Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Woodcarving with Yo Takimoto

Above: Yo Takimoto

Above & below: My project.
It kind of resembles a little wooden hot dog bun, but I was happy with it. I didn't stab myself!

Left and Below: Tomory's beautiful bird he made.
He had not planned on making a bird!

The bird (Tomory's project) and his nest (My project).

Yo Takimoto took up woodcarving approximately 15 years ago to combat insomnia. It worked!

Yo now travels and teaches his method of woodcarving for a fee of $25 per person for a 3 hour workshop. I signed Tomory and I up for one of his classes this past Sunday organized through Tortoise in Venice.

You arrive to the workshop, and choose your wood from an assortment that Yo provides. Yo suggested we start out with softer wood since this was our first time attending his class. I chose a Japanese wood called Kiri and Tomory chose Bristlecone Pine. After a quick introduction on to how to safely use the carving tools (also provided for use during the class by Yo), you then proceed to carve, sand, and seal
(with beeswax or camellia oil) your project. The three hours fly by. Yo checks in with you periodically, offers suggestions and assistance.

Yo stresses that you carve without a goal in mind of the end product, that you let the wood tell you how to proceed. He says, "Most important is that you enjoy yourself."

It was so lovely to sit outdoors, listening to the wind in the trees, and to just make something for the pure experience of making it. At the end of the session, all the participants do a brief show and tell.

Yo has one more class this week before he returns to Japan for the summer- but he will be back in the fall. Tomory & I are already planning to attend another session in October!


cheryl cambras said...

Wow! Bird and nest are wonderful!!! Sounds like a lovely day. Isn't Tortoise great? It's like its own little universe.

Hadley said...

the bird in the nest is sweet!

Janis said...

I like this very very much. Sounds like a healing way to spend an afternoon - in the moment, with your love, happiness.

And wow - The bird in the nest, Tomory and Jennifer.

Megan Taylor said...

oh it's poetry! I love it...the wood shapes you...

Jennifer said...

Can't recommend taking one of his classes enough if possible! It was such a great experience.

Jennifer said...

Oh, I'm so jealous! This looks like it was a beautiful experience. I especially like that you are encouraged to not have an end product in mind... much more enjoyable and peaceful to go with the wood. I love how your and Tomory's objects fit together so well--just like their creators! (I didn't mean that in a creepy way, I promise ;)

Jennifer said...

Ha ha- Jen, I did not take that in a creepy way!

P R I M O E Z A said...

i would love to do this if i was there. love the bird.

ashley helvey at yahoo dot com said...

oh i have always wanted to take this class... another reason to move to l.a. :)

Beklina said...

I would love to do that. Very cool!!