Based in Cockington, Devon, the husband and wife team behind Takahashi McGil create functional homeware and furniture made from a mix of local or sustainable hardwoods.
South african Born Mark McGilvray and Kaori Takahashi from Japan both graduated Fine Art at the Wimbledon School of Art. Though they started making simple pieces for themselves, their craft has now happily become their livelihood. In their Devon studio, they combine time-honoured Japanese traditions honed in Tokyo with western techniques.
Together they plane, chisel, turn, wax and lacquer with great precision and attention to detail. Each considered piece celebrates the natural beauty of the material - knots and air-dried cracks included.
Kaori and Mark spent the summer of 2018 in Japan, learning the art of urushi lacquering. Urushi is lacquer made from the sap of a tree and makes the wood waterproof as well as adding strength. They both work on the same pieces but Mark is more likely to have done the turning and Kaori will have used the chisels. Regardless of the distribution of labour, the work is beautiful to look at and a delight to handle. Takahashi McGil’s furniture is now only made to commission with the smaller pieces having taken over as the larger part of their output.