Wooden Accessory/Kuroda kobo ( Hiroaki Usui )

This container, small enough to fit comfortably in the palm of the hand, still manifests a logical, functional and simple beauty. Created with the aesthetic sense passed down throughout the history of Japanese traditional crafts fully in mind, conceptualised from a stylishness that demonstrates the maker’s enjoyment as a craftsman, offering the ability for a single object to be used for many different purposes and the lightness and portability that allows it to be taken anywhere, attention is even paid to areas that will never be seen.
The bowl-shaped part on the top level uses yosegi woodwork. To achieve this look, the craftsman had to develop a range of home-made blades and jigs to shape the traditional yabanemon arrow-feather designs, where all the wood grain runs diagonally, into a round shape, then using a technique to pull it in towards the inner side to create a yosegi technique that has never been seen before.
The middle level uses retractions from the inner side around the circumference to ensure that it retains its strength as a container while still allowing the slits to be used in the design. The bottom level is a radical new design that incorporates the circumferential yosegi parquetry diagonally.
The entire item is a tastefulness that we who live in the modern age, in a fusion of Eastern and Western cultures, sense subconsciously as beautiful, created by a master turner from Kyoto.
Anyone who handles this item will find the memories of their ancestors who lived harmoniously with wood that are engraved subconsciously in their spiritual memories reawakened from the soothing lines, warmth, feeling, and scent of hinoki; and their minds will no doubt turn to the role of craftsmen in passing on the aesthetics and traditional techniques down to the future.

Manufactured by Hiroaki Usui ( Kuroda kobo )

Photo by Sohei Oya (Nacasa & Partners)