Hiroyuki Sugawara creates wooden tools for daily life by hand, working out of his workshop in Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture, Japan. Sugawara’s background is in product design, later studying woodwork at Takumi Juku, where he learnt to get hands on with wood and manipulate it into simple everyday forms.
In 2005 he opened up his own studio named ‘greenlight’, where he started to create shapes that are both functional and that have warmth when handled.
Hiroyuki Sugawara has become one of the most popular woodworkers in our store. I originally contacted Hiroyuki five years ago, I was inspired by his unique approach to crafting functional objects from wood. Later I heard about his slogan “Wooden Tools for Daily Life”, which he used in a few exhibitions that he held in Japan, I think this really summarises his work and offers an insight in to his thinking as a craftsman.
So after a long time of representing Mr Sugawara I thought it was about time we put together a small feature on him and highlight some imagery from inside his studio. Named ‘greenlight’, his workshop is based in Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture, Japan. His focus on creating simple everyday forms from woods such as maple and cherry has been with him since day one, each being crafted by using simple hand tools which, as one can imagine, takes a lot of time, patience and skill.
In his small workshop he cuts the blanks by selecting each piece of wood carefully, he then draws out the basic outline on the sheets of wood to get the most out of the material. What’s most obvious is the humble nature of the pieces, the design is very subtle and he uses the textures in the wood to create unique works of functional art. I hope you like these images and will read the captions under each, you can find forks, and spoons, and even some lacquered dishes and trays in the shop.