Windows and Doors with Soul
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Jeff



Joined: 01 Jul 2007
Posts: 41
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 8:25 am    Post subject: Windows and Doors with Soul Reply with quote

Anyone who works with vintage artifacts and architectural elements will appreciate this story from PRI's The World, broadcasted yesterday (Wed., Feb. 4):
http://www.pri.org/stories/2016-02-03/heroes-journeys-end-far-differently-depending-their-country-origin

As Mockett, the author of the book being reported on, says, "I have this theory that one of the reasons why the Japanese are so good at design, is because they see objects as alive," she says. "It's not just a thing. Like when you pick up a cup you want to feel good about the cup and feel it's an object that has a soul."

She goes on to explain the belief, according to the Japanese Wabi-Sabi tradition, that objects acquire soul if they reach 100 years of age.

What a stark contrast is that belief to the Western, consumerist notion that 100 years of age is when an object acquires antique status (and thus can command a higher price?). But, of course, that is a fact I mention on my own website...so I guess I'm guilty of profiting from this status and claim.

But I've a mind to revise my website to also note that 100 years of age is the age at which an object--a door, a window, a fireplace surround--acquires soul.

And I would even say I can sense it! I joke with clients that when I take a door into the shop for restoration, I close the door (of the shop) and turn to the door on my workbench and say, "There...there... everything is going to be okay. I know you've suffered a lot of abuse. But we're going to fix all that."

And when I rehang the door, I swear I can see that it has recovered its dignity.

In the same spirit, when I walk into a building in which original, vintage fixtures and features have been preserved--even if they've been neglected--I experience a sense of the holy.

Yes, we claim a price for our work. But I suspect I am not alone in feeling there is more at stake than just cold, hard, cash in the work to which we, as architectural restoration artisans/craftspersons, have committed ourselves.
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SashGuy



Joined: 10 Sep 2010
Posts: 147
Location: Houston

PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What you say is true, but sometimes I feel that we are Curators in a disposable world. Current patient is a mid 1850's town-house, which was moved across the bayou in 1896 to it's current location. It's talking to me, and sometimes talking back. Good for the soul.


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johnleeke
Site Admin


Joined: 20 Aug 2004
Posts: 2924
Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mind Hand Heart
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John

by hammer and hand great works do stand
by pen and thought best words are wrought
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JulieL



Joined: 01 Jun 2012
Posts: 51
Location: Albany NY

PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Jeff for that story; good for all the souls.
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