Karl Bareis - Santa Cruz, CA
Karl Bareis has worked with Japanese carpentry since 1973, beginning with a traditional residential carpentry apprenticeship in Kyoto. His apprenticeship continued in Gifu Prefecture with traditional minka-style building at Yamaishi Komuten of Gujo Hachiman, working with a team to de-construct and rebuild seven farmhouses and convert them into a resort complex—a two-year project.
An introduction to Kiyoshi Yasui of Yasuimoku Komuten in 1977 connected to the American Craft Council which led to trips introducing Japanese culture to American craftspeople. In 1980 Karl was asked by Mr. Yasui to help design and construct two tea ceremony rooms at Hakone Gardens in Saratoga, California.
Other public collaborations include designing and building an 18th-century Japanese farmhouse at the Brattleboro Museum in Vermont as part of an exhibit highlighting traditional building techniques. This was co-sponsored and filmed by the Timber Framers Guild of North America in 1987. Karl has had his own company, Santa Cruz Timberframes, for thirty-three years and designed and built more than forty projects which are influenced by the decades spent in Japan. Karl’s timber frame structures are a sustainable reflection of the forest—focusing on locally harvested trees, specializing in curvilinear beams of madrone and redwood. His portfolio of design-built work is varied—from a Rinzai Zen temple retreat and teahouses to timber frame barns and residences.
Karl is a founding Board member of Kezurou-kai USA and is currently the Board President.
Ginger Bareis - Santa Cruz, CA
Ginger Bareis’ education in languages and linguistics took a jump when she landed in Japan in 1970, and spent the next 10 years there immersed in Japanese tradition—farming, weaving, tea ceremony, and shamisen. Began designing and leading 6-person tours exploring traditional Japan in 1978—“if it’s ancient and beautiful—we’re going there!” The grandfathers and grandmothers in the villages and towns were strict and good teachers—sharing their knowledge with the next generation…culture and context…process.
Serving as our Board Secretary, Ginger brings decades of cultural event organizing and non-profit operating experience to our group.
Ginger also makes good miso soup.
Jay van Arsdale - Oakland, CA
Jay van Arsdale apprenticed early on in his family's blacksmith shop in Kentucky. After graduating from Centre College in nearby Danville, Ky, Jay came to the SF Bay Area where he received an MFA in sculpture from Mills College in Oakland, CA in 1972. Things came into focus in the mid-1970’s after seeing a demonstration by Japanese daiku Makoto Imai, who Jay learned from for a number of years. Jay has worked and taught in the Bay area since the early 80's. He has given demos/lectures and other presentations for many organizations including the Japan Society, San Francisco Asian Art Museum, the Exploratorium, Academy of Science, UC Berkeley School of Architecture, North American Timberframers Guild West Coast Conferences and numerous national wood working shows. Jay is also the author of Shoji–How to Design, Build, and Install Japanese Screens, (Kodansha, ‘86), Introduction to Japanese Woodworking (video,' 87) , and contributing editor on The Complete Japanese Joinery, (Cloudpress ‘89). He also has written numerous magazine articles, produced multiple instructional videos, and appeared on TV in Japan and the U.S.
James Wiester - Grass Valley, CA
James Wiester lived in Japan over a ten-year period during which he worked as a laborer and completed a six year apprenticeship in residential carpentry. He has built furniture, houses and everything in between in the Japanese style since his return to the US 20 years ago. His primary interest as a Board member of Kezurou-kai USA is bringing the Japanese sensibility of pragmatism to the cause.
Sayuri Suzuki-Schrieber - Berkeley, CA
Sayuri Suzuki Schreiber was born Kawasaki and grew up in Koga, Japan. She moved to the Bay Area in May, 1996 and has been in the Japanese tool trade ever since. Running her own business has expanded and deepened her knowledge of the tools, materials and Japanese woodworking in general.
Every year, Sayuri travels from Berkeley to Japan to create and maintain relationships with the Japanese toolmakers, craftspeople and carpenters who make and use the various tools she sells all around the world.
In 2010, Sayuri was asked to organize an event for Japanese style woodworkers to get together in the United States (Osamu Hiroyama, the former owner of Hida Tool & Hardware and Sayuri's one time employer, used to do this and had been seeking a way to start it up again). In January, 2015, Sayuri invited James Wiester, Mike Laine, Jay Van Arsdale and Dan Hunt to join her and, along with Karl and Ginger Bareis, they founded Kezurou-kai USA, a sister organization to Kezurou-kai Japan.
In 2017, Sayuri replaced Dan Hunt as treasurer of Kezurou-kai USA. She has also organized and been running the administrative committee, the vendor committee and the media committee to build a strong and steady structure to support the organization behind the scenes.
Yann Giguère - Brooklyn, NY
Yann Giguère has been a professional woodworker since 1991 and founded Mokuchi Studio in 2008. Originally from the province of Quebec, he came to the US and began his training in Western woodworking at the Maharishi University program for Cabinet and Furniture Making in Fairfield, Iowa. He quickly found inspiration in the Japanese woodworking traditions and hand tools.
In 1999, he focused on Japanese techniques by entering a 9-year apprenticeship at the Takumi Company in Seattle with acclaimed woodworker Dale Brotherton. Giguère's work is unique in the Japanese techniques used for complex joinery and elegant hand-finishing. His design and build experience includes entire timber frame homes, interior features ranging from stairs and shoji to cabinetry, garden structures, and furniture. He is a passionate educator on Japanese tools and techniques that can be incorporated into existing woodworking practices.
NOTE: Yann is the lead organizer and host for Kezurou-kai USA 2018 in New York, a role he is familiar with having run the popular NYC KEZ events for four years.
Andrew Hunter - Hudson Valley, NY
Andrew is a custom furniture maker working and living in New York's Hudson Valley. Best known for his use of traditional Japanese hand tools, Andrew demonstrates and teaches throughout the Northeast.
As a self-taught woodworker he offers a unique perspective to other Americans exploring Eastern woodworking. His workshops demonstrate that by understanding the fundamental principles behind other cultures' tools and techniques all woodworkers can benefit. A frequent contributor to Fine Woodworking magazine, he is eager to share what he has learned in his twenty plus years of making furniture.
Andrew has been on the Board of Directors for Kezurou-kai USA since 2017.