Nécessaire Équilibre


Nécessaire Équilibre by Cyriaque Ambroise is part of the ‘Plant Explorations’ collection, facilitated by The New Craftsmen. Earlier this year, The New Craftsmen invited a select group of craftspeople to the Economic Botany Collections at Kew Gardens to examine and creatively respond to a myriad of objects and their narratives. The collection delves into humanity’s ever resourceful and ingenious making traditions with plants. This artwork is based on the concept of a ‘necessary balance’ in all things. The work is a continuation of the Japanese heritage craft of Wagatabon carving, wooden trays once made by roof shingle makers in the small village of Wagatani. The arrangement and colours are reminiscent of the black and white yin yang symbol, in'yō in Japanese. The two parts are from the same log that was sawn in two, representing opposite forces becoming complementary, as they interrelate with one another. Cyriaque deliberately retains the cracks within the pieces, as a reflection on the imperfect and living modestly. His meditative process involves only simple hand tools and results in highly individual pieces with strong character.

Material: Maple wood
Dimensions: Each tray:
cm: Width 26.5cm, Depth 62cm, Height 5cm
Care Instructions: Wipe clean using warm water and a soft cloth or brush. Dry out immediately. Due to the nature of the wood used, this item may have existing cracks and knots which may evolve slightly over time, furthering their unique character.


Taking the time to make by hand using simple hand tools, Cyriaque’s slow and measured technique allows nature to lead, following the grain of the wood and the natural forms. Cyriaque begins by cutting a log with a Japanese hand saw before splitting it apart with an old rip saw. The wooden blank is then squared with a side axe on a homemade chopping block before being scorched in a fire pit using the Japanese yakisugi technique, then dyed using the ebonising technique. The pieces are first coated with a homemade oak gallnut extract to add tannin into the wood, then coated with a homemade ferric acetate solution and oil finished.
The Maker Cyriaque Ambroise Artist - London

Cyriaque Ambroise is a French artist who embraces the philosophy of simple living. He works between London, Paris and the Morvan Regional Natural Park in Burgundy, France. From his open-air studios, he creates unique objects and sculptural pieces, using natural materials, which he sources locally and ethically. Fallen branches and trunks, foraged in forests and parks constitute his main material, which he instinctively and rhythmically carves. As a tea enthusiast, Cyriaque is inspired by wabi-cha and creates a collection of objects dedicated to the Japanese ceremony every year, for the autumn equinox.