Inspired by traditional Japanese lacquered wood nesting boxes used to serve and store food, Taku Shinomoto's ceramic plates, bowls, and mugs are designed to be multifunctional and to fit together like puzzle pieces. Spotted at the Javits Center design show last August, they reminded me of plastic Hellerware from the sixties—updated and improved in an earthy porcelain with wooden inserts that double as tops and trays.
For more information, see Hasami Porcelain.
Above: Hasami Porcelain, is made in the town of Hasami, a Japanese ceramics center for centuries. The pieces are all circular and come in six sizes tailored to fit together. "Mugs, bowls, trays all share the same diameter, so they can be stacked freely, stored, and transported easily," explains Shinomoto. The whole line will soon be available at Tortoise General Store, the shop Shinomoto owns with his wife, Keiko Shinomoto, in Venice, CA. It's also at several of our favorite stores across the country, including Mill Mercantile in SF and Totokaelo Art-Object in Seattle.
Above: The unglazed wares are made from a combination of porcelain and clay fired at temperatures as high as 2,400 degrees F that make it resistant to staining. The texture is finer than earthenware but more substantial than standard porcelain. All of it is dishwasher and microwave safe. The line includes round wooden inserts that can be used as tops, plates or trays, and dividers. The grouping shown here is at Totokaelo Art-Object, starting at $10 for a three-inch-wide teacup.
Above: Hasami Porcelain's tea set in black with circular wooden tray sized to work as the pot's trivet.
Above: In a ceramics-filled kitchen, the line's stacking plates, bowls, and mugs in natural and black. Plates and bowls are each made in six sizes.
Above: A set of Hasami plates in all six sizes, ranging from a 3.3 inches to 11.8 inches.The smallest can be used as a top and underplate for the mugs.