Words by Leigh Patterson
Photographs Justin Chung

Ido Yoshimoto

Inverness, CA

Ido Yoshimoto
Inverness, CA

The driving instructions to Ido Yoshimoto’s cabin and woodworking studio both end in the same line: you’ll arrive when the dirt road ends.
In Inverness, a remote community overlooking the expansive blue Tomales Bay, the landscape is padded by winding starts and stops. Though just an hour from San Francisco, it can feel like an edge of the earth — all framed by dense wooded forests and the unspoiled Point Reyes seashore. It’s easy to imagine how it felt more its own world during Ido’s childhood in the 80s when the community was largely populated by artists and creatives, guided by an ethos at once pragmatically scrappy and quietly contrarian. It was an environment where, Ido says, working and living naturally collided. There was a shared sense of eschewing materiality in favor of making do. In Inverness, Ido’s father Rick served as a longtime assistant to the acclaimed abstract sculptor J.B. Blunk, whose creative spirit and evolving cabin — hand-built from materials in the surrounding woods — still personify that moment in time and place.
The same sensibility has carried into Ido’s own way of being and his work as an artist and woodworker. Other than a short stint in Philadelphia after high school, place has remained a constant: he’s lived most of his life in Inverness, with the forested landscape a subconscious character. As a young adult, he took on a job with a local arborist, metabolizing the distinct idiosyncrasies of tree types and the nuances of wood grain, climate, and environment. With time this intimate knowledge took on new forms, extending into building furniture and sculpture from leftover milled wood and project scraps. It was less the byproduct of deliberate decision-making and more a natural unfolding, he says — an evolution of his closeness with the landscape and the same reflexive practicality he was brought up in; making something new from what you have.

Making Sense Vol. 1

Tobias Jesso Jr.
April Valencia
Sean Frank
Monroe Alvarez
Brian Lee
Molly Sedlacek
Ido Yoshimoto
Zoe Dering
Obi Kaufmann
Erica Chidi
Sonoko Sakai
Katsuhisa Sakai

Full story available in Making Sense Vol. 1 Book

Making Sense is a publication series with Le Labo Fragrances that is a study in distilling life to its essence, as told through the stories of 12 individual who have fearlessly hand-crafted lives of their own making.

Read more about the series here.