A Japanese woodworker has developed a “three-dimensional wood inlay” technique that allows him to create exceptional artworks that require no coloring whatsoever.
From intricate carpets carved right into wood flooring, to whimsical furniture that looks warped and cracked, we’ve feature some awesome wood art over the years, but I think it’s safe to say that the creations of Japanese woodworker Toru Fukuda are on a whole other level than anything we’ve ever showed you before. The young craftsman garnered attention recently for his latest work, a simple wooden board with droplets of water on it. Only that water is actually wood that only looks like water. And that’s just one of the incredible creations Fukuda has produced, some of which look too good to be true.
“I carved water droplets from wood,” Toru Fukuda, a woodworker from Otoineppu Village, Hokkaido, tweeted last week. His cryptic message left his tens of thousands of fans wondering what he had come up with this time, and when he uploaded a photo of his latest artwork, they were not disappointed.
Looking at the simple yet impressive creation, you can tell why Fukuda’s photo got a decent 130,000 likes on Twitter alone. Not only do the droplets look incredibly realistic, they are made exclusively of wood, no actual water, no varnish or coloring whatsoever.
So how did he do it? The artist told Japanese magazine Withnews that he simply took a 23-cm-long board of ebony, a hard wood that becomes glossy when polished. He shaved 1.5mm off the top, leaving the outline of the still angular droplets. Then, he carefully beveled each individual droplet, before using find sandpaper to polish them. Finally, he gave the water that shiny, fluid look by rubbing the wooden droplets with a cloth and a bit of wax.
The photo of the board alone garnered an impressive number of likes on social media, but it was not the complete artwork. A few days ago, Toru Fukuda also added an insanely detailed wooden butterfly that appears to be drinking from the realistic water droplets. The insect is all wood as well, and features a wing motif done exclusively through wood inlay.
Mr. Fukuda is a big fan of insects, so the butterfly featured in his latest work of art is just one of many impressive creatures he has sculpted from wood. His collection also includes large beetles, grasshoppers and other butterflies, all done exclusively from wood, with no coloring.
The Hokkaido-based woodworker originally worked for a furniture manufacturing company, but at the age of 20 he decided that he wanted to become an artist, so he dedicated all of his time to using his talents for artistic purposes.
In his Twitter bio, Toru Fukuda describes himself as the inventor of “three-dimensional wood inlay”, which essentially means taking traditional Japanese wood inlay art (Mokuzogan) and applying it to three-dimensional sculptures. This way, he can create strikingly realistic artworks while using only the natural color and texture of the wood.
For more amazing sculptures, check out the plasticine masterpieces of Mexican artist Amadeus Garuda, and the fondant statuettes of China’s Sugar King.