ETERNITY | CONSTANCY
Banko-yaki is one of Japan's most beautiful traditional ceramic techniques. The tradition dates back to the 18th century when the merchant Nunami Rouzan famously placed a seal with the words bankofueki, or "eternity, constancy" on earthenware made in the town of Yokkaichi. With their unique heat resistance and beautiful, almost primitive composition, he hoped they would become the kind of objects that would be handed down through the generations. The sentiment stuck; today, it is estimated that 70-80% of Japan's earthenware is produced in Yokkaichi.
The Mie Prefecture in Japan has always been home to ceramic craftsmen of high skill. When cheaper, foreign companies threatened to swallow up independent ceramists in 2005, four banko-yaki craftsmen joined together to ensure their trade would continue.
Though each of them had specialized skills and had competed against each other in the past, their new collective flourished under their alliance and new sense of purpose. They were determined to maintain the high quality of Yokkaichi's banko-yaki ceramic community while supporting their local industry. They decided to help each other, rather than trying to survive separately.
A WABI SABI CONCEPT
In modern shapes and neutral, timeless colors, these pieces continue to honor an ancient art by reshaping the past to fit the needs of the future. As they are hand-glazed and fired, each banko-yaki piece exhibits a unique color and translucency, an artful imperfection that differentiates it from the rest of its sisters. Its technique and organic composition easily lends itself to the principle of wabi sabi, which seeks out the beauty of naturally imperfect objects.
All steps of the manufacturing process, such as casting, trimming, polishing and, glazing are carefully executed and supervised by experienced craftsmen. While some of them contribute techniques that are more than a hundred years old, all craftsmen have at least fifty years of experience in creating ceramics. All the pieces in our collection are handmade, while the molds are expertly designed and maintained by highly experienced artisans. The result is what we believe to be the ultimate form of craftsmanship.