Wood inlay Sadaji Uchida 3
- ━ I heard the jigsaw blades are made using the springs from clocks, from when you started were all the tools handmade by the master?
- Yes, all the tools are handmade.
- ━ Do you still find technical challenges in your work?
- Yes of course, there are many. The hardest would be the jigsaw. Depending on the jigsaw used the final piece differs greatly. I retired 2 years ago, one reason being my eyes have deteriorated, and I fell off my bicycle and broke my leg, after that I couldn’t make jigsaw blades as well as I wanted to. That’s the main reason I decided to retire.
- ━ Wood inlays are made up of many patterns and many shades of wood, how many types of wood do you use?
I used to use mainly Japanese wood, however recently I have been using imported wood, which has a very defined color. I’ve never counted the different types of wood I use. I think there are many kinds of wood used, but even within a single piece of wood, depending on the part of the wood used the color differs. This means there are hundreds of kinds of wood to choose from. When doing wood inlaying I mainly use the broadleaf tree. If I used a tree like the Conifer for example, it becomes brittle when cut thinly.My master said it is more beautiful to use and stain only one type of wood, but the stain we use now changes color when exposed to sunlight or florescent light. I used to use stain a little but now instead of staining I leave the natural colors of the wood.
- ━ I think depending on the size and degree of difficulty of each piece the amount of time needed to make a piece changes, how long does it usually take to make a piece?
- Between 2 and 3 months. The piece called ‘Utamaro no Mikaeri Bijin’ took a year to complete, but it depends on the personality of the craftsman, in my case I like to concentrate on one piece of work at a time.
- ━ What was the reason for ‘Inlaying’ prospering in Hakone and Odawara?
- The surrounding mountains were covered in trees, and Hakone has many hot springs and therapeutic baths that attract people who bought the works. But I think the main reason was there were traders who exported the works to overseas markets. During the war I was stationed on the island of Andaman, which is In the Bay of Bengal, India. I was surprised to find one of the pieces I had made. I started as a soldier in Singapore and over the next six years moved south. I went as a soldier but in reality I was a guard I did not have to do any fighting. After the war many of my friends contracted Malaria and died, but I was lucky enough to be ok.