It’s not always always an easy job finding new and interesting creatives to talk about, a lot of the time you stumble across the same individuals that are doing great things. One place I’ve always been fascinated by is Japan and Japanese culture, mainly their way of life and also their simplicity in design. You could possibly match it up to the Scandinavian aesthetic in some ways but the history revolving around a lot of their crafts is extremely inspiring, also, in my opinion, you find that the craftsmen have a very different way of going about things and are extremely dedicated to their craft. They understand that it takes time to gain knowledge and skill, versus our culture here where there is a ‘fast food’ attitude and a lot of people want mass produced product with little character or substance.
As you can imagine my bookshelf is overflowing with Japanese books and I always pick out one that even though I can’t read I can still see objects and gain some knowledge through imagery. I often find the photography that the Japanese use to be fantastic as it offers an insight into the details and the lifestyle element, just like these pictures here today that I’m showcasing. These were bundled across from Toki no Kumo, a gallery type shop in Japan that specialises in different handmade objects such as ceramics, lacquerware, glassware, and ironware. They also sell some great wooden pieces, in-particular this set by Yoshiyuki Kato blew me away. It’s not the first time that I’ve come across the works of Mr. Kato and he’s someone that I’ve seen around on other Japanese craft shops but I’ve never seen the items he’s made to this extent and I had a hard time picking out my favourites as there were so many.
I found quite a few things that I liked about the pieces, firstly the detailing is incredible as you can see all the handmade marks. One that struck me as pure genius was this coffee spoon above and below where you can see all the line marks that he’s carved away to make a smooth round shape. I love this sort of thing as it adds character and makes you feel at one with the maker, something I don’t feel all that often anymore. Secondly, the different colours in the wood are very beautiful, they give the spoons, plates and homewares that extra lift and makes each one individual and different. Hopefully you’ll see this as you move down the page, going from lighter woods to darker woods in a quick succession, it’s great to see. I could only pick out a small selection but I’m sure you’ll agree that the variety is pretty mind blowing, you’ve got all these different items that are so functional and they’re all produced by hand and are made out of wood, who says handiwork is dead!