In Ishikawa, my eyes were opened on many levels. The basic level is obviously to the many styles and types of craft that have prevailed in Ishikawa and Japan.
Craft is almost a word that is hung loosely on every advertorial and used on any product or experience. However, in Ishikawa, the culture of 'craft' is real, alive and very much practiced. I see that there is pride and almost a sense of urgency for continuity and renewal. I see workshops, young kids having a go at "Kaga Yuzen", and even young adults, hunched over the lathe and focusing intently in their woodturning.
In the digital landscape of instantaneous gratification, the idea of making something, sometimes slowly over time, seems almost contradictory. In this regard, I have deep respect for the many craftsmen and artisans, true craftsmen in this regard, that have honed their skills over their lifetime to achieve this notion of perfection.
I am also deeply humbled by the fact that they also remain open to new designs and collaborations, something I am very appreciative of and grateful that they have opened up their world to me. For the most part of the collaboration, I see these designs as subtle changes and introductions that can hopefully, give a slightly new perspective to these products, but still respecting the centuries old techniques and methods.
With the collaboration with Tohachiya, a combination of the sake pourer, sake cups and a tray was used. The shape and design of these items, typically used in Japanese culture, was kept to a minimal with subtle shapes introduced. With the treatment of urushi, the idea of ‘layering’ and ‘gradation’ was explored, both from a textural and colour perspective.
Wood Turned Lamp WT1:
With this design, a simple purity of form and material with the skill required to achieve the thinness was the focus. Turning (pun intended!) to the highly skilled craftsmen in Yamanaka known for their centuries old tradition of producing wooden bowls using a lathe, the lamps are made with walls so thin that light shines through the wood material.