J Life Gifts
Wood, art, and tradition
J Life Gifts is the brand created by J Wood, Inc. The brand makes and distributes kumiko objects designed for a less formal use compared to the traditional kumiko decorations.
Long traditions for daily use
J Life Gifts is the brand created by J Wood, Inc.
The brand makes and distributes kumiko objects designed for a less formal use compared to the traditional kumiko decorations.
J Wood stands by its uncompromised decision to only make kumiko objects by hand and using human-assisted machines, not giving in to the attractiveness of mass production despite its significantly lower costs.
J Life Gifts goods are characterized by relatively simple patterns, obtained through extremely precise skills: as it often happens with Japanese traditional crafts, the superior beauty can be noticed and fully appreciated only at a closer look.
J Wood opened a J Life GIfts showroom in Kyoto. They display all their regular products, along with items and decorations made especially for the showroom. The space also features an "experience corner", where visitors may purchase and create their kumiko object themselves, instructed by a J Wood family member in person.
Hand-making at any cost
The process of creating a kumiko object for J Life Gifts starts with the planning stage, from the hand-drawn design. The fully analogic process allows the artisan to take extreme care to all details: considering that more than a hundred pieces of wood can be used to make a 10x10 cm object, details are what makes the difference between mass production and craftmanship.
During the drawing process, the artisans will choose the type of wood (usually conifers) and estimate the number of pieces to use to make the object. J Wood goes as far as planning which side of each piece of wood will be facing outwards depending on what part of the object it will be used for.
The planning stage often takes most of the time necessary to create a kumiko object, as anything that needs to be done afterwards only depends on the artisan's skills. Most times, as a kumiko artisan usually takes 10 years to feel worthy of such definition, the manufacturing process is smooth and quick.
Simple, therefore long lived.
In line with the philosophy at J Wood, each kumiko object in the J Life Gifts brand is handmade. For the brand, they opted for relatively simple designs, such as the one you can see on their lamp shade, or patterns that unmistakably convey the unique feel of traditional Japanese shapes, such as in the wooden diffuser. The choice reflects the brand's purpose of providing kumiko objects to a wider audience at more accessible prices, through designs that won't feel obsolete thanks to their simplicity.
While keeping loyal to the fully-hand-made process and the superior quality of the raw materials, J Life Gifts aims to keep the kumiko craft alive and known both in Japan and overseas.