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Musings about daily production and related matters



Looking back on 2023

2023 was a year in which I traveled outside of Gifu Prefecture more often. Starting in Kochi in March, I have been to Toyama, Nagano, Mie, and other places since I started exhibiting this year. Meeting users and being able to directly talk about their works and materials was very stimulating and I learned a lot. I was also very blessed to have had the opportunity to meet exhibitors and organizers who were involved in the exhibition, and I had a very happy time. I would like to continue the sales style of demonstrating the production while taking into consideration safety management and the venue. I really like the live feeling of being able to hand over freshly carved works, and I think there are few opportunities to convey the feel and scent of raw wood. This is a strength unique to all-handmade work.

This is the second year that we have donated a portion of our online sales to forests and greenery. This year (period: 2022.12.1-2023.11.30), we donated 2,022 yen to the National Land Afforestation Promotion Organization (Green Fund). We hope that this small amount will be useful for maintaining the forests and greenery around you all over the country who purchased spoons from our online shop this year.

(※All HÖBAL SPOON products are hand-carved from green logs using an axe and knife. We use small diameter trees that have been thinned or pruned, as well as small diameter trees felled in forest management activities in which we participate. By learning about the environment in which the green trees were grown and communicating this to users, we aim to create spoons that can be used for a long time while thinking of the forest.)

During the production process, we also held workshops and Satoyama Club experience sessions. We believe that the experience of carving wood in the forest can heal and polish the soul. And then something is created... it can only be a good thing. Currently, we are only accepting on-site visits, but we would like to prepare to provide more opportunities next year.

Thank you very much to everyone who purchased our works in 2023 and to everyone who had the opportunity to work with us.

We will continue to work hard, hoping to encounter more time-filled works and meet you all again in the future.


Looking back on 2022

2022 has been a year in which I’ve spent a lot of time on things other than production.

I have been participating in the Monju no Mori Satoyama Club for three years now, and I have been involved in making shaving horses, designing advertisements and PR, preparing workshops, and writing reports for events supported by Hino Motors. Since I started from scratch, I have a lot to do and have gained a lot. In addition, we have established a new green woodworking department for club members, and have been able to create a place where they can practice everything from forest maintenance to utilization. I would like to invite people who live in areas without forests nearby, like me, to participate, and gradually increase the number of people who can use forest trees as they are.

Also, through a certain connection, we were invited to hold a workshop at Gifu National College of Technology. As it was part of a class, there were many aspects that we had to carefully consider, such as the number of tools we could prepare and infection control measures, and it was a very good experience. Every time we hold a workshop, I think that the way the green wood is carved comes out in the personality of the person. It has become something to look forward to every time, even from the preparation stage. Being able to convey the meaning of using green wood and the current state of the forest is a strength unique to green wood workers (probably a minority) who proactively enter the forest. Every time we make connections with various fields, we learn more through forests and trees.


The thoughts behind [HÖBAL SPOON]

The brand name HÖBAL means to stuff one's cheeks, and is actually Japanese.

It may be bad manners, but I feel happy when I stuff my mouth full of food. What's more, I finish eating quickly, so it's efficient... When I was working as an office worker, I was very busy and had trouble taking breaks.


A few years later, when I came across a Swedish spoon with a very large spoon-shaped surface, I thought, "This is what I wanted to use then!" Japanese food culture is becoming more Westernized, and many people use tableware from Northern Europe. I decided to propose a Swedish spoon with a slight modification to suit Japanese food culture. It can be used for efficient meals during the day, when you want to enjoy a leisurely meal in the evening, and can also be used to scoop up desserts and serve food. And it's a size that makes it easy to carry around (I'm being greedy...). All of my works, including the all-in-one spoon that can be used with a variety of styles, are carved using only hand tools. ​With gratitude to the forest and cherishing the trees that have grown, I hope that mealtimes will be wonderful moments. ​


The umlaut above the O is written as

It makes your face look delicious.

I brand the spoons I make with this iron on the bottom as a charm.

If you have the opportunity, please pick it up and check it out.

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