The culture and the making of ceramics are sources of ongoing fascination for Marina Bautier. When traveling or directly visiting the manufacturers, Marina collects pieces both for personal appreciation and to offer in the Bautier store, and for that reason, ceramic objects are now always to be found as part of the Bautier selection. Common for them all is their practicality, the fact that they can be used as everyday objects, and their way of enriching the simple experience of for example drinking coffee out of a handmade and delicate cup. Another common feature is their origin; some unique, some serial, they all represent a craft and trained skill, made by people devoted to their know-how and the product itself, like the artisans working with Japanese tableware, Bote & Sutto.
In ancient Japanese crafts culture, it has been common practice to set up clusters of specific handcrafting skills, for example Higo Minkura, Akiu, Koishiwara, Uchiko, Ishikawa, Takefu, Arita and many more. Still today, a good part of these villages thrives with crafts as their main activity, selling their objects either locally or abroad. One of the villages, Mashiko Town, is specialised in ceramics and world-renowned as a pottery centre. Their production started already 170 years ago when a kiln was put into place and the burning of clay objects began.
Famous Japanese potter, Shoji Hamada, who founded Leach Pottery in St.Ives in 1920 together with Bernard Leach, travelled to Mashiko in 1924 to build a kiln and establish his workshop there. Hamada was determined to only use locally sourced materials, the clay, the glazes, and even the handmade brushes were made from local animal hair. The presence and enthusiasm of Hamada created a positive impact on the other craftsmen and the village in general, which has since grown into a dynamic environment employing around 400 people.
In 2016, designer Naoto Fukasawa was invited to Mashiko to rethink or rather restart the thinking of Hamada which had become less noticeable with time. Fukasawa helped the Mashiko craftsmen get back on track, to all work with the same mindset and aesthetics, and he brought in guidelines to develop a new iconic range of tableware, Bote & Sutto. The range includes 36 different types of bowls, standard and simple, still entirely made from Mashiko soil and glaze in just two colours, black and white.
Bote & Sutto objects are not made from precise drawings or moulds, they are handmade and turned by craftsmen who use their senses and own judgement to get it right. Prototypes are still being consulted with Fukusawa before the final form, but the continuous production of a coherent range lies in the collective hands of the Mashiko craftsmen. Its name, Bote & Sutto, is a straightforward description of the two characteristics of the range, Bote meaning thick and Sutto meaning slim.
IDEE is a Tokyo-based interior brand and manufacturer, and the dealer of Bote & Sutto in Japan. Since the 1980s they have offered simple and sophisticated daily-life household items to the Asian market. IDEE works mainly with an inhouse design team, but collaborates with a few international designers and artists, amongst them also Marina Bautier, who developed a line of furniture called Dimanche - for the time being only available in Japan and China. Marina’s approach to natural materials, plain structures and attention to detail and joinery goes hand in hand with the Japanese ideals about light, honest and timeless furniture. The long-standing collaboration with IDEE started already in 2007 and has up till now brought out three complete furniture collections, with more to come. Bautier is proud to exclusively present the Bote & Sutto range in Europe, adding another layer to the creative partnership with IDEE. These ceramics are all handmade unique items, therefore best seen in person and only on sale from the Bautier store in Brussels.