Objects have structure and purpose regardless of who possesses them. They have form and meaning, with or without human touch. The sense of an object’s timelessness or timeliness— and the bittersweet pleasure we take in owning objects that may exist long after we ourselves have them— is an aesthetic quality known in Japanese as mono no aware— literally, the Pathos of Things. If categorizing objects as heirlooms or as heirloom-worthy depends upon a firm trust in the time to come, of plans come to fruition and investments ripened, mono no aware deals in transience and not-knowing. An object understood through mono no aware is beautiful and valuable not for the future, but for the present.
Haand objects are meant to last. The hardness of our porcelain, the durability of our glazes, and careful touches like the absence of hard edges that chip easily all contribute to pieces that are relaxed and graceful as well as sturdy. But the longevity of Haand pieces shouldn’t distract from the momentary joy of placing ripe oranges in our sculptural Fruit Bowl, or clipping stems of summer flowers for a Cloudware vase. Mono no aware allows us to see the relationship between beauty and impermanence, helping us enjoy the things we have while we have them.
One of the finest compliments we get from our customers is when they touch a piece of our pottery and tell us that it's like they can feel the hands that it made touch them back. What they are experiencing is a true sense of mono no aware. The fact these pieces are heirloom quality and will be passed on for generations to come means that the momentary feeling of mono no aware will be passed on too.