We’ve had a large collection of work by Takashi Tomii available in-store but have just recently made it available online. Photographing, writing product descriptions and handling each piece brought back a flood of memories of our first studio visit with this talented wood artisan.
We wrote briefly about this encounter in our Journal here, but realized that there is so much more where that came from. We have a whole slew of images and videos we hadn’t shared from that studio tour!
His wood shop, an abandoned kindergarten, was perched atop of a mountain just out side of Kyoto. In its idyllic woodland setting, in a district that farms green tea, Takashi’s studio was a peaceful environment fit for any wood worker.
Since that visit, Takashi has moved to Nagaoka in Niigata prefecture, a town near Ojiya where he grew up and where his parents still live. He informs me that Steve and I would naturally love the new place, “best known for the rice, sake and too much snow!” He has kept his hands full with woodcarving and the arrival of a new baby – one of three cute children that, if you follow Takashi, every once in awhile can get a glimpse of climbing a hill or doing a handstand.
Having the chance to watch an artisan as skilled as Takashi work in his own territory – his personal creative space – was fascinating. We understood the process better and learned about his unique approach through observing Takashi methodically chip away at solid slabs of wood with precision and concentration.
We’re grateful to have these opportunities to follow Takashi’s career as the years go by. Until our next visit (hopefully to check out the new studio!), we are happy to relive those special moments through images and share them with fellow fans in the meantime. We’ll leave off with a couple video clips from our studio visit – one of Takashi refining a chestnut wood dish and the other of him chiseling the beginnings of a large wood bowl.
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