Fine porcelain stoneware mug with smooth, matte glaze finish. Made from a proprietary blend of clay from Hasami, Nagasaki. Glazed to bring out natural color and texture of the stoneware. Designed in L.A., and made in Japan. (
The proprietary blend of clay used to create these mugs was innovated by Taku Shinomoto, owner of a popular boutique in Los Angeles since 2003, and rests somewhere between fine porcelain and durable, long-lasting stoneware. This hybrid creates a piece that is substantial and strong, yet soft and smooth during handling and sipping. The specially developed matte glaze serves to bring out the natural texture of the unique clay mixture.
To create these mugs, local clay from Hasami, Nagasaki—a region famed for a history of over 400 years of porcelain manufacturing, beginning in the urbane Edo period of Japan—is poured into uniform plaster molds. The resulting pieces are mix-and-match and nest for neat storage.
For the complete set, see our lidded bowl, plate and teapot. Bowls and plates come in two sizes of small and large.
Dishwasher and microwave safe. Not for use in the oven.
Husband-wife team Keiko and Taku Shinomoto own Tortoise, a popular housewares boutique and functional object art gallery on Abbott Kinney in Los Angeles.
Together, they live a “tortoise-life”: eating, doing, making and consuming mindfully and carefully. Their line of stoneware products is simple but elegant, modern yet traditional. The pieces are mix-and-match and completely versatile for daily use: a lid can be used as a plate or a tray, for example. At the same time, the unique matte glaze and refined proportions impart a sense of something special and ceremonious to everything from a sandwich for one to a dinner party for twelve.
The Tortoise manifesto:
We are not here to deny today’s modern lifestyle, but to achieve balance. […] We believe that speed and quantity do not always equal beauty or wealth. We think it’s safe to assume that ‘tortoise’ symbolizes the ‘slow and steady’ in the States, as it does in Japan. […] Tortoises live across the Pacific Ocean, and we heard that there is a certain type of tortoise that eats jellyfish off the California coast, and then swims across to Japan to lay eggs. We, ‘Tortoise,’ too, would like to connect the two countries across the Pacific, and lay some new eggs in the process.
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