Chipped Thrift Store Treasures: Celebrating the Beauty of Imperfection

Do you ever buy chipped things? I used to have a horror of anything that wasn’t perfect and whole, but now I embrace the odd chip, scratch or dent as long as it doesn’t detract from the look of a piece.

Herewith, a showcase of some chipped things I love.

I bought this large ceramic vase for ten dollars at my local thrift store / op shop. It’s very heavy – it’s  been fired in a kiln, and has a lovely glaze. I’m not sure of the level of skill of the person who produced it – there is no identifying signature at the bottom – but the glazing and colour are very soothing. I discovered there were chips on the inside of the rim when I got it home, but they’re not that visible so I’m not too worried about them.

I bought this decorative vase from an op shop for about ten dollars, but didn’t realise the sculpted flower on the top right was chipped; it's difficult to notice. Still I love the detail so much I don’t really care.

This cement (I assume) pot was bought at a garage sale for a couple of bucks – I really should keep some sort of record of prices I pay for things – and the sculpture that makes up the rim is chipped. It’s really supposed to have a plant sitting in it but instead it sits happily enough in the corner of my bathroom to the right of the vanity basin, slowly accumulating black mould (which I recently scrubbed off it so it’s not looking too bad). It has a kind of decadent Roman, neoclassical feel to it.

I bought this picture from the Brotherhood op shop in Bentleigh. It was very shabby chic when I bought it (shabby being the operative word) but is now even shabbier after a piece of the frame on the lower left-hand side fell out a few months ago. I suppose I could mend it with suitable glue – I tell myself the missing piece simply adds to the olde worlde appearance.

This little birdie sits on my front porch. Because its tail was already chipped it cost about four bucks at a local garden centre. It sits precariously on narrow little toes and I chipped its little beak once, when I tipped it over accidentally. I feared it would be useless but somehow it still retains its birdiness.

It’s easier to accept imperfections in something that has always been imperfect. When a possession we’re invested in gets chipped or dented, it’s as if the ego itself sustains the injury.

Then gradually the change becomes incorporated, and we stop seeing it and feeling it. It's like a tiny scar, reminding us of all the injuries, bruises and deeper wounds we ourselves have sustained. It also reminds us that imperfection is the essence of beauty, life and growth.

Until next time!
If you enjoyed this blog entry you might also like: In with the Old and Out with the New - Shopping and the Search for Perfection. 

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