With his workshop peering over a rice field, Norio balances his life with two disciplines: woodworking and farming - both requiring careful attention to detail, planning, and nurturing to make quality products. His approach to these two disciplines are similar: take the time to do everything by hand, for only then can the best be crafted or grown. If we understand these complimentary skill sets which Norio uses, we can better appreciate what makes Norio’s creations truly special.
Norio worked as a designer at one of the biggest furniture companies in Hokkaido. Over time, he realized he loved wood products but didn't feel the office work style was the life he really wanted to lead. Instead, Norio longed to be an artisan and set out to become one. Utilizing his design and furniture backgrounds, he began collaborating with other furniture craftsmen, initially making parts and component pieces. Over time, his collaborations have won awards and become included in museum collections. As he became independent, he opened his own studio.
Norio has an uncanny ability to create parts and mechanisms out of wood. As many of his creations have hinges and doors, he invents and crafts pieces that make his products interactive and functional. Sometimes, these pieces or “parts” are deliberately made from different wood types of which he is then able to combine and add character to the final product.