BACKSTORIES by Tokuhiko Kise

I have “picked up” many things over time. Literally.
In the past when there was the regular oversized-garbage collection day, I would go out around the city like a treasure hunter, finding things that to others were just garbage but to me glistened like treasures in the streets.

I would take them home and sometimes they fit in just right with the rest of the furniture. Sometimes something just wasn’t right. When that was the case, I would put on a layer of paint and suddenly they would blend in.

I make furniture with grainy wood – that is, actual wood – so naturally my house has grown full of furniture that I have made from all different shades and grains. I knew that somewhere in the middle of all that mixed wood color and texture, having a roughly painted white shelf would balance out the atmosphere. And I also knew that it would be especially nice to have things that you want to look at, in all colors from white to brown, displayed on the white shelves that blended in with the walls.

Then the thought came to me – there are probably a lot of people who would be interested in a shelf like that. I thought that you could buy one like it somewhere, but in fact, that wasn’t the case.

The wood of the Laboratory Shelf is carefully selected for its thickness. To add stability, I reinforced the bottom edges with steel and attached strong steel legs. I scrubbed the surface of the wood, which removes the soft parts and reveals its rough, textured surface. Then I painted it so you can still see and feel the texture of the wood underneath.

No matter what you use it for – displaying your collections, stacking your dishes and tableware, showing your books, or storing towels and linens – it looks like it’s smiling at you. And plus, I think it’s fun figuring out what way to arrange things makes it do just that!

Tokuhiko Kise