Those who love wood know that finding the perfect curvature is almost impossible. Only some lucky ones have managed to give it shape until they get a parable as beautiful as it is resistant. But no master cabinetmaker has achieved what Xabier with Hobowood: the first wooden carabiner. His achievement is as impressive as his history, a story dedicated to the search for authenticity and know-how. We could not resist knowing more about this young craftsman and his innovative design. This is how he responded to our interview.
Interview with Xabier – Hobowood:
1.- When did your love for wood begin?
At 23 I decided to leave the factory and study artistic joinery at the school of Arts and Crafts of Iruña. I did internships with José Ramón Anda, a well-known Basque sculptor who also makes author’s furniture. We experimented with huge local woods of oak, walnut and boxwood.
The theoretical work of Willian Morris on the value of artisan work and The Bauhaus created my concern for training as an indispensable tool. I decided to go to Barcelona to study contemporary art in La Massana. There I learned to work with the methodologies and concerns of contemporary art.
2.- Where did you learn to create them?
The wooden carabiners were made in Los Angeles, California, during 2014-15. It was almost 2 years of trial and error, until I decided that they already met the highest standards of technical and aesthetic quality. The result was a masterpiece of craftsmanship and an outsider style, far from the usual accessories and trends.
3.- Did you follow any model or have any reference?
No, it had never done a piece like that. A lamination of several curves closed with 17 wood veneers, had not been in the imagination of any craftsman or designer so far. In the United States, I had the opportunity to show the work to wood product engineers, professors of cabinetmaking and shipbuilding schools. The surprise was enormous; it took them time to visualize how the wooden carabiner and its packaging had been made. But not all is skillful craftsmanship, there is also a radical way to understand and capture new aesthetic values achieved in Hobowood.
4.- Where can we find and buy your works?
You can find Hobowood products in:
- Pacific Edge Climbing Gym. Santa Cruz, California
- Scuderia West Motorcycle Shop. San Francisco, CA
- Northern Grade USA Goods. New York, NY
- HG Art Gallery. Roselló 285 Barcelona
And of course, on my website, where I personally attend.
5.- What is your goal or purpose for next year 2018?
After 6 years in the United States, I really want to know what is being done in Barcelona and in the rest of Europe. I am also reforming my garage in Barcelona to install the new work studio. During 2018 there will be more news that will surely surprise again.
6.- How do you see the handmade market today?
It’s an interesting moment, people enjoy with the artisans work. There is growing dissatisfaction with the purchase of consumer goods. These products no longer have the desired feeling, not even the most expensive ones. If we buy them is why there is nothing better. Many of us prefer less things, but more significant.
7. A tip for young entrepreneurs / craftsmen:
That the difference is in questioning the order of things. A young value, which should always be taken care of.
Desde Labois queremos agradecer a Xabier su participación en nuestro proyecto. Siempre es un placer –y un honor- conocer un artesano profesional que ha conseguido unir la tradición, la calidad y la innovación para ofrecer un producto único y hecho a mano. Os animamos a seguir Hobowood en las redes sociales para estar al día de sus últimas novedades.