Matt Innes and Saori Kajiwara bring font and furniture together in their functional collaborations. Together they have made tables out of Kanji characters and ampersands, as well as, a unique bookshelf and an incense holder. The two started with the EastWest tables after becoming interested in the structural qualities of Kanji, or Chinese characters that the Japanese language adopted that developed from brush strokes. Innes said they could see the modular structures with repeated elements that Kanji has refined into, would make for “surprisingly functional and beautiful objects.” Only slight changes were made to the form of the East and West characters to make them into beautiful physical structures.
In order to make the furniture, Innes and Kajiwara started with desk sketches and vectors before sending them out for CNC cutting. Because they aren’t mass producing their work, Innes and Kajiwara have to align, clamp and assemble the pieces themselves. They do practice rounds before gluing the wood because the non-toxic, food safe product they use only has an open time of 20 minutes. Then they file and sand to get the curves reflective of their original vectors before finishing with Danish oil and steel wool. They chose plywood for the natural patterning and color variation that comes with layering wood and for practicality. Through this process they are able to achieve the sexy curves you see in the letters. The little pockets in the Os of the book shelf and the West character and other accents are part of what makes these timber goods really special.
None of the large pieces the pair have done have been sold but if any of you ampersand devotees have money to spare, you could be eating of this stunning table, which is for sale through Council of Objects. Innes and Kajiwara are also starting their own studio with a website launching soon so be on the look out for more pieces like this and some of their other design work.