A selection of functional but sculptural looking objects by Japanese studio Shimoo Design, who mainly specialise in making handcrafted furniture. Shimoo was founded in Toyama Prefecture in 1997 by husband and wife duo Kazuhiko and Saori Shimoo. They’ve been experimenting with a variety of different forms and shapes since, particularly at a smaller scale which is always nice to see. It seems like both parties are interested in product design and look to make items that aren’t restricted by ‘trends’, also that get better with age and are multifunctional. Like most of the things we discuss or sell here on the site.
What attracted me to these pieces and the imagery that I’m presenting to you today is the natural element, using wood to make such simple but useable items, but also the way they turned an object that could be quite ordinary into something extraordinary through the shaping and form. It’s superb to see some shots of them handmaking these and then the quality of the finished pieces, it must of took a lot of time and effort to get the edges that prominent but smooth, also to show of all that beautiful grain in the wood.
As you can see the finished pieces are often very modern and tend to shy away from square corners, making each one quite curvy and flowing. Unique flat plates or serving trays have curved edges or bow upwards, almost representing the original shape of the tree that the wood derived from. As with a lot of designers in Japan, most prominently seen in the craft field, they have a unique ability to tie in an aesthetic that’s relevant but also pure. Sometimes in Europe I’m left wanting more from the crafters as often their works hark back to a certain era, rather than making work that transcends time.
Obviously when you’re this good you’re bound to get noticed, and Shimoo Design has already won a fair amount of awards for their furniture so we’re definitely going to see more work from them in the future. To be honest I can’t wait, because by the looks of this we’re in for a real treat in terms of product design matched with craftsmanship. I’ve borrowed these photographs above and below from one of Shimoo’s stockists in Japan named Kotohogiya, they own a stunning little online shop and it’s definitely worth checking out too for other products as well as these featured here.