Kreamondo > Blog > A junction between Japan and Florence with Takafumi’s wood marquetry


10 October 2019

A junction between Japan and Florence with Takafumi’s wood marquetry

When Italian design and tradition meets Japanese finesse… Discover the world of wood marquetry through Takafumi’s workshop. Takafumi Mochizuki is the maker at Zouganista di Takafumi Mochizuki, a wood marquetry studio-workshop established in the heart of Florence.

© Takafumi Mochizuki

Kreamondo : Could you tell us about yourself and your journey from Tokyo to Florence ?

Takafumi Mochizuki : I was born and raised in Tokyo and after graduating from university, I decided to work for a furniture company for four years. It’s there that I discovered the world of fine craftsmanship and handicraft which I just couldn’t walk away from. When I turned 27, in 2006, I decided to move to Florence in order to study the art and craft of furniture making and restoration. Pursuing my desire to step into this fascinating world, I learned wooden inlay methods from an Italian master craftsman. Florence opened my eyes on a craft that I didn’t know anything about. The city stands out as its monuments are embedded with these unique techniques. I was eager to learn them and learn how can so many images can be depicted only by using wood’s natural colour.

© Takafumi Mochizuki

Could you explain the difference between wood marquetry and wood inlaying ? What are their spectrum of applications ?

There is a difference in techniques and materials used between the two. Where wood marquetry uses various materials such as pieces of wood, ivory and metal to form an intricate design, the wooden inlay technique creates an image by combining various woods. Not only the wood’s colours but the expressions it portrays makes it a unique art that is similar but very different from painting. However, both wood marquetry and inlay share similar spectrum of application as they have been used for furniture making, wall decoration and even flooring.

© Takafumi Mochizuki

What is the creation process behind making a shoetree or an ornemental spoon ?

The old style of wood inlaying and marquetry are not used in home interiors anymore. It is an ancient style of decoration that has lost in popularity over the years. That’s why I am trying to apply these techniques onto complex curved surfaces and other materials in order to further my own style. However, the techniques I employ are all based on how it was develop back in the Renaissance era. The shadowing techniques and impression of 3D images all date back to this specific period of history.

© Takafumi Mochizuki

Italy and Japan are two countries with great wood marquetry traditions. After living in both countries, how do you perceive your own style of wood marquetry ?

In Italy, artisans are really good at expressing dynamic movements which results in total design. The focus there is on the bigger picture, the piece in its entirety whereas Japanese wood marquetry is known for being extremely meticulous on intricate details. I am working towards a style that combines both the dynamism of Italian wood inlaying and Japanese marquetry finesse.

© Takafumi Mochizuki

What are your hopes for your workshop ? How do you see wood marquetry and inlay evolving over the next few years

Unfortunately, wood inlay and marquetry workshops in Florence are almost gone and I would like to bring a bit of freshness to these techniques by combining them with contemporary designs. There is a need for young Italians and craftspeople to be more interested in this art. Personally, I would like to continue evolving towards a hybrid style of wood inlay and marquetry by adding innovative techniques to this age-old process while preserving its handicraft tradition.

"Magic spoon"

La magia puoi trovarla nelle piccole cose. E a volte anche nei piccoli cucchiai di argento…“Magic spoon"Zouganista di Takafumi Mochizuki: via dei cardatori 20r, Firenze

Publiée par Zouganista di Takafumi Mochizuki sur Mercredi 25 octobre 2017

© Marco Pieraccioli

Follow Takafumi on Instagram, Facebook and on his website to see his latest work and exclusive behind the scenes.

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