Blemishes and Beauty Marks


By Margit Nellemann

February 2nd at 2 pm, I invite people to come to my Annual Seconds Sale at Westholme I have produced throughout the previous year.

Sometimes, the pieces I have worked on simply didn’t turn out the way I wanted them to and have been put aside during the year and are brought out for this annual event. Rather than destroying them, they are sold at very reduced prices.

Daily Ritual

Inspired by the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi, the wisdom, and beauty of imperfection, I use the traditional method of hand building, and form and finish each piece individually. From carefully formed teapots and bowls to asymmetrical yunomi cups, extra large mugs, and diminutive sipping cups, the pieces are all crafted to enhance a daily ritual.


Handbuilding often results in an inherent asymmetry. Pieces are literally built by hand and become true representations of the hand, bodies, and souls that have built them. A cup may have an uneven edge, handles can be slightly different in size, or be a more organic version of a circle. Handbuilding mirrors the irregular and slightly lopsided facets of life. Wabi-sabi honours and celebrates those very qualities. Wabi-sabi sees the beauty in a weathered piece of cedar or a cup with a thick runny glaze. According to the wabi-sabi philosophy of life, these elements simply display what life is about and it reminds us that there is an inherent beauty to the process called life.

Seconds Sale

Selling and choosing pieces for a Seconds Sale of ceramics sometimes becomes a bit of a head-scratching process. Some pieces are obvious candidates while others are seconds only in the eyes of the person that created them. Many of the pieces that I put aside as seconds seem absolutely perfect to many people. And from a wabi-sabi perspective, they also would be. For me to decide that a piece I have worked on for a while is a second is because I had something very particular in mind when I started working on the piece. If I don’t see that something any longer once the process is complete, it may end up in my annual seconds sale. There is nothing wrong with the piece. It is a perfect wabi-sabi yet it has now been labeled a second by its creator. This is definitely something that I mull over. Do you see a blemish or a beauty mark?

I look forward to seeing you at:

Margit Nellemann’s Annual Seconds Sale 

Location: Westholme Tea Farm

When: February 2 at 2pm

Where: ?8350 Richards Trail, Westholme