For a long time, I have been considering how to turn my passion from a hobby into a new way of life. A few months ago I opened AikiCrafts my on-line shop. I am still at an early stage, but already I’ve had interest in my designs and products from all over the world, including Japan and the USA.
My life experience is reflected in my work, incorporating diverse elements that bring together designs and materials from different parts of the world to form a pleasing aesthetic. In my woodwork, I am keen to use authentic craft tools where possible. From my travels in Japan, for example, I use traditional Kanna – Japanese hand planes – and a variety of Japanese handsaws.
Recently I made and sent two bokkens to the States, both custom orders made from air-dried American Hickory. As it transpired one was bought as a gift by the client for his honoured teacher. This is what his teacher had to say: “Thank you Alister and Mitchell. It is beautifully balanced, skillfully crafted and has a spirit of its own. Anyone who has lifted says the same thing: It moves!” Thong Nguyen, Kaizentao
Thong also sent me a beautiful picture to show his gratitude.Google+