· Tuesday March 25, 2014

Casual, low rise couches; broad dining tables paired with elegant chairs; and stools lined with sheep's wool, monokraft crafts wooden furniture to stay with you for life.

Produced on a made-to-order basis, each design is brought to life in a workshop in central Hokkaido, where a single craftsman is responsible for taking each design from raw material to its finished state. Accordingly, each order emerges with a subtle uniqueness, carrying the signature of the craftsman in it's curves and transitions.

With a background in design and architecture, Toru Shimizu launched the brand just over a decade ago, and not content with simply being a designer, he spent a year studying woodwork at Capellagården, a self-sufficient school of craft founded by Carl Malmsten on an island in the south of Sweden. Upon returning to Tokyo, his experiences in re-learning design by hand have influenced the refined shapes and forms of his furniture designs.

Equally intriguing is a visit to Toru's showroom where he displays monokraft's furniture alongside unworked timber blocks, conceptual sandglasses and a small range of hand-worked cutlery, cutting boards and coat-hooks that he creates in the small workshop at the rear of the space.