Touchstone Center for Crafts’ 2018 Artist of the Year: Tadao Arimoto

Tadao Arimoto is Touchstone’s 2018 Artist of the Year! Tadao is a sculptor, woodworker, and furniture designer. Born in Japan, Tadao studied industrial design at the International Design Institute in Kyoto and at Kansai University in Osaka. Around the time that he became an apprentice carpenter in Kyoto and Nara, he met sculptor Shigeru Ueki, who strongly influenced the course of Tadao’s work. He then began to work in the construction of furniture in the remote mountain village of Miyama, Kyoto.

Tadao moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1976, where he has taught woodworking for more than 25 years. In addition to teaching, Tadao practices his craft at his workshop in Pittsburgh as well as attending and teaching at domestic and international workshops. In recent years, Tadao has contributed works to local universities, exhibited at national events, and was recognized as a Master Visual Artist by the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. His work can be seen at Chatham University, where he designed and built exterior doors and windows, as well as benches and tables in the Sarah Heinz House. While Tadao’s focus has shifted from private works to larger and more public commissions, he invites anyone interested in his work, or in woodworking, to contact him.

Tadao’s artist statement reads: "When a mass of rough and dry wood receives a sharp blade and is turned into a geometric shape inspired by nature, it seems to get its second life. I feel that I am an arranger of that process, selecting the best match, providing a sharp blade for the best result, and bringing out the right finish. Pennsylvania is an appropriate place to do this, and it has blessed me with its rich forests of hardwood. I strive to use this resource carefully, giving the trees a second life."

Touchstone is excited to celebrate Tadao Arimoto, a talented, hardworking, and renowned maker, with an exhibit in the Bea Campbell Gallery at Touchstone Center for Crafts in Farmington, PA from May 4 through June 22, 2018. Please check back for more information or call 724-329-1370. To see some of Tadao’s work visit:

Tadao will be teaching ‘Making Hexagon and Octagon Boxes’ at Touchstone from August 24–27, 2018. In this workshop, students will create one-of-a-kind boxes! You will learn to make a small bento box (jewelry box size) and a Japanese style, small drawer in a case with an air glide feel (lunchbox size). We will use a variety of tools, including hand and portable power tools.

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Mission Statement: Touchstone Center for Crafts is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance excellence in the arts and crafts by educating and encouraging individuals to develop technical skills, good design, and innovative expression.

Touchstone Center for Crafts condemns all acts of racism, discrimination, and senseless violence. We firmly believe that everyone has a right to dignity, respect, and equality without fear.  As an organization, we commit to listen and learn and to grow. We will continue to work to empower people to use art as a means of expression, a way to build community, and a powerful voice for change.

Touchstone Center for Crafts · 1049 Wharton Furnace Rd. · Farmington · PA 15437

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