the meister

NAGAE / ナガエ

nagae : 名チームに、名監督あり

Seto-ware cannot be produced from a single craftsman. Instead, there are dedicated craftsman present in each manufacturing process, and after getting passed on to numbers of workshops, the product is finally completed. Division of labour like this must have a wholesaler like NAGAE who acts as a supervisior.



Seto-ware, the origin of Japanese pottery / 日本最古の陶磁器、瀬戸焼

As the general term for ceramic tableware “Seto-mono” states, the popularity proves the long background of Seto-ware. Pointing out to the pottery that is exclusively manufactured in “Seto-shi” in Aichi prefecture, the artisan has the history of more than 1000 years. Similar to many of the other traditional crafts, the production of seto-ware relies on different procedures that are divided in each process. Each production consists of “mold making”, “layer making”, “baking”, “polishing” and “transcription”. Furthermore, “Mold making” itself subdivides into smaller processes It is easily imaginable that going through these entire processes just to make a single product explains how the skill of the producer directly reflects on the quality.



In search of new manufacturing / 新たなものづくりを模索して

NAGAE started off as a divided labour brand that is responsible for producing molds for “Seto-yaki”. After showing its skill as a local wholesaler, it now influences beyond domestic, but it collaborates with global luxury brands, whilst running its own brand. There are many reasons behind why traditional craft industry is declining, but NAGAE has certainly lead the whole industry to an uprising market. Not only fulfilling the job as a wholesaler, but creating sales of its own brand, collaborating with firms outside of its industry to develop entirely new products and creating latest systems for passing the baton for crafting all results to their never-ending passion towards “Soen”.



Passing the baton / 繋いだバトンのゴールを示す

The hardest part of pottery is that the final shape is undetermined until the product is baked. Even if a mold or the material seems fit, the finished product may be largely out of scale. It was a continuous failure of unwanted product; material denting due to its own weight, or getting compressed by the pressure during baking. After each failure, the entire process had to be reviewed in order to derive what to adjust, and the struggle persisted. However, we were able to reach our goal, due to the support from the skill of the craftsman that has been building up for the entire history of Seto. Moreover, another fundamental fact is the endurance of people from NAGAE. Not going through shortcuts, but their immaculate team work to pass the baton to their goal is a must have motive for a superb producer. Resembling a passing of the baton.