The Soji Collection, which means ‘magnetism’ in Japanese, was developed by in-house designers at Kihara.
Crafted from white porcelain, a soft glaze in navy or natural adds a rustic warmth and familiarity.
“When I was developing Komon, I was inspecting several kilns to get inspiration for the technique, but I was curious about the texture of the glaze of the old kappo tableware sleeping in the back of a certain kiln warehouse.”
“It was a white matte glaze, but it left a more rough feeling than the glaze we eventually settled on. The Soji series has matte white, navy close to black, and creamy natural glazes with uneven colours.”
— Yuriko Hamano, designer
The basic design is a slightly rounded shape so that you can enjoy the scents of coffee or tea as well as the taste.
With roundness and gentle glaze, there is a tightening with some straight, uniform lines in some places to add a sense of sharpness and tension, which is typical of porcelain products.
The glaze that gives a matte texture is easy to become uneven during firing, and it is a difficult glaze to handle. Therefore, after glazing the whole thing first, the glaze is then sprayed on again in a fine mist.
Kihara is a Japanese porcelain producer founded in 1955 in Arita – a town in southern Japan with a 400-year history of producing ceramics from the white kaolin clay of the region. The porcelain is known for being especially hard wearing, as the clay is made from the crushed natural stone of the region. Kihara works with local craftsmen in Arita, combining 400-year old traditional techniques with new technologies to produce porcelain.
In addition to their work in Arita, Kihara also work with local artisans in the historic town of Hasami in the Nagasaki Prefecture. Hasami has an equally long history of producing porcelain, and is known for natural lightweight earthenware with smooth lines and textures.
As well as designing and producing their own collections, Kihara have produced ceramics alongside a number of renowned designers, including Atelier Bingo (France), Edwin Low (Singapore), Mjolk (Canada), Monocle (UK), Papier Tigre (Japan), & Tony Lai (Australia). They opened their flagship store in Arita in 2016, closely followed by another store in Tokyo in 2017. They showcase their ceramics in these two locations, as well as in Europe through a number of partners including Godshot studio.