish carpet weavers fear the evil eye (God's wrath) if they don't leave in an imperfection. Quilters have the humility block, since a perfect quilt is prideful (although there's some dispute over whether quilters of the past, specifically the Amish, actually made the mistake on purpose). And I think most of us are familiar with Navajo weavers who are said to intentionally leave a mistake in their weaving to prove they are not perfect. The Navajo say that's where God's spirit moves in and out of their weaving. Another explanation is that the mistake allows the weaver's Spirit a path of escape, since they put their soul into it as they go.
|My recently sold EarthSea bowl.|
If perfection is achieved what is there to strive for? Mistakes help you learn and lead to greater creativity. I read somewhere that what makes artwork beautiful is not its perfection, but the way the artist works his way out of a problem. The perfection of imperfection. I went to school for art and was always taught to rethink my way around a mistake since it's not really a mistake, but a path to another outcome, a different perspective on what was originally envisioned. An example is a recent gourd I did. I burned a line around it, then stood back and realized it was not straight by any stretch of the imagination. Rick looked over and said, well, I guess it'll be a practice gourd. But I was determined to create something even better than I had originally intended. I was pretty pleased with how it ultimately came out. I let the "mistake" lead me and enjoyed the process.
|A simple shawl. My first attempt at knitting.|