The charm of hand-thrown ceramics often lies in their embodiment of the wabi-sabi principles of imperfection and impermanence. No two items will ever be identical, and one design/glaze color/handle size/etc. is often impossible to replicate exactly (which can be disappointing to anyone attempting to replace a beloved piece that has succumbed to impermanence). There's a lot to be said for the beauty and character of these irreplicable handmade pieces, but it doesn't necessarily mean that manufactured ceramics inherently lack those qualities, and in the case of Hasami Porcelain, we love their beauty and character, and their consistent, precise, multifunctional designs.
The clean, simple lines and muted colors may not initially jump out as you scan our shelves of beloved ceramic lines, but you'll be hard pressed to find another brand we carry with as long a history and tradition as Hasami's.
Named for the historic town of Hasami in Nagasaki Prefecture, Hasami Porcelain is produced in one of Japan's oldest pottery districts, where artisans have been honing their craft for almost 400 years, since the Edo period. Over the centuries, these craftsmen developed a highly efficient system to mass produce porcelain products, making them more consistent in quality and affordability.
Specialization is the key to porcelain made in Hasami. Each product is passed on to different craftsmen in various parts of the village to undergo a specific step of handwork until it's complete, from the mixing of soil and stone, the molding of the product, the glazing, and the maintenance of the kiln during the firing process - an organization of labor passed down for generations since the 17th century.
The production process also requires a deep familiarity with the area's climate and the ways changes can affect the final product. Seasonal fluctuations in temperature and humidity determine how the redness of the raw soil deepens throughout the clay, or how the glaze runs over the textured surface. These natural variations are what ultimately create the personality that defines each Hasami Porcelain piece.
The shapes and sizes of Hasami's mugs, bowls, lids and accessories are designed to be perfectly stackable, and many of the pieces are functionally versatile - lids can also be used as trays or plates, etc. The inspiration for this stacking concept came from traditional Japanese lacquered, tiered boxes called Jubako.
To us, Hasami Porcelain stands out from anything else on the market. Not because it's colorful and bright, but because of its simplicity, texture, beauty, and overall clean yet individual design - that is why we welcomed this exquisite line to the shop over 7 years ago. Their catalog continues to grow, and whether the new pieces are porcelain or glass, we love to see how everything is thoughtfully made to work together. Whatever color you buy, they all complement each other to create your own individual collection.
We encourage you to visit Hasami's website and learn more about their history, factory and process through their beautiful visual storytelling. Be sure to check out our line of Hasami plates, bowls, mugs and glasses online, or in person at the Home store, to truly appreciate the skill and care that goes into these exceptional Japanese pieces.
Company history/information, video and factory photo courtesy of Hasami Porcelain