春日大社境内の杉(Cedar trees grown in the precincts of the Kasuga Taisha Shrine, UNESCO World Heritage )

春日大社境内の杉から生まれた燭台

木の生命は、二つあると言われることがあります。

一つは、土の上に立ち、年輪を重ねて成長する樹木としての生命。

もう一つは、樹木が伐採され、人間の暮らしを支える道具や素材へと生まれ変わり、木材としての生命です。

この木材の生命は、樹木として年輪を重ねた年月と同じほど、道具や素材としての木材の寿命があるといわれています。

「NEW TRADITIONAL」プロジェクトから生まれた「春日大社境内の杉」は、枯損木や風倒木となった木に、新たな生命を吹き込み、人の暮らしに寄り添うものを提案したいと考えました。



Candleholders made of cedar trees grown in the precincts of the Kasuga Taisha Shrine

One tree is said to have two lives.

One is life as a tree that stands on the soil while growing with annual growth rings.

The other is life as wood that starts after trees were cut down. They reborn as tools and materials in order to support human life, and the life of such a wooden product is said to be proportional to the years of annual growth rings that it had as a tree.

Therefore, when considering what we could utilize the second life opportunity of dead or windthrown cedar woods damaged by natural disaster that used to be grown in a historical shrine in Nara, we wanted to bring them a new life in people’s livelihoods. So, this is the way why the cedar candleholders were born.

「燭台は使いますか?」

商品化を考えるにあたり、日本の道具とうつわを取り扱うお店「空櫁」の五井あすかさんを訪ねた際に尋ねられました。普段の暮らしの中に灯をともす時間を持つための道具は、神域で育った春日大社境内の杉の魅力を感じてもらう商品としてぴったりです。こうして燭台づくりが始まりました。

木材から同軸上にものを切り出すには、旋盤(ロクロ、ターニング)という技術が役立ちます。

五井さんからご紹介いただいたのは Nakajima woodturning studioの中島信太郎さん。ウッドターニング専門の教室や機械販売に加え、作家としての創作活動をし、ウッドターニング・旋盤加工の面白さと専門知識・技術の普及に尽力されています。

加工は、どの木材を使うか決める「木取り」から始まります。木目や反り、腐食具合などを見極めて、燭台に適したものを選ぶことが最初の作業です。



“Do you use a candleholder?”

This was the question that Asuka Goi asked us when we visited her Japanese arts and crafts store, “Soramitsu” in Nara.

Candleholder- the tool to light the candle to have a relaxing moment sounds like a perfect fit for our special new product in order to make the most use of the old cedar wood that used to be grown in the sanctuary of the Kasuga Taisha (Kasuga Grand Shrine), which is registered as UNESCO World Heritage Site. In this way, candleholder making started.

In order to cut out the prototype of the candleholder coaxially from wood, a woodturning lathe and the technique seems to be useful. So we met Shintaro Nakajima, the artisan of the Nakajima Woodturning Studio with Goi’s introduction.

While Nakajima teaches the woodturning classes, sells the machines and has engaged in creative activities as an expert and an artist, he had been dedicating himself to conveying the fun of woodturning and lathe process, disseminating his extensive knowledge and expertise.

The first step of the wood processing starts with planning. Which wood/ wood part can we take to use? After carefully identifying wood grains, warpages, corrosion and condition of each wood, we carefully chose the ones that were suitable for the candleholders.

 

Nakajima woodturning studio

Nakajima woodturning studio

 

Good Job!メンバーによる手作業の表面仕上げ

染め作業を行ったGJ!メンバーのコメント

黒く染め上がった燭台は昔からあったかのような風合いを感じた。染め作業は意外と簡単に燭台が染め上げることができて驚いた。」



Feedback from the GJ! members who got engaged in dyeing work

“The completed candleholders dyed in Black had natural texture as if they had been there over time. I was surprised to find that they could be dyed much easier than I had originally imagined.”

奈良県産のみつろうろうそく

灯りになるろうそくは、ミツバチの巣から採れる「みつろう(蜜蝋)」を使います。

みつろうは、奈良県内で養蜂を営む農家のものを100%混じり気なく使用します。ほのかに甘い香りと深い黄色のろうそくになります。梅雨明けの時期にしか収穫することができない、希少なものです。

燭台には、こちらのろうそくが1本付属します。



Beeswax Candle made in Nara, Japan

The attached candle uses 100% pure Beeswax from a beekeeping farmer in Nara prefecture. The deep-yellow candle has a faintly sweet scent. The beeswax is a rare item which can only be harvested after the rainy season.

One of the candles will be attached to a candleholder with purchase.

真鍮のかすがい

削り出して、染めや表面仕上げを行う過程の中で、いくつかの燭台には割れが生じました。

この割れは、木材が呼吸している証で、その程度は木材によって千差万別。末長くお使いいただくために、両端が針になった金具「かすがい」が打ち込まれています。

このかすがいも、割れに合わせ、その台ごとに作って打ち込んでいます。



PRODUCT

“Kasugai” metal fitting made to fit each crack

There might be cracks on some candleholders since they are naturally made during the process of carving, dyeing and surface finishing.

The crack is a proof that the wood is breathing, and the degree of crack varies depending on the wood. In order to use it for a long time, metal fittings "Kasugai" with needles are driven in on both ends of each crack.

The metal fitting is also created and driven one by one, adjusting each clack for each candleholder.