The Bamboo Craft of Ippo Shimomoto

With minimal social media presence and limited media coverage, locating Shimomoto Ippo proved to be a challenging task. We organized our journey to Shikoku, holding onto the mere hunch that he might be situated in the Kochi prefecture. This undertaking took us just over a year to meticulously plan and develop.

Our fascination with bamboo as a material began when we visited John Hardy’s Kapal bamboo boutique and workshop in the late 2000s after driving past a billboard ad. Recognized as one of the most sustainable and renewable resources, bamboo boasts rapid growth, low water consumption, high carbon sequestration capabilities, and complete biodegradability. The latter aspect holds particular significance in our field.

Due to moisture, bamboo naturally degrades within just a few years when exposed to the elements, making it challenging to find bamboo products that maintain superior quality. However, our quest for such excellence came to fruition when we discovered Ippo San’s craftsmanship.

Nestled in the remote foothills of Kochi, stands a modest dwelling with a remarkably small footprint. Here, Ippo San and his team of four dedicate most of their days to their craft. A short distance away lies the handmade kiln, crafted by Ippo San using material collected from a nearby source. The workshop is enveloped by a lush forest and bamboo trees, and everything created within this space is sourced directly from the surrounding land. It is truly exceptional.

Bamboo harvested based on size to suit specific purposes and is subsequently cut into uniform lengths. These pieces undergo a smoking process in the kiln, eliminating moisture and disinfecting the material entirely. This method imparts a distinctive finish to each of Ippo San’s creations. Alongside his team, they craft approximately 60 different objects, ranging from chopsticks to molded wall hooks, which are sold domestically.

We waited 8 months to finally receive our order and we are incredibly pleased to share his works in store. We will be showcasing his works through our first curated exhibition starting from 25 January till 9 February 2024.

The exhibition will end with the last product sold.


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