In Boxes – Exhibition Recap


Our In Boxes exhibition ran last week during NYCxDESIGN! We had such a great time sharing all the unique and magical containers that we’ve accumulated over the years during the event. We just wanted to share some photos we snapped since many of the items showcased aren’t up on the site yet.  


We have to say, the Ju-Bako porcelain stacking boxes were definitely a highlight and also amongst our favourite new collections in the shop. Ju-Bakos are traditional Japanese multi-tiered boxes. They are generally used for food and often reserved for special occasions like osechi, a New Year’s dish or for sports meetings and cherry blossom viewings. Ju-Bako represents multilayer happiness and the detailed inban patterns definitely put smiles to our faces.


Syosen’s ‘Karmi’ tea canisters were also another star collection. These wood canisters require extensive hours of handcraft and care. Each piece is made with the core of cherry birch trees making them exceptionally durable. In addition, each piece of wood is temperature adjusted for protection against humidity and climate changes. They are decorated with grooves called Kashobuki and lacquered.


We also revealed our collection of works by husband and wife duo Tetsuya and Momoko Otani. They started their ceramic studio in the middle of the mountains in a small town called Shigaraki. Though their styles are different, they both create functional wares. Momoko specializes in iron-rich local clay treated with slip with distinct applications like hand painting and sgrafitto. We adore her tiny treasure boxes! Tetsuya, on the other hand has a very minimal style but just as detail oriented. Stay tuned for more from this inspirational couple soon. We can’t wait to tour their studio during our upcoming trip to Japan and share their fantastic story!


There were certainly containers on display with very specific purposes and it was a pleasure revealing their function. The cast-iron coil incense burners were one of those items. The ‘Kayariki’ incense coil holder is a great solution to keeping mosquitoes away. Many households in Japan still use a special coil incense that repels pesky mosquitoes so containers are made for this purpose. Vintage kimonos inspire these cast-iron versions designed by Hiroshi Yamasaki.


Last but certainly not least, it was such an honour to be able to display a collection by Norio Tanno. Father to Masakage Tanno, Norio is also the gatekeeper of an uncanny skill-set that he has acquired over decades of experience. With a studio that overlooks a field, he spends his time woodworking and farming – both disciplines requiring attention to detail, care and patience. Now retired, Norio has passed down his trade secrets to his son who continues to push the boundaries of woodcraft with his detailed cases, including the award winning one-push ‘Free Case‘.


Of course we couldn’t have had an exhibition without a bit of celebration. Thanks to our friends Oshin and Ayaka at Matcha Café Wabi, we were able to serve matcha green tea lattes and matcha rice crispies over the weekend. They were so sweet and creative to make little boxes for the treats. If you’re ever in East Village, check them out at 233 East 4th St, just a quick walk from our shop!


Thank you to everyone who came out to our exhibition during the course of the five-day event! For further information about any products showcased, please inquire at [email protected]

Written by Angélique Chmielewski

Angélique Chmielewski

May 23, 2015

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