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Popular wood carving class comes to Highland Park

November 08, 2012|By Craig Nakano
  • Pieces produced by students in a Yo Takimoto wood-carving class in Venice in 2010.
Pieces produced by students in a Yo Takimoto wood-carving class in Venice… (Sachiyo Itabashi )

When we first blogged on woodworker Yo Takimoto's DIY class in Venice, the headline read: "Where carving wood is a sellout event." Students would show up by the dozens and devote an afternoon to chiseling sticks of manzanita, juniper, black persimmon or plum wood into artful abstractions. The novice students left with a piece of sculpture, but more important, they found a measure of peace in the contemplative process.

Now the class that has been filling the courtyard at Tortoise General Store will be staged on the closest thing the Eastside has to an Abbot Kinney: York Boulevard in Highland Park. The store Platform will host the class from 1 to 4 p.m. Cost: $30. All materials will be provided. You may register by email.

In a 2010 Times article by Veronique de Turenne, Takimoto said, "I want my students not to think about the final image or the final shape. I want them to study the wood, let the wood speak." The related blog post includes images of students and teacher at work.

The Platform workshop is a nice excuse to revisit York Boulevard, the heart of Highland Park's revival, which we explored in March. Since then, the restaurant Ba did indeed open, as did the Pop-Hop bookstore, which has been running "maker" workshops and demonstrations, including the T-shirt silk-screening night planned for this Saturday. The Hermosillo bar, Thank You comics and graphic novel store and Scoops ice cream shop opened too, and much of the strip between Avenues 50 and 54 keeps late hours for the Second Saturday art walk.

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