Illustration above: Camille Ronceray
Today I am very happy to share the first article of the “Craftsmanship” series with you. These articles will be summing up interviews I am carrying out in both France and Japan in order to understand craftsmanship better – thanks to craftspeople and stakeholders in the craftsmanship field themselves.
Contribution to craftsmanship
Karl Mazlo is a fine jeweller. He creates unique pieces made to match perfectly with each client’s personal story, personality and psychology. He constantly carries out careful research to find the best and most relevant materials. He likes to question the statu quo. In addition, he initiates collaboration with craftspeople all around the world. They can complement each other.
Experience in Japan
Karl Mazlo was selected to take part in the Villa Kujoyama residency in 2016. His project had a strong focus on collaborating with local craftspeople, sharing techniques, tools and inspirations. He designed specific tools in order to bond with local craftspeople and trigger their curiosity.
What he learned in Japan can be summed up in two key notions “patience” and “benevolence”. He now admits that things take time – relationships to be built, objects to be designed. He also is very grateful for people’s attitude when he was carrying out his project in Japan. He says that, coming back to France he was a new man: he was taking more time to think before he spoke ; he learned how to be a better listener.
Cultural highlights about Japan
- “Wabi-sabi does not really apply here”. Karl had to start a piece of work over after it was immersed in the wrong chemicals and turned out bright red.
- “Go to Takashimaya and check out exhibitions about craftsmanship organized twice a year!”
Influence of Japan on Karl’s work and lifestyle
When he came back from Japan, Karl completely changed his professional project. He basically started over – getting new machines to follow his newly discovered path.
Useful tips for someone who wants to visit Japan
Karl emphasizes that one should be loyal to the people they meet. It takes time to establish and maintain relationships there – but once you are part of the group, people can be extremely generous!
Advice for The Dorayaki Project
- “You can be a documentary maker, go visit craftspeople’s workshop and make pictures!”
- “It is better to have someone introduce you to Japanese people. You should try to find a mutual friend every time”
Supportive words about The Dorayaki Project
- “It doesn’t matter if you do not speak Japanese as long as you can speak English”
- “Japan will change your life!”
Thank you very much Karl!
Karl Mazlo’s website : http://karlmazlo.com/
The original interview was carried out in French in Paris in November 2017