Tsugi Journal | summer 2023

Every Season I send out a 'Newsletter', so 4 times a year a compillation of post about Tsugi's work, inspirations, woodworking technique's and other interesting info

September 9, 2023

Festive opening the Joinery Sunday 17 September from 14:00

In December 2020 Tsugi, together with woodworkers Olga Micińska, Maurice van der Kraats and Ruud Dubel, moved into the live/work collective Plantage Dok. Situated around the corner from Artis, the zoo in Amsterdam, we rebuilt the space from head to toe: the walls were soundproofed, we laid a wooden floor, built a loft, re-laid all the electrics, installed a pleasant heating system for winter time and hung sunny daylight LED lights on the ceiling. By now, all the machines are running, and we have reached the stage of finishing the kitchenette.

Together, we have created a place that is more than a fine workshop with the necessary machines. The Joinery is a meeting- and exchange space, where work is exhibited and where the public, fellow makers and trainees are invited to learn to work with local wood.

On Sunday the 17th of September 2023 we will celebrate our opening (and 3 years existence). Be very welcome! Some of our work will be on display from 2pm and of course we will provide food, drinks and music.

For us to know how many are attending, would you be so kind to make a reservation?

In the meantime...

At the moment I am working on a real nice assignment: a freestanding structure to perform Shibari in. Shibari is a Japanese art form in which a person is tied with rope in an artistic and sensual/erotic manner. The binding itself is an important part of the ritual and is guided by aesthetic rules.

Even though Shibari has an erotic touch, I see much similarity to wood joinery. Both are techniques for joining something together (making something tightly secure). One using rope, the other wood. In both practices there is a need to make it technically sound and safe to use in the first place and aesthetically appealing secondly. Rope and wood are natural materials and sensual to the touch.

I am working together on this one with André Cramer, befriended architect and builder - with an interest in working with solid wood. He is very skilled in technical drawing, so I am learning a lot from him. At the same time, I teach André what I know about wood and wood-joinery.

Hua Hua, the Shibari artist who asked me to make this structure, has a love for Japanese joinery and will use the detachable structure for workshops and performances.

To make a connection to the place she lives we chose to use Dutch Elm for the base and Ash wooden pegs. (In Scandinavian mythology Elm resembles the female and Ash the male)

Curious about the making process? I will post some making off's on instagram @tsugiwoodworks

Totem continues


The last couple of months I have pleasantly worked with talented illustrator Noa Zuidervaart. We searched for a way to express in woodwork the connection between humans and nature. The project Totem has been made possible by The Creative Industries Fund NL. Together, we made spiritual objects that tie in with the age-old tradition of using totems. Now Noa has started drawing for the publication that we are making. Stichting Stokroos granted us funding to make a publication about Totems and the process of contemporary totem-making. You can read more about the project here.

Photograph by Mattie van der Worm Table #6: short film

In the midst of the COVID pandemic, filmmaker Gonzalo Fernandez and I made the short film Table#6. In 22 minutes, you witness the poetic quality of making a table without glue or screws - inspired by Japanese wood joints. Step by step, a stack of pear wood planks is transformed into a table. Despite the restrictions, our film has been screened at several places in recent years, including the Ambacht in Beeld Festival and Filmtheater De Fabriek in Zaandam. You can now watch it in full on Tsugi's website or YouTube channel. Table # 6 is generously supported by the Amsterdam Fund of the Arts (AFK).

Soundtrack van Table #6

the soundtrack

We are very grateful to the band Tczeebo for the beautiful soundtrack! The album Table Music was composed and recorded especially for our film. You can listen to it here.

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