Exploring new designs. Pushing old boundaries. Asking "What if?". Inspire Woodcraft makes custom art, wall decor, wall covering and one-off pieces that challenges the norm and lets creativity reign.



Shou Sugi Ban: Inspired

The art of using fire to find new beauty in wood.

The art of using fire to find new beauty in wood.

Shou sugi ban, or yakisugi, is a centuries old Japanese technique for preserving and finishing cedar. The way we understand it, the Japanese cedar is actually apart of the cypress family and it is native to Japan. Traditionally, the wood is tied together in bundles of three, forming a long, triangular chimney. The chimney-like structure is put on-end over a fire and charred, pulling the flame upwards and charring the inside faces of the boards. When it's time, the boards are taken off the fire, the ties are cut and the boards are cooled with water, stopping the burning process and hardening the blackened, charred surface. The cooled, black surface becomes resistant to sun and rain, insects, rot and fire itself.

So why add "inspired" to the name of the technique?

We haven't exactly stuck to the traditional rules. One day while designing a coffee table, we had the idea of lightly burning the edges of the boards we were using, and then staining the boards one color. The theory was that it would give the boards a light-to-dark contrast and give an interesting visual effect. While we were right in theory, it didn't turn out exactly how we wanted. So we kept developing the process to try and achieve a look we were satisfied with. What we soon discovered is that by fulling scorching a piece of wood and then brushing away the loose char, the wood grain itself would stay intact and blacken, while the soft spring wood in between the grain could be removed, leaving a beautiful, contrasting visual element not normally seen. The only logical next step in our minds was to add a colorful stain, wipe it down, and see what happened.

The rest is history.

The results that we achieved in the beginning was just that: the beginning. We use different kids of brushes, machinery, burn techniques, milling and stain methods in our work because each technique develops completely different results. We now have figured out how to incorporate all these different techniques to create captivating visuals for art/decor pieces and for a unique, one-of-a-kind wall covering.

Unique Builds

one-off designs and custom requests. the humble roots of inspire woodcraft.

one-off designs and custom requests. the humble roots of inspire woodcraft.

Inspire Woodcraft basically came to life from a simple planter box. In the beginning there were no specialties. No niche. No signature design style. Everything that was made was designed custom for our home, our friend's and family's homes, local businesses and friendly neighbors.

That brand image is still the same today. Planters, cutting boards, furniture, home goods and decor are just some of the things that we have designed and built. We love new and interesting things. Like specially sized shelving. Floating desks. A bench that has to fit a certain theme or space.

If you have a vision in your mind and need help bringing it to physical form, we want to know! Feel free to reach out via the Contact page and tell us what ideas you have!