Craft&Design TANNO, a woodworking workshop and design studio located In Asahikawa-city, Hokkaido, Japan, is operated by Norio Tanno. Tanno is a craftsman and designer who not only works on his original designs but also makes all the precise wooden parts essential for his pieces. Tanno gives seminars and workshops, focusing on the techniques of his unique woodworking style, both in Japan and abroad.
In Japanese woodwork, craftsmen generally use hand tools such as chisels and saws. Tanno, however, uses power tools and milling machines as if they were mere extensions of his hands to make incredibly small wooden parts. Moreover, he enjoys thinking how to refine and reduce these parts’ dimensions without losing strength.
Timber is a natural material derived from trees with distinct differences in grain and density. Consequently, different timber requires specific machining techniques. Even though there are thousands of tree varieties, only some are suitable for producing the small parts in Tanno’s creations. Small parts also can be made from cutting remains of furniture/cabinet construction. Tanno is adept at breathing new life into this “waste” material. Age can enhance the beauty of this wood. One customer has been using a Tanno business card holder for more than twenty-five years and marvels at its wonderful radiance and patina.
“I have not learned my skills through year of experience,” Tanno says. He believes that everyone, with commitment, can make pieces through the Tanno process. Everyone can benefit from Tanno’s tips, methods, and techniques. Most important, however, is the individual’s ability to tap his/her own gift of creativity. When a current piece is completed, the next piece is born from it. Tanno’s mantra is, “It can be better.” Tanno is a firm believer in striving for improvement.
This website in English is Tanno’s first homepage about his work. He chose English to make his techniques available to people throughout the word and to encourage Japan’s younger generation to communicate with those in other countries. For him, English and Japanese are tools like chisels and planes.
In sharing his skills, Tanno always encourages other with a smile. “It is nothing special. Everyone can make it. Do it like this. Pretty easy, huh?” His love is found in sharing.
Often people seems not showing their secret skills and make it as only their own skills, but Tanno-san is totally different from it. He enjoy sharing his knowledge & skills not only in Japan but also in other countries actively with his thought “the gift of creativity”. It’s not easy to change the perspective into the world from Japan and start learning different language & also learning new skills from others in that age. My absolute goal, it will be that to become like Tanno-san who has not only has knowledge & skills but also has warm heart to share them to people all over the world and also keep polishing up the attitude “the gift of creativity”.
– Shinobu KOBAYASHI