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Tortoise, LA

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Tortoise, LA

March 30, 2007

On a recent trip LA, I was wandering down LA's Abbot Kinney Boulevard when I noticed a tiny cottage storefront with a collection of sublime ceramic pots in the window. Inside, in addition to the pots by artisan Shio Kusaka, I discovered an exquisitely edited collection of Japanese craft goods mixed with the modern. Owned by Takuhiro (Taku) Shinomoto, Tortoise's interior is sleekly modern with the emphasis on natural, earthy elements. Also on offer are handblown glasses, washi lighting, Sori Yanagi designs, ceramics, and wood and paper goods. Browse the offerings online at Tortoise Life. Update: Tortoise has opened a second LA location on Abbot Kinney.

Below: Rattan Baskets, handmade by craftsmen in Yamagata; the round is $140 and the oval is $170.

Below: Tenugui Japanese Traditional Cloth; $12 each.

Below L: I also admired Taku's feather-light coiled beech stool covered in wool for $375; and the cherry veneer Mokusei lamp (below right), which comes in a flat pack for $225.

Below: Taku, who used to work for Japan's Idee, an innovative furniture company, also makes custom furniture, such as this teak table and bench on display in the small outdoor space behind the store.

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