The historic town of Hasami in Nagasaki Prefecture is one of the foremost pottery districts in Japan. Hasami began crafting its porcelainware almost 400 years ago during the Edo period, distributing them throughout Japan as well as to Europe through the port of Nagasaki. Hasami craftsmen were able to develop a highly efficient system to mass produce their porcelain products thereby making them more consistent in quality and reasonable in price. HASAMI PORCELAIN was designed by Takuhiro Shinomoto of Tortoise in Venice, CA whose vision was to integrate modern tableware design with the organic quality produced by traditional Japanese manufacturing techniques.
The charm of HASAMI PORCELAIN lies in the soft and comfortable texture that is carefully shaped with modern lines and pleasant aesthetics. There is a distinct natural feel to its wares compared to that of traditional porcelain. The matte finish of the porcelain adds the organic touch that serves as a complement to food and beverages. Using traditional glazing techniques with a proprietary blend of natural stone and clay materials, the outer texture of HASAMI PORCELAIN is a result of many years of development to bring out the very best of these raw natural resources.
HASAMI PORCELAIN’s curved lines represent the essence of modern Japanese aesthetics that is defined by a combination of modern and traditional styles. Its primary appeal is not only in its form, but also its functional nesting design for ease of serving foods and its storage efficiency for limited spaces.
HASAMI PORCELAIN achieves the status of a 21st century masterpiece of contemporary design while seamlessly melding together its traditional roots. It’s simple yet functional design is perfect for either special occasions or for daily use.
HASAMI PORCELAIN masters both multifunctionality and practicality in its design. Many of the products are versatile in function such as the lids, which can also be used as trays or as plates. The shapes and sizes of all mugs, bowls, lids and accessories are designed in precision to be made stackable for ease of serving foods and for efficient storage.
The inspiration for this stacking concept came from traditional Japanese lacquered tiered boxes or Jubako. Like the Jubako, HASAMI PORCELAIN can be used for serving foods individually, as a set, as well as for both indoor or outdoor settings.
HASAMI PORCELAIN sets itself apart from the mass-produced, factory-made porcelain tableware found in other porcelain-producing regions around the world. Porcelain made in the Hasami village is original in the organic nature of its production and the unique character of each finished product.
Specialization serves as a key factor in the overall production process. Each product is passed onto different craftsmen in various parts of the village to undergo a specific step of handwork until the product is completed. Each craftsman is skilled in their own specialized role, such as the mixing of soil and stone, the molding of the product, the glazing, and the maintenance of the kiln during the firing process. They each contribute in their own way to create a piece that is naturally different from all the rest. This organization of labor in the Hasami village has been passed down for generations since the beginning of the Edo period.
Another integral part of this production process is the understanding of the four seasons, and how their conditions can affect the outcome of the final product. Seasonal conditions such as temperature and humidity are organic factors that determine how the redness of the raw soil deepens throughout the clay, or how the glaze runs over the textured surface. These natural variances in color and texture are what ultimately create the personality that defines each Hasami Porcelain piece as its own aesthetically unique product.