What an engrossing book! Part philosophy, part cultural history, an intriguing walk through the mind of a man who was one of the preeminent designers and furniture makers of the 20th century. Filled with photographs and beautiful sketches of trees/wood/tools, Nakashima shares his personal history and beliefs alongside his approach to, and reverence for, working with wood. His designs are functional and beautiful and it is clear that he collaborates intimately with his materials, some of which he brings from woods to workshop. Left me wanting to head east and tour his studio – still functioning, still producing, in the capable hands of his daughter. To read of his intense commitment to bringing the life of the tree forward into his projects was just so pleasurable.
I should add that I am a tad obsessed with wood, with trees. Once, an owner of a business that sold hardwoods chased me down as I was leaving to give me a sample of lacewood that I had been fondling the entire time we spoke. It still sits by my bed.