Make every day a festival with these pieces.

The high degree of quality that traditional Japanese crafts strive for is well known around the world, but one often overlooked area is the creation of taiko drums. Because of their role as musical instruments, taiko requires nerve-rackingly exact conditions to be made. In their traditional form, they’re carved from the trunk of a zelkova tree over 80 years old. After the initial carving, the wood is then left to dry. However, being a natural material its fate is largely out of the hands of the craftsman and it could suddenly crack or warp at any moment, rendering it useless.

Yoshihiko Miyamoto, the head of taiko maker Miyamoto Unosuke Shoten, recalls that when the sound of wood cracking was heard in the workshop everyone would get a sinking feeling because they knew they wouldn’t be paid that month. Miyamoto’s father, who ran the company at the time, kept the unusable drums in the storehouse because he didn’t want to just throw away something that was acquired at the cost of cutting down a tree.

This bothered Miyamoto, who didn’t like all that space going to waste either, so he would occasionally throw away the old drums. However, after doing so he would always be left with feelings of guilt and wanted to find a better solution. That is how The Curve project began.

As the name suggests, wooden drums are essentially curved pieces of wood. Even if the unusable pieces had no future as drums, many items could make use of curves, so surely there would be other things the could be made with them.

For the first item, Miyamoto Unosuke Shoten teamed up with French designer Pierre Charrie to create a pair of stools which use the curved drum parts. 

▼ Re-Taiko Stool No. 2 (left) and Re-Taiko Stool No. 10 (right)

These two stools can be made to order for 88,000 yen ($656) each, but the Curve project is a lot more than this. Miyamoto Unosuke Shoten is open to working with other designers and even non-designer people with ideas on how to utilize these otherwise fine pieces of wood at the hands of highly-skilled Japanese craftspeople.

The possibilities are only limited by your imagination. These taiko parts could make a neat rocking horse done in a traditional Japanese style, some very elegant looking serving dishes, or even somewhat ironically the body of an electric guitar.  Whatever it is, The Curve may be willing to create anything your brain can drum up.

Related: Miyamoto Unosuke Shoten
Source, images: Press release
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