The Trash Pit Next to the Climbing Kiln
The colloquial translation for Monohara, the name of House Industries‘ and Hasami’s newest tableware collaboration, is an interesting one. Monohara informally translates to “The trash pit next to the climbing kiln”, surely a phrase behind a great story.
The story goes…in 2012, Hasami, a Japanese ceramic manufacturer who has been operating for over four centuries in the Nagasaki prefecture of the town that bears the company’s name, partnered with House Industries, a Delaware based design studio that is known for its eclectic typeface collections, to create the Morning Collection. “We’ve done a collection every year since we (House Industries and Hasami) met” says Andy Cruz, one of the House Industries founders. “Spending time in Nagasaki, visiting the artists and getting our heads around the history of hasami has had a profound impact on how we view, use and think of ceramics.”
Bringing together their respective skills for a second time, House Industries was inspired by Hasami’s backyard (literally) when researching the concept behind Monohara. It was on the Hasami property, where the designers found a trench filled with 400 years worth of cast offs and blemished ceramic items unfit for the shelves. It was agreed that artifacts from Hasami’s ceramic trash pit were the best link to its past and one of the keys to its future.
House industries, a company that built its reputation on lettering and fonts has done a great job transitioning their world view and artistic skills to the world of tableware. For Andy, the story of this transition from letterforms and font software to objects was more personally driven and close to home.”We had a decorative textile program and even produced chairs with our neutra collection, but it took a practical application for us rethink the way we could use house artwork” says Andy. “One day my wife wanted to buy new kitchen towels and I said ‘wait, lets just print on that flour sack material you like.’ Though designing letterforms and font software is supposed to be our main gig, it’s more fun to make “real” ware that you can hold in your hand”.
01 How would you describe the aesthetic of Monohara?
Though ‘technically’ we don’t speak the same language, I’d like to think the aesthetic lands somewhere between a Japanese and American design sensibility.
02 Could you share a bit about the design process?
It’s a past-forward process. learning from our favorite pieces then experimenting with forms, colors and artwork in ways that we would feel comfortable ‘living’ with.
03 Do you entertain at home?
My wife does and I often take some of the credit. the table is often a blend between Heath, Arabia, Japanese and some American stoneware for good measure. The menu always depends on who’s coming over
04 Where can Monohara be purchased?
The house studio/gallery store and site. Our monohara collection is on it’s way…
Photo Source: House Industries