Bamboo Cutlery by Saya Okihara and Kazuho Shimomoto

Children’s fork, children’s spoon and butter knife by Kazuho Shimomoto

You’ve probably noticed my little fascination with wooden objects as of late, I’m embarking on a small project myself which will involve me making wooden spoons and cutlery. Actually, I ordered a couple of books off Amazon Japan last week which arrived yesterday, both are by an author named Nishikawa Takaaki, ones about handmade spoons and utensils and the other one is based on wooden bowls. As usual with these sorts of books from Japan the photography is pretty astonishing, lovely use of light and amazing details, it also shows the craftsmen making these by hand which is the real reason why I purchased them. Hopefully this will give me some tips and direction on how to go about making an item like this.

Today I thought I’d share some of my inspiration that I’ve come across over the week, this time from the Kagure website that specialises in ethical fashion wear and craft work. They stock a mixture of environmentally friendly outfits made out of natural materials, but they also present handmade pottery and home workshop tools from all over Japan. This comes in the form of both retail and exhibitions, where they try to showcase quality and craftsmanship in one place.

My selection from their shop highlights two specific craftsman who both make cutlery and other objects that are functional in the kitchen. Their names are Kazuho Shimomoto and Saya Okihara, one man and one woman. Kazuho lives in the Kochi prefecture where he produces this bamboo work, and Saya who now lives in Yamanashi but was originally born in Canada and brought up in Tokyo. Both seem to have a real appreciation for the bamboo material, Saya goes onto say “The Japanese have used this material for architecture, farming, and kitchenware. Well-used tools have an elegance that teaches you respect and care. I hope to design craft that is simple, easy to handle and comfortable in texture for daily use”. She definitely has, they’re all truly beautiful and I wish I could own them all, but for now I’m going to try my best to experiment on my own. It’s going to be an interesting experience I’m sure. Check out more objects like this on the web link below.

www.kagure.jp

Curry spoon, fork, children’s spoon and children’s fork by Saya Okihara
Decorative spoons by Kazuho Shimomoto
Coffee measure spoon and ladle by Kazuho Shimomoto
Butter knife, jam spoon, toothpick and paddle butter knife by Saya Okihara.
Bamboo tongs by Kazuho Shimomoto
Kitchen chopsticks, bamboo spatula and rice paddle by Saya Okihara
Spoon and rice paddle by Kazuho Shimomoto