Yesterday was an amazing day. It really felt like the first day of my favourite season, summer, due to the beautiful intense heat the buzz of the cicadas. I woke up very early and ran down to the workshop to try an idea that I had been mulling over, and it worked!
The idea was inspired by one of Hida`s most famous wood joints called Chidorigoushi, it is traditionally used to make the dense wooden screens for windows and room dividers. I played with the toy version when I was here in May and fell in love with its complex simplicity. I realize that`s an oxymoronical description, but it feels right here. The joint technique is simple to understand when looking at one or two pieces, but once many pieces are slotted together it becomes a puzzle that is almost impossible to take apart again unless you know the trick. Then again the result a simple, clean looking grid, you can not tell from looking at it how incredibly complex putting it together or apart would be. So I think it best described as complex simplicity! I`m aware this won`t make any sense, so please check out the pictures below.
I was lucky enough to be introduced to one of the local legends, a true master craftsmen who has been working with wood since he was 13. He is a master of the Chidorigoushi joint, and he was kind enough to show me his workshop and work with me on my design. He made my prototype quicker and more beautiful then I would have thought possible.
Working is Hida is so inspiring, everywhere I go there are huge workshops, skilled people and piles and piles of beautiful wood! Add to that the amazing local architecture, misty mountains and yummy food, it`s a powerful mixture.
I`ll be photographing all the products I make up here once I get back to Tokyo, so stay tuned to find out what we made together!