A book review of everyday beauty to take comfort and revel in the things around us.
Soetsu Yanagi was a potter, philosopher and art critic who developed the ‘mingei’ (folk art) movement in the late 1920s and 1930s.
He praised the beauty of the ordinary, while deriding objects ‘overburdened with needless decoration and meaningless frivolity.’
‘It is my task’ he said, ‘to speak of this world of miscellaneous beauty, to see what we can learn from it.’ And so he describes and examines the process and materials of craft with great perception.
As a manifesto against thoughtless consumerism, it’s not a comfortable read, though I relished the commitment to makers, and especially enjoyed the section about washi.
With disarming relevance, this collection of essays was issued as a Penguin Modern Classic in 2018.
The Beauty of Everyday Things, by Soetsu Yanagi, is published by Penguin.
To receive a pleasing 10% discount on your copy, click here to order from Golden Hare Books, using code bookbinderreview12 until 4th April.