The patina

2019-10-28

As objects of quality age, they gather the same collection of scrapes and scars as everything and everyone else. That’s where they really start to show that they’re different from normal things.

Low-quality objects which gather these scars start to look and behave worse. A quality object, on the other hand, gets more unique and interesting. It’s called patina. It becomes better than it was when it was new.

The wear and tear becomes part of the object. You can’t remove it without destroying the character of the object itself.

Shoes are better when they’re broken in. Leather is better when it’s worn and creased. A well-finished table is more attractive if it’s scratched.

This is worth remembering if you’re going to make things. Making it perfect is not only unnecessary and impossible, it’s counterproductive. Nothing perfect has character.