Takahashi McGil are an artistic duo comprised of husband and wife, Mark McGilvray and Kaori Takahashi, who met at Wimbledon School of Art where they both studied Fine Art. Mark is from South Africa and Kaori is from Japan and the pair now live and work in Devon, where they are part of the Devonshire Guild of Craftsmen.
Takahashi McGil’s functional furniture and homeware is made from hardwoods sourced locally and through a combination of Japanese and Western techniques, traditions and tools. Originally, their pieces were intended solely for personal use, but their company was happily formed in 2016. Their creations are made through a collaborative process, with Mark woodturning and Kaori chiselling. Takahashi McGil’s production expanded to include lacquerware following a trip to Japan in 2018. They were introduced to urashi lacquering, which originates as tree sap, and makes objects waterproof as well as adding strength. The urashi lacquering process demands a meticulous approach, with the necessity of applying several layers of lacquer, as well as the perfect, humid temperature, for the lacquer to dry.
Japanese-Amererican woodworker, George Nakashima, who promoted working with the live edge (outside) of a tree, is a major influence for Takahashi McGil. Takahashi McGil’s works celebrate the imperfections of the materials they use, including knots and air-dried cracks, resulting in organic creations which stay true to their natural form and its inherent beauty.