The animals of Maruyama Zoo have been wonderfully re-imagined with heartfelt craftsmanship in this "Wooden Zoo" set.
"草の実工房もく" (Kusa no Jitsu Koubou Moku) is a workshop those with disabilities can join to work independently in a supporting environment. The workshop produces wood crafted specialty furniture and door nameplates among other things, but their specialty is products that take advantage of the detail possible with a jigsaw.
The craftsman's skilled use of the jigsaw is what makes the "Wooden Zoo" possible. Each animal is crafted by hand out of large pieces of wood.
I asked Mr. Fujino, the head of the workshop, why they had decided to make a wooden set of animals from Maruyama Zoo.
"草の実工房もく" (The workshop) used to be a member of the Sapporo Maruyama Zoo Revitalization Board. So, we were trying to think up ways that we could help revitalize the image of the zoo, and what we came up with was a wooden set of animals to help promote the zoo in an interesting and artful way. That was the impetus of our creating the set."
"I'm in charge of overseeing who we put on each part of the job and monitoring their work, whether it be the jigsaw, the sander, or any other step. We use the jigsaw to cut the basic forms, but each piece also takes several other careful steps, all done by hand, to be completed."
The materials used in production are all from Hokkaido; Japanese Judas Tree and the Prickly Castor Oil Tree are both used. Each piece of wood used is examined for softness, shape, smell, and visual appeal. The finished animal is then sanded so that it's smooth to the touch, with no rough spots or sharp corners to be found.
Because the product was created to support Maruyama Zoo, it has been branded with the "Sapporo Style" label, meaning it is a Sapporo city based product.
There are two variations available. The S-size set is a wooden box with 28 animal pieces inside. The L-size set contains 30 pieces, as well as other goodies including a keychain and magnet. The “Wooden Zoo” works perfectly as a toy for kids and also makes a wonderful coffee table item or windowsill decoration!
You can purchase this item at the recently opened showroom "Mokkuru." If you aren't able to come to the showroom, you can also mail order the item. Details are below.
● 社会福祉法人 草の実工房もく (The Workshop)
216-1 Bankei, Chuo-ku, Sapporo
TEL : 011-621-0708
FAX : 011-621-0727
● 木製雑貨・家具のお店「もっくる」(The Showroom)
2-3 Minami 13-Jyo Nishi 7-Chome, Chuo-ku, Sapporo
TEL : 090-8516-9623
FAX : 011-562-7106
■ Hours of Operation: 10:00-4:00
■ Closed: Sat/Sun, Holidays.
● Sapporo Style Shop
Location: JR East Tower 6th Floor, Kita 5-Jyo Nishi 2-Chome, Chuo-ku, Sapporo
Hours of Operation: 10:00-8:00 (Year Round)
TEL : (011) 209-5501
(Hokkaido Likers Writer - Takako Chiba)
※ Photographs of the product courtesy of 草の実工房もく, all others courtesy of Sapporo Style.