I’ve been thinking a lot about perfection vs. imperfection — the idea that even a “handmade” object that is supposed to bear the marks of humanity and imperfection can wind up defying those definitions and looking somewhat…perfect.

Case in point: I spent most of the afternoon and evening working on a test of the “Craftsman” project that involved building a small Stickley-designed wall shelf, only made out of cardboard and paper mache. The goal was that the material itself would betray the imperfections of the project and that it would be warped and be perhaps even…sad…in some way.

I upset myself to no end when after hours of working on it i realized that it was, well, too perfect. I’ve gotten so good with working with certain materials that i know what to do with it in too many ways. I think i need to throw in some sort of “x” factor to keep my hands guessing about how to treat the material and create the type of imperfections I need. Yargh. Funny how that works.