I realize I'm kind of a "far out dude"...
I was thinking earlier about knives. I've been tinkering around with carving and inlay, designs, fit, finishes, and overall form.
I used to think what made a great looking knife was utilizing textures and stylized lines, figured woods, and metalurcical special effects in the steel. Sort of letting the material tell it's own tale while keeping the lines clean and flowing. I think that's what I thought anyway.
Now I'm not so sure... clean and crisp lines show craftsmanship, but lack of a story. Like freckles, grey hairs, or laugh lines; a stray chisel mark, etch flaw, or just minor asymmetry might add character to an otherwise mastered, or seemingly captive, terribly modern, and finely machined piece.
I work on construction jobs from time to time and notice little things. A short piece of trim spliced where it should have been one piece, but they ran out of material, or how they had to get creative with a fix for a situation. When you look at old work, there is a lot of this evident. It reminds you that this object was handmade, and all its slight flaws amongst the beautiful bigger picture somehow speak volumes about the piece.
Just a thought.