xmlns:fb='http://ogp.me/ns/fb#' OriginalStitch: Zakka Attack

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Zakka Attack

Well, I can't tell you how much Amanda and I are loving our 'Design Sabbatical' as we are referring to it [to wit, knuckling down to working hard on our 'look' and trying NOT to be distracted by one of the other many hundreds of schemes we always have in our heads].

We've attacked our task of uplifting our design ethic with gusto.  I've been experimenting with some free motion embroidery designs, to quirk up our collections a bit, concentrating on technology images and art naif designs, and Amanda's been jealously guarding the most amazing scavenge yet - a friend called her to say did she want all of last year's soft furnishing sample books from her shop?  If Amanda hadn't nose-dived onto the floor in excitement, she'd have bitten her hand off and everything.
So she's quirking it up with those - we're aiming for some patching work there, and will need some big design pieces to take advantage.  I'm concentrating on the detail in the art so we can then apply a central art panel to any piece of zakka we fancy, be it laundry bag, tea-cosy or iPad Slipcase.

Zakka is a word I've come to realise encompasses OriginalStitch products well - here's how Wikipedia describes it....

"Zakka (from the Japanese 'zak-ka' or 'many things') is a fashion and design phenomenon that has spread from Japan throughout Asia. The term refers to everything and anything that improves your home, life and appearance"

And Squidoo elegantly encapsulates it:

In Japan, all the 'small, various products used in everyday life' are commonly called 'zakka,' a term which encompasses household goods, daily necessities and sundries. However, zakka has also come to represent a style of art and craft that is simple, charming, and of Japanese esthetic"

We lack a word in English for elegant, cool, useful, and spiritually uplifting stuff in our homes.
Homewares doesn't quite cover it, and is a bit commercial.  Other candidates?  Knick-knacks (see Great Grandma's mantelpiece); Knicky-Knacky Noos (see very bulging antique and second-hand shops); Ornaments (doesn't cover useful stuff); Bits and Bobs (doesn't cover much at all).....um....and that's it.

Hence perhaps, why the word Zakka has made a timely surge and is pretty on-trend right now - tying up with the trend towards homemade and made with love.  And as William Morris put it, "Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful".  That pretty much sums it up.  We like - a sentiment that crosses continents and generations.

And it begins with 'z' which I like.  I very nearly neatly trounced my brother at the addictive iPhone app 'Words with Friends' (which is Scrabble to you and me), by having all the letters for Zakka but nowhere to put 'em.  How maddening is that?  And despite my impressive score of 66 for one word, he is beating me.
We no longer speak, my brother and I, we spellz.


Fiona said...

That is a very funky word, gonna have to try and squeeze it into conversation and impress everyone :-)

cheekyhandmades said...

good on ya!

i love right behind William Morris' home (and museum) in Walthamstow, and like the motto about beautiful things in your home...

antmee said...

I love Zakka! Especially sewn goods. I can't describe what it is I like about Japanese zakka. It may be it's simplicity or maybe the 'homemade' 'handmade' look that appeals. It definitely doesn't look like factory mass produced goods.

Catherine said...

You've pretty much summed it up Antmee! It is all the things you said. Totally agree with you. Plus, it's got a z and two k's!

curlyrip quilts said...

Great post looking forward to seeing more "Zakka attacks " around
Breda :D