The 400-year old Japanese art of creating kokeshi dolls is a time-honored tradition that exemplifies the joy and beauty of handmade craft. These traditional wooden figurines, with an enlarged head and cylindrical body, are made from woodturning solid blocks and carving away at the wood.
On a trip to Japan, Seattle-based designer Michael Kritzer encountered kokeshi dolls and was inspired by the craftsmanship, but also the meaningful connection between object and person. He decided to collaborate with a group of Japanese potters to create a unique line of porcelain cup & bottle sets.
The Ototi Dorinku Dolls are made in Hasami, a town in Nagasaki that’s known for their porcelain, and formed from Japanese slip molding. The bottles come in two styles – rounded and tall – and can be paired with either tea or sake cups, both of which come with island-like bulges in the middle that allow the cups to sit on the neck of the bottles. When stored, the bottle and cup mimics the shape and form of kokeshi dolls.
If you’re interested in purchasing a set or two (the cups and bottles can be mixed and matched) get in touch with ototi. They plan to begin shipping the sets at the end of the year.