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earthquake in Osaka

For all of you who heard the news of the earthquake in Osaka and kindly thought of us: WE ARE OK.
I also received several messages thru Facebook and Whatsapp: thank you for your caring!

Osaka was the most shaken with a magnitudo of 6. Kobe experienced a magnitudo 4 to 5, according to the area.
The awaji fault (which caused some 4000 casualties in 1995) seems not to be affected this time.

Here are some of the photos that friends from Osaka circulated.
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Actually there were no major accidents except for a garden wall which collapsed killing one elementary school student.
A part for this very sad note and for the hours spent inside trains and in the traffic jam for most it was an experience to be laughed off…
But… we should remember that in the recent Kumamoto earthquake and Tohoku region earthquake the main shake only come 48 after a medium strenght shake, so we should keep our eyes open.
At least for the next 48 hours…

Let`s knock on wood (best if honoki…)

pocket onsen ‘GYO’ on indiegogo

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Well, ‘GYO’ is actually a development of the ‘pocket onsen’ that was launched in fall 2014.

We have been shipping worldwide over 350 pocket onsens and we are running out of the boxes and fabric pouches that were produced for the campaign. So it is time to create an enhanced version of the original item.

The original ‘pocket onsen’ was a kind of “side dish” to the production of special reserve essential oil. The pocket onsen was the tool to enjoy the world`s first aroma oil obtained from old growth hinoki (250+ years!) and there was an accent on supplying the user with typically traditional japanese artifacts such as a kimono fabric pouch and a lightweight wood box with iron brand. The items could be used also separately (as a jewel box etc.) and maybe this also secured the long term success to the project. https://igg.me/at/pocket-onsen

On the other end, the ‘GYO’ aims at bringing back the product to its essence. The idea is that by adding aromatic wood orbs to your bathtub, you can enjoy the same feeling as entering a real hinoki japanese bathtub.
Find more details at: igg.me/at/onsen-gyo

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The pocket onsen ‘GYO’ kits are available both with the “young trees hinoki oil” and with the “special reserve hinoki oil”.
There is also a ‘conoisseur perk’ with both essential oils variations so you can try the difference.

Secure your ‘GYO’ today at this link: igg.me/at/onsen-gyo

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Open the tight wooden box, draw out the hinoki orbs and apply few drops of hinoki essential oil. Once you drop them in hot water you will feel as you have been tele-ported into a japanese onsen (hot spring)!

The video explains how to use the hinoki wood orbs and how to store them after use.

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exclusive land in kyoto for sale!

A friend (land surveyor) offered me this exclusive information that I have the pleasure to share with the Bartok design community.

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If you have been to Kyoto, you probably know Ninen-zaka and Sannen-zaka: the picturesque area that leads to the Kyo-mizu-dera temple.
A pedestrian area, made of slopes and stairs is filled with shops and cafes and is flocked with tourists 365 days a year.
It is in this area, on a site also accessible by car there is a property available for sale! (110.98 m2 land with 188 m2 building)

At present a timber frame western style 2 story house + basement (built in 1984) occupies the lot.
Unfortunately the building is not a nice traditional japanese house but the location is extremely rare and valuable.

Considering that this type of properties are not available on the public real estate market, this is a unique opportunity for somebody wanting a second house in Japan.

Most of the neighboring buildings are used as high-end Air BnB and are always fully booked so it can be used as a profitable investment when not occupied. Of course it can be remodeled japanese style or can be rebuilt (being an architect I can help here…)

The total floor area is about 188 m2 and the asking price (land + building) is 200 million yen (about USD 1.8 million)

For any inquiries, please contact me by email -> japan@bartokdesign.com
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tub stained and cleaned up!

Here below is the mail correspondence with a client who purchased a tub in 2014.
He kindly agreed to have it published here as it may be of help to other fellow ofuro owners.

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waiting for the spring…

This year we are experiencing a cold and long winter with meters of snow on the traditionally snowy west coast.
Even the major cities such as Tokyo or Kyoto were coated in white several times.

But spring will come.
In the TV news they started to show the first sakura buds from Okinawa, to reassure the people sensitive to cold (like me…) that indeed spring will come sometime soon!
While waiting for the spring, I recommend the 3 following actions:

1) warm up in hot water! If you have an ofuro, you know what I am talking about.

2) enjoy the last spurt of winter lethargy on the SU~ day bed!
You can check the video on how it is built here:

or just jump to the indiegogo page to order one while the 25% OFF conditions last -> https://igg.me/at/SU-DAY-BED

3) prepare for a fresh start with new fragrant hinoki business cards!
more information at -> https://mokumei.com/
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With the 3 tips above, I am sure you will be able to cut thru the last icicles and fully enjoy the coming spring!
In any case, if you still feel cold or cannot sleep because of a creative idea, or a craving for a bowl of miso soup, please write me!
I am looking forward to do something together!

All the Best//
iacopo torrini

new branding for the day-bed project. SUU SUU …

As you probably know, I am running a crowd funding campaign on indiegogo to produce at lower cost the wood and leather bed I designed for an English client (of course with his approval and encouragement!)

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The prototype came out really nicely: the balance between the materials, sizes, colors is very stylish and above the expectations. I uploaded the photos into the crowdfunding page, but when I tried to change the status from “concept” to “prototype”, the system did not allow me to.

As a coincidence in that very timing, a friend contacted me with the greeting: “I have to pull your ears…!”

He told me he just found the campaign through the link on the bartok design blog.

●PROBLEM #1: Looking at the banner and title, his first impression was that the campaign was a charity! (to buy a daybed for Michael…)

After reading the description the scope and the story behind the naming becomes evident, but here comes another pulling of ears…

●PROBLEM #2: The branding as it is now is too personalized. The person buying it doesn`t want Michael`s bed: he/she wants it to be his/her daybed, not somebody else`s.

●PROBLEM #3: Additionally, being a daybed, it is too easy to associate it with the image of “your friend Michael” asking to stay over for a couple of days sleeping on the sofa (and eventually ending up staying for months eating popcorn and camping in your living room…!!)

These are the reasons behind my decision to re-launch the campaign, with the same product
but with a different branding.

While I still have to add some photos and description, the new campaign page is live!
Please take a look at the link below to see the video of the completed prototype.
https://igg.me/at/SU-DAY-BED

Thanking you in advance for any advice you may have, please find here my Best regards!

day-bed completed!

Here is the leather mattress and cushion completed. As you can see two full cow hides have been used for the left/right side without joints.
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The frame is also complete and the graphic keyaki wood grain is providing the perfect accent for a very simple and classic design.
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click below to see the other 6 photos with details of the frame and mat.
Check also the crowdfunding campaign page: http://igg.me/at/day-bed

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finishing the daybed frame

Here are the photos of the finishing phases of the “Michael” day bed manufacture

The legs pegs are positioned to take advantage of the thickest section of the frame

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click below to see the other 13 photos of the manufacture!

Alternatively, check the crowdfunding campaign page for more details and to purchase keyaki daybed: http://igg.me/at/day-bed

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update about the daybed!

The manufacture of the keyaki daybed is proceeding smoothly. Here are the pictures of the progress with comments.

1) hinoki slats, 15mm thick, cut to size
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click below to see the other 9 steps
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