Self-taught sculpture artist Haroshi uses the discarded leftovers of broken skateboards to create striking wooden creations.
The 35-year-old Tokyo resident, who prefers to not use his full name, began skating at age 15 in Kanagawa, amassing a growing stack of broken decks and parts. Ten years later, his collection overflowing, a friend suggested he find a way to do something with them. Cutting into one of the decks with a saw, he noticed an interesting pattern of stripes from its laminated layers of wood, and got to work on his first creation, a wooden bangle-style bracelet.
Since then, Haroshi’s sculptures have used the imagery of skateboard culture as inspiration for many of his pieces, utilizing multi-colored skateboard ply in both stacked layers and mosaic patterns. The output ranges from skateboarding cats to Airwalk sneakers. And, of course, skulls and demons.
“I believe there have been over 40,” Haroshi responds when asked how many pieces he’s made. “My process is very time consuming. Essentially, I assemble the decks into stacks, glue them together and cut into pieces. I use a sander, chisels and Japanese carving instruments with ultra-fine blades. Sometimes I apply different types of laminate to the wood to give them different finishes (depending on the subject).” And in some of his new pieces, he’s begun incorporating clear epoxy resin.