Thursday, June 23, 2011

New Workshop

I recently started a new apprenticeship at a woodworking studio near Kamakura.

The workshop is about an hour bike ride from my apartment, I ride along the coast every morning for a few miles, then make a turn inland and head straight uphill through rice fields and winding back roads for the remainder of the way.

The shop is well stocked and covered completely in sawdust!

The studio is known for, in addition to a very high standard of quality, a few interesting techniques: laquerware and a process that involves torching the entire exterior of a piece to blacken it.

Part of the day I spent sanding and finishing this soon-to-be table, whose top is the cross section of a 500 year old tree that was buried underwater for over 1000 years.


After oil finish is applied.

As a testament to the tree's incredible journey and age, while I was cleaning out sawdust from the cracks along the wood's raw edge with compressed air, this tiny sooth pebble fell out from inside. My sensei explained how the rock must have gotten lodged in the tree while it was submerged. Amazing!

The shop's extensive stock of wood.

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