Julia Morgan said, “Architecture is a visual art, and the buildings speak for themselves.”
Japanese wood joinery uses notches and grooves to lock pieces of wood together to form
strong and sturdy, yet flexible, structures. In traditional Japanese wood joinery, builders put
entire structures together with only the use of wood—no nails or glue were used. This is an art
form all on its own. This way of binding wood to fit perfectly together as though it was always
meant to be one piece is a type of wood art that is both functional and beautiful at the same
I would love to integrate this kind of wood joinery into my design work. It speaks of
thoughtfulness, planning and envisioning, care, and specialized craftsmanship, and represents
the kind of quality we strive for in our work at Silver Elm Studio. Japanese wood joinery
obviously displays these characteristics in plain sight, hiding nothing from its gazers and
revealing its quality and beauty.
It is my goal to design homes with the kind of quality and beauty where homeowners and their
guests can see art in plain sight. If you are looking for ideas to make your home experience feel
like art, consider implementing some features of Japanese wood joinery. I would be happy to
come along side you and explore how to make this design happen in your home.