Cool Wood Toys

While doing some late night web trolling, I came across these super cute wood toys:



Aren’t they sweet? The artist, Takeji Nakagawa (aka Take-G), is from Japan and hand-makes these one-of-a-kind little guys by combining his love of robots with the traditional woodcraft process of Yosegi-Mokuzougan (or joined wooden block construction). His approach to art reminds me of Frank Lloyd Wright’s approach to architecture in that both of them are very in-tune with nature and use it both as inspiration and a source for materials.

Check out the barrel vaulted ceiling in FLW’s Home & Studio – doesn’t it have the same kind of feel?


Maybe it’s all the different types of wood. Take-G uses four in his creations – keyaki (a Japanese tree of the genus Zelkova), teak, walnut and white ash (my use of the word “genus” should indicate that I’m leaning heavily on a bio) – and avoids man-made materials at all costs. He explains it like this:

I often get asked “Why do you make robots with wood?” I don’t really have an exact answer for it but I often relate my robots with ‘future’.

What do you relate future with? ? Cities full of metals, glasses and plastics in a SF movie???
What we really want is not that kind of future but one full of trees and something more natural. I don’t think humans can live without trees no matter what advances technology makes.

When I think of ‘future’, I cannot help thinking of ‘past’ at the same time. Trees take long time (tens and hundreds years) to grow and show us their beauty (the product of their past). I think that I have responsibilities as a craftsman and an artist of breathing new life into these trees. I have a job to link 100 years in the past and 100 years in the future through my work. This is my values toward my work.

Cool, huh? I think so. You can find out more about the artist at his site (it’s in Japanese):

Click on “crafts” to see more of his original pieces. Oh! He also sells his stuff, although the only things you can purchase online are his pre-fabbed blocks and zoo animals, which are also neat and run from $36 – $345. You’ll have to contact him directly if you’re interested in anything else as he insists that people view his pieces in person rather than through photos before buying. I hear Japan is beautiful in the spring…


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