My training as a woodworker started at a private school called Shinrin-Takumi Juku, under Osamu Shoji, a master craftsman, and Masatoshi Tsukuda, the school principal.
In 1994 I started studying at Shinrin-Takumi Juku. It is located in Takayama city in Gifu – a quiet traditional town which has a long history of making various types of woodwork including temples, furniture and urushi lacquerware.
I knew nothing about furniture making when I started and I quickly became fascinated by the conversations I had with Mr Tsukuda about making “genuine” items that reflected the natural shape, colour and patterns inherent in wood as a natural material. The training was of busy days studying as an apprentice as well as practically using woodwork skills to make craft and furniture. I really appreciate what I learnt in those 2 years.
In the early years of my career, I worked in a number of places doing different kinds of woodwork. From making traditional sliding doors in Furukawa to modern shop fitting in Melbourne, as a forest worker in Gunma, a saw mill worker in Kokufu and to teaching environmental education in Sapporo.
For 10 years I taught at the Gifu Academy of Forestry, Science and Culture in Mino. This gave me professional skills and experience to teach different groups of people from students intending to become professional woodworkers to adult education classes and children's workshops. This work also gave me opportunities to work with local community groups involved in local forestry.
I moved to Canberra in 2012 for family reasons and started working at Thor’s Hammer where I developed new skills in using recycled timber. I maintained my connection to Japan through teaching and also through my involvement in a sustainable Hardwood forestry project in Shirotori, Gifu.
One of the themes running through my work is connection – connecting customers needs to design, connecting characteristic of wood to finished product, connecting responsible use of forest materials to design and making, and connecting people to enjoy wooden craft making.
KOITOYA (Canberra, 2015 –current)
ANU School of Art, Furniture Department (Visiting Artist, Canberra, 2012 - current)
Mono Mori Network for Sustainable use of Japanese hardwood forest (Organizer, Gifu Japan, 2006 -current)
Thor’s Hammer (Canberra, 2012-2016)
Gamma Doura( Melbourne, 1999)
Made In Japan (Melbourne, 1998)
Self employed Furniture Maker (Saitama Japan, 2000-2001)
Traditional Sliding Door Maker (Hida Japan, Work experience, 1998)
Gifu Academy of Forest Science and Culture (Mino Japan, 2002-2012)
Lecturer in the Department of Craft and Furniture Making
Australian National University, School of Art, Furniture (Canberra, 2015)
Centre for Continuing Education-ANU, (Canberra, 2012-2015)
Chair design course run by designer Noboru Inoue (Tokyo Japan, 2004)
Shinrin Takumi Juku (TakayamaJapan, 1995-1997) http://www.takumijuku.com
Training in commercial furniture making includingtraditional Japanese woodwork and design as well as on the job practical training
B. Sc. ForestryHokkaido University (Sapporo Japan, 1995)
Brickworks Artisans and Designer Exhibition (Canberra , 2014-2015)
Kaze to Tsuchi no Katachi (NPO Arts Planet Plan from IGA, Mie Japan, 2008-2015)
Hearts Leaves Arrows (Mino Japan, 2012)
Chair Design School (Isujuku) Exhibition (Tokyo Japan, 2004-2008)
Japanese Life Style (Gifu, Tokyo, Okayama Japan, 2002 - 2007)
Mino Niwaka-Chaya Furniture (Mino Japan , 2007)
Nagoya University Museum ,Strip Bench (Nagoya Japan, 2008)
Japan Wooden Architecture Award, Trophy (Tokyo Japan, 2009)
Mino Kindergarden, Soramame-bench (Mino Japan, 2013)