Profile of Tomoko Hasuo
When I was working at a Shoji flame factory, I was attracted by wood. It made me enter a vocational school woodworking course in Hannou and study the basis of woodworking for 2 years.
Then I went to England and learned woodworking, restoration and upholstery in 2 years and experienced working at a furniture workshop in England. Now I am back in Japan.
When I was in England, I got to know marquetry and got interested in drawing pictures with natural colour and texture of wood. I created two marquetry works. This work was to put the clients' heart and story into woodwork. And by putting that woodwork into furniture, I could enrich their daily life. I hope I can make furniture with many stories and people's heart and also my heart, continuously from now on.
In England, I've learnt the technique to cut off the picture by knife. In this way, we cut off each little parts by looking at the grain of wood carefully, and burn and stick them. In France, the main method is to pile up many pieces of veneer and cut them at once by using fret saw, then make a picture by gathering them like a puzzle. The method used in Japan is to cut pieces of timber using fret saw, stick them together and slice the timber about1cm thick with plane into many sheets of picture at the same time.This is called Yosegi. I use both fret saw and knife. In Europe, since old times, furniture, especially expensive furniture has been decorated by putting on veneer. In Japan, the expression of pure timber is preferred, so I also use the way to carve the picture made by veneer to solid timber.
Motifs I use for marquetry are mostly flowers and butterflies. It starts from when I first worked in England, with the theme, spring wild flowers bloomed in the client's garden. The gloss on the surface of the wood was just good for expressing the freshness of the petals. And there was a client who ordered me to cut in the butterflies which visit her every year, or even one who ordered me to represent dragonflies. When I design flowers or bugs I treasure the connection between the motif and the client. I want to treasure the fact that the story of the client and the heart of the maker create and remain something.
I don't think furniture is completed when it is sent to client's house. Furniture does not exist as furniture when it is brand new. When furniture softens its expression and get familiar with the daily life of the user, furniture becomes real furniture. That's what I think.
In England, when the restoration comes to the last part, they use the expression "Well used." It is not good to finish it like a brand new piece of furniture. What we had to do was to restore the furniture to be able to join other old furniture and settle at the house. New furniture will be polished even more beautifully by the users' hands by being used.
Connection between people and things, connection between people and people, that is what I want to express in my furniture.
My website is at