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Why is craftsmanship interesting

Why is craftsmanship interesting

Who decides the value of a product?

Craft products are usually either very expensive like a swiss watch or kind of cheap, like a holiday bracelet. 

There are numerous factors that go into deciding the price of a product. Knowing what each company charges for is sometimes important, so that you know how this product will perform compared to others in the future.

The companies...

The main price driver for a craft product is the expertise of the manufacturer. Artisans that need over five to ten years to master their art cost a lot of money to companies who pursue this model. In Suwada it takes more than 5 years before a craftsman can perform a series of processes without supervision and regular checks.

This means that this world of craftsmanship is maintained, developed and evolving by the companies which choose this difficult and costly model.

The idea of the lonely artisan is a little vague and false. No one can do everything by him or herself. As a team, artisans can produce masterpieces that last a lifetime. And when their creations go through quality control they are not so happy. What to do...

These people apprentice next to a master, and usually there is no clear curriculum like in a university. The apprenticeship is a more dynamic environment where the apprentice not only gain knowledge and experience in his craft, but also works on developing a strong and resilient character.

The factories

The dynamic life inside a factory with craftspeople is fascinating. You can encounter strong and quite characters, most of them pretty headstrong in my own opinion. They are extremely observant, a trait they trained for for years.

There are a few open factories in Japan, in Europe and in the US. I really recommend visiting them and take a tour around their workplace if they offer it. 

These small and medium companies keep a culture alive and thriving. Craftsmanship was and is still a very big part of our civilization.

The industrial revolution made products more abundant and cheaper. It also allowed for some to use it simply to facilitate their work instead of giving it up to a machine.

A good product is...

A good product is touched by humans. It has a little bit of engineering, a bit of design, the signs of the works of a master craftsman.

You can get a chocolate in a supermarket, but you can also get one from a  chocolatier who keep his art alive and thriving, by making a better product.

Similarly you can buy a cheap knife that wont work well in a year, a mass produced nail cutter or a pair of secateurs that is made by children. These choices affect and direct the way the market goes.

Obviously I am biased in this opinion, since I work for a company making handmade products. But I believe a lot of waste would be reduced if we shop more mindfully and think about the entire life of a product before we buy it.

What to you look for?

  • Can you fix it if it breaks?
  • Is it made by people who are paid according to my standards?
  • Is it made by someone who knows his craft?
  • Can I afford it now and not worry for the next 5-10 years?

Japanese Towel - Suwada Open Factory - Suwada1926

These questions should be asked and answered before a purchase that will be with you for a while.

After some thinking about what you have at home, and their value, you are going to make these choices more easily. The problem is not thinking about what you buy.

Suwada's approach

In Suwada we offer great quality and try to match it with a fast service.

No matter how many copies arise, we are confident they'll never go through the detailed 65 steps to make a single nail nipper.

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