As a boy, Auböck was precocious and artistic. He studied drawing and at the same time trained in the workshop of his father, a popular maker of traditional bronze figurines and collectibles. In 1919, he went to Germany to study at the Bauhaus, where he was a pupil of the progressive artist and theorist Johannes Ittens. While the Bauhaus is most associated with the rigidly ordered, functionalist architecture of its directors Walter Gropius and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the school was in reality a liberal, spirited place — a crucible for imaginative, playful and avant-garde art and design. It was this spirit that imbued Auböck’s work from the time he left in 1921 to return to work with his father in Vienna, and that was passed on to his descendants, who run the atelier that is still in operation today.