A Path to Perfection
A perfectly shaped ceramic bowl – with subtle variation in its glaze. A soft leather pouch – featuring a delicate irregularity in its texture. A gleaming brass vessel – gradually changing hue with every touch. As we hold an artisanal product in our hands, it’s often only through closer inspection that we notice its unique characteristics and realise that it has been crafted by hand, from natural material, with an abundance of time, expertise and dedication. This is the captivating beauty of craftsmanship.
Over numerous generations, craftsmanship has embodied humanity’s ability to transform raw materials into functional works of art, elevating the ordinary to the extraordinary, whether it‘s a cabinetmaker shaping trees into tables and chairs, or a blacksmith forging metals into precision tools.
A CONNECTION TO OUR ROOTS
Over time, the allure of convenience and speed has overshadowed these delicate practices. The intriguing paradox, however, is that due to the dominance of mass-produced goods nowadays, we also crave the genuine and the meaningful more than ever. It’s through this very desire that craftsmanship shines brighter than before.
Handcrafted products are a connection to our roots. A respect for time. And an appreciation of uniqueness, as no two creations are ever identical. Every piece carries within it the imprint of the artisan’s personality and expertise. Any inherent imperfections in these creations are not flaws but rather marks of authenticity.
Handcrafted products are built to last. Not only in a practical sense, due to the invested expertise, time and high-quality materials, but also on an emotional level. When we see, smell and touch these creations, our senses awaken. Through this symphony of sensations, coupled with the resonance of history and dedication woven into each piece, we form a profound connection with them.
CREATING LASTING PIECES
Curating and creating these enduring products, which hold deep meaning, while honouring the skilled artisans who bring them to life, is one of AGOBAY’s core objectives. Our dedication drives us to seek and discover the most exceptional artisans of our time, often tucked away in remote locations, deeply immersed in their work. Having cultivated a profound and respectful bond with them, we have peered into their workshops, learned about their craft and, together, created lasting pieces.
Our journey led us to Kyoto, where we encountered paper artisan Ko Kado and observed his skill in a 1,300-year-old printing tradition as he crafted a set of AGOBAY greeting cards. Amidst Switzerland’s deep mountain valleys, we encountered artist Helga Ritsch, who creates delicate ceramics in limited quantities for us. In the heart of Tokyo, Shinichiro Ogata introduced us to his world of design, resulting in a partnership wherein AGOBAY showcases selected tea and tea-serving accessories from his brand.
EXCELLENCE TAKES TIME
During our collaborative exchange with artisans all over the world, we witnessed that craftsmanship’s allure lies not only in the final product but also in the countless hours dedicated to its creation. True artisans intimately understand how the materials they work with behave, interact and transform. This understanding often takes years, if not decades, to master. With each passing day, their movements become more refined and their creations grow in sophistication.
And so, as we invite these artisanal pieces to take their place in our lives – whether they are crafted from brass, glass, leather, silk or stone, whether we have obtained them for ourselves or received them as a gift – they serve as a gentle reminder that creating excellence takes time. Moreover, that time itself becomes a creator of excellence. With each day that handcrafted products are used and naturally age, they evolve in their beauty – and in their imperfect perfection.