If you’ve visited Tortoise General Store recently, you may have noticed the arrival of new pottery - full of bright colors, distinctive patterns, and a warm, handmade quality. We’ve acquired a selection of pottery from four distinct regions of Japan, celebrating mingei (folk craft) and traditional ceramic practices that have been around for centuries. International travel can still be challenging these days - join us for a virtual trip around Japan by reading about these four kilns.
Iconic designs are never conceived in isolation. From the early stages of idea development, to craftsmanship and production teamwork - community is at the heart of great design. Riki Watanabe (1912 - 2013) was not only a prolifically talented post-war interior designer - he built much of the Japanese design infrastructure still in existence today.
In Riki Watanabe's early years it was impossible to avoid the influence of Le Corbusier and the Bauhaus movement. Western modern ideas fascinated Watanabe. He had started his design career as a woodworker. After graduating...
We know first hand from our friends and family that relationships are what make life meaningful. So often, we discover new things about ourselves through interaction with others. Maybe you never considered yourself a funny or adventurous person until you met that particular loved one. Or maybe you never knew how you really felt about a certain topic until your friend challenged you to discuss it. These are just a few of the ways relationships shape us into the complex people we are.
Here are nine pairings of objects from our store, brought together to highlight special functions and unexpected contrasts - a true embodiment of the phrase "better together!"
WRF, a ceramic line named after the English translation of founder Nobuhito Nishigawara's last name (West River Field), has lined the shelves of Tortoise General Store since 2014. Each piece has a distinctly handmade quality - the soft, simple forms are full of warmth.
When Nishigawara isn't in the studio, he's teaching as the head of the Ceramics department at California State University, Fullerton. Our staff member Ruby met with Nishigawara to check in about the history of WRF, how Nishigawara's background as a fine art sculptor affects his practice, and advice for new ceramicists.
The days are getting longer, the sun feeling warmer, and all of our spirits are a little higher... it must mean spring is here! After such a strange year, celebrating this period of growth and rebirth feels extra meaningful.
We want to welcome Spring 2021 with open, hopeful arms - so our Tortoise staff compiled a list of our favorite spring-themed products. We hope these items can help you enjoy this magical time of year, full of new beginnings, to its fullest.
April showers bring may flowers...these Daiichi Rubber boots are indestructible...