Family Affair: The Craft Behind MatsuokaAuthor:Lindsey Shook
In 1866 on the island of Honshu, the Matsuoka family began producing exceptionally fine examples of traditional Japanese wedding furniture. Since then, this family-owned company has refined and perfected their techniques, keeping the ancient artisanal skills alive.
Located in Fuchu City, Hiroshima—the historic manufacturing center of Japan—Matsuoka’s team of craftspeople maintain the bygone traditional practices disappearing due to the rise of automation over the last thirty years. In an effort to support this community of artists and increase awareness of the richness and relevance of Japan’s aesthetic traditions, the brand has gone international, available now through A. Rudin in California.
Beyond just their value as an historic artistic and manufacturing institution, Matsuoka uses some of the rarest woods to create each masterpiece. Their team of craftspeople have searched the world far and wide to collect a priceless inventory of more than 70 species of the world’s most spectacular veneers and inlays.
Matsuoka’s most recent collaborations with Australian designer Christian Lyon and U.S. designer Orlando Diaz-Azcuy bring their distinctive modern tastes to the brand’s traditional forms and proprietary techniques.
Designer Christian Lyon was puzzled when trying to find a very specific piece for a client while abroad in Japan. “My client was looking for a piece that required very specialized skills to produce; I was having difficulty finding such a piece until I came upon Matsuoka, who had kept these skills alive for the past century and a half. I’m so excited to be collaborating with this company to whom I give the greatest respect.” Lyon’s pieces nod to Japan’s aesthetic history while bringing in modern silhouettes and built for today’s lifestyles.
Orlando Diaz-Azcuy is an internationally recognized designer based out of San Francisco whose collaboration with Matsuoka infuses a cutting-edge approach to design, playing with structure and creating pieces that offer sculptural richness as well as speak to traditional Japanese techniques. “Matsuoka’s skill and material knowledge make them the perfect fit for the pieces we’ve designed; they bring such freshness and confidence to the design process,” notes the iconic designer.
With over 150 years of experience in crafting the finest furniture pieces, Matsuoka Furniture continues a legacy of skill, passion, and technique, employing their team of experts to execute masterful works in rare and exotic woods and finishes.
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