Wabi-Sabi Life

lluskart-elite-traySometimes you get lucky and feel like you hit the jackpot even when you are rifling through discarded things. While I did not discover a pot of gold under a rainbow, I saved this beautiful Elite serving tray from becoming part of the city dump. Thank you, universe!

Though it’s suffered through some hard times and corrosion (haven’t we all), all it needed was a little clean up with Iron Out Rust Remover, then two thin coats of Rust-Oleum Satin Clear Enamel to bring it back to life. It wouldn’t be that easy to fix me!

Elite Trays were manufactured by the Metal Tray Manufacturing Company Limited in London, England. I believe the company predates the internet because I could not locate a web address for them. However, I found many Elite Trays on both Etsy and eBay, but none with this particular design. This tray measures approximately 16×13 and depicts Japanese magnolia blossoms.

This tray is a great example of the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi. From the wikipedia article at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wabi-sabi, “Wabi-sabi represents Japanese aesthetics and a Japanese world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.” The tray retains enough imperfection to have character and to show that it has survived many years. It also retains a simple message of natural beauty and the integrity to keep on being useful for many years. I find that this philosophy fits very well into my own ideas of responsible ownership and minimalism. I am not a constant shopper! I believe in the principles of reduce, reuse, recycle, repair, and repurpose.

Beautiful pink Japanese magnolias bloom in late winter. Some people do, too.

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