Jazz Is Dead.

Or is it, Mr. Garcia?  The geek in me (which is most of me) is fascinated with CNC routers, milling machines, computer aided design, 3D design programs, basically all things woodworking nerd related.  My day job is at an architectural firm so I am fortunate to deal with a lot of these programs on a daily basis.

When I saw a link to the Vimeo video (embedded below) created by Bakoko, in a Popular Woodworking blog entry by, Mr. Ajax Alexandre, I was immediately conflicted.  I have seen CNC (computer numerical control) machines perform these tasks before but not quite on this scale.  I think it is both inspiring and hopeful that in this industrial, high-tech age people want to live in timber framed homes.  This style of home can be designed to fit into a large variety of architectural styles from rustic cabin to uber-modern city dwelling.  The fact that this was in Japan was not really a surprise.

Japanese carpenters, or "Daiku San, 大工" have produced some of the worlds most amazing and beautiful timber structures for thousands of years.  It was also not really a surprise to hear in the video that there are fewer and fewer Daiku San every year, a sad fact everywhere.  Because of the dwindling ambition of young people to become carpenters machines now do a lot of the work.  This is not necessarily a bad thing or the end of craftsmanship or some dark apocalyptic message, as someone had to design these amazing machines and get them to operate properly, but it does seem a little less romantic and much more impersonal.  It was somewhat warming to my heart to hear that there were still some joints that had to be cut by actual carpenters, and to watch the dwelling go together with commanders, sweat and muscle is a thing of beauty.

If you are interested in learning more about Japanese joinery, I highly recommend Art of Japanese Joinery by Kiyosi Seike or The Complete Japanese Joinery by Hideo Sato, Yasua Nakahara and translated by Koichi Paul Nii which also has building details.

On a side note, I am planning to get some "artsy-fartsy" videos up on Vimeo this year.  I'd like to do a series relating to the work process and workshops of some local woodworkers, toolmakers, and artisans.  We shall see where time takes us.  Because I know myself very well, I realize that I may very well be saying the same thing on January 2nd, 2013.

1 comment:

  1. This is really interesting. You are a great blogger. I have joined your feed and look forward to seeing more of your work.
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