Wagatabon Tea Tray VII


Wagatabon Tea Tray VII by Cyriaque Ambroise is part of the ‘Plant Explorations’ collection, facilitated by The New Craftsmen. Earlier this year, The New Craftsmen invited a select group of craftspeople to the Economic Botany Collections at Kew Gardens to examine and creatively respond to a myriad of objects and their narratives. The collection delves into humanity’s ever resourceful and ingenious making traditions with plants. Cyriaque’s work is inspired by the dialogue between Western and Japanese cultures. This tray forms part of a collection of tea trays made using the rare Japanese heritage craft of Wagatabon carving. Wagatabons are wooden trays once made by roof shingle makers in the small Japanese village of Wagatani during the 17th century. The craft of wagatabon carving disappeared in the 1960s before being resuscitated by a handful of artisans in Japan and around the world.

Material: Sumac
cm: Width 42cm, Depth 15cm, Height 3cm
inches: Width 16.5in, Depth 5.9in, Height 1.2in
Care Instructions: Wipe clean using warm water and a soft cloth or brush. Dry out immediately. Due to the nature of the wood used, this item may have existing cracks and knots which may evolve slightly over time, furthering their unique character and celebrating the beauty of imperfection.


By using simple hand tools, Cyriaque’s slow and measured technique allows nature to lead, following the grain of the wood and the natural forms. To make this wagatabon tray, Cyriaque begins by crosscutting a log with a Japanese hand saw before splitting it with a froe.The trays are then hand-carved on a workbench using a chisel, gouge and mallet made by Cyriaque from a branch. Finally, the trays are oil finished, with a food-safe homemade secret recipe.
The Maker Cyriaque Ambroise Artist - London

Cyriaque Ambroise is a French artist who embraces the philosophy of simple living. He works between London, Paris and the Morvan Regional Natural Park in Burgundy, France. From his open-air studios, he creates unique objects and sculptural pieces, using natural materials, which he sources locally and ethically. Fallen branches and trunks, foraged in forests and parks constitute his main material, which he instinctively and rhythmically carves. As a tea enthusiast, Cyriaque is inspired by wabi-cha and creates a collection of objects dedicated to the Japanese ceremony every year, for the autumn equinox.