WASARA, made out of bamboo and bagasse
Published on February 8, 2016
WASARA was born from a desire to design tableware that perfectly complements the dishes you serve and creates a heartwarming and comfortable setting, even though it can only be used once. At the foundation is the legacy of the Japanese aesthetic and values: traditional craftsmanship based on incomparable technical skill, one of the most refined food cultures in the world, and a spirit placing utmost importance on hospitality and courtesy to others. Their tableware embodies everything essential for an enriched, fulfilling life.
Life is not just about people. It is about living in harmony with nature. In the island nation of Japan, traditional wisdom called for people to live according to nature’s cycles. It is not enough to consider our short time on the earth; you must contemplate the health and prosperity of the environment that will be home to future generations one hundred and even one thousand years from now. The true meaning of environmental awareness is understanding how to interact with nature and how to live truly sustainable lifestyles.
This tableware collection is fully biodegradable and compostable. People, animals, trees and grasses – in the end we all return to the earth, and from there new life is born again. WASARA, too, was created to be used in moments when people gather, and later cycled back in to nature.
In Japan, it is custom to eat using chopsticks, to hold bowls in your hands, and to put your mouth directly on them to eat and drink. Holding a vessel in both hands symbolizes bringing one’s hands together in gratitude for the ingredients within. Experiencing the four seasons and enjoying foods with all five senses – these are important elements of the uniquely Japanese rich yet subtle sensibility and food culture. Thay, even though it is by design ephemeral, endeavors to encapsulate that spirit.
Japanese design utilizes a technique known as shakkei whereby objects of nature visible from but physically outside a space, such as trees and distant mountains, are considered part of one’s own garden. It is an expression of living in harmony with nature. Likewise, we find beauty in the repetition of a simple design such as latticework in shoji paper sliding doors. Such creations require the utmost accuracy in craftsmanship precisely because of the simplicity of the design. The tinge of tension refreshes and comforts us in our everyday life. The legacy of such techniques and the Japanese aesthetic is at the core of their philosophy for the tableware collection.
Elegant and flowing form that fits straight into one’s hands, texture like handmade Japanese paper, subtle shading, and the beautiful image of the dishes stacked on top of each other. They place great importance on the touch of the tableware and the feeling when you bring it to your mouth. In the search for a design that is easy to hold, they settled on the organic form of WASARA. It has a natural fit with the curvature of human hands, and brings grace to the movements of everyone who holds it. With elegant form and texture that reflect its handcrafted roots, it is the essence of functional beauty, made possible by the unparalleled skill of Japanese craftsmen. Such skillful modeling has resulted in these exquisite forms overflowing with character.
It is a common practice in Japan to select tableware that best suits each ingredient or cuisine. Among the world’s food cultures, no other nation cares as much about its choice of tableware. While some dishes have distinct and specific roles, such as the bowls used for rice or miso soup, a small cup called choko can double as a drinking vessel or a small bowl. WASARA presents this Japanese culture of varied tableware, giving freedom to each individual for how they use it. The waterproof and oil-resistant tableware can be arranged in countless variations adding elegant color to all your entertaining.
Their intention is for the designs to be timeless, not to follow trends. While the tableware collection is an expression of Japan, inspiration was found in the beauty of nature, which is universal. It’s a product to be used in any time period, irrespective of country or culture.
The word WASARA is a compound word represented by two Japanese sounds. The original and most direct meaning is WA, indicating “Japanese” and SARA meaning “dish”. However, multiple characters can be substituted for each part: WA also representing peace, ancient Japan, or cycle; and SARA also meaning brand-new or renewal. This shows the deeper meaning behind this innovative style of pure, refined tableware, with a strong awareness of the circle of life. Finally, the brand name was chosen for the beautiful soft sound of the Japanese word WA, and the ease of pronunciation by people from all over the world.
With an enduring imprint created through a layered ring pattern of their tableware, their logo was fashioned on the design of a Japanese family crest. The image captures the concept of a cycle and is evocative of the universally recognized symbol for recycling. The logotype shows gracefulness and refinement, and the addition of our original asterisk drawn from the center of the logo brings a touch of playfulness to an otherwise balanced logo.
In a time when globally they are reconsidering their energy use and impact on the environment, WASARA has been designed to use all tree-free materials, specifically, bamboo and bagasse. Bamboo grows extremely fast, and is a hardy plant that is readily renewed. Bagasse is the by-product of extracting juice from sugarcane, and approximately one hundred million tons is produced every year. While some is burned for fuel, much of it is simply discarded as waste. However, with fiber very similar to broadleaf trees, the intrinsic properties of bagasse make it perfect as a paper base. And because it is softer and more pliable than wood pulp, the energy requirement in production is significantly reduced. Based on bamboo and bagasse, environmentally-friendly their products reduce the burden on the natural environment, and can be produced without fear of exhausting our natural resources.
The tableware is made using the manufacturing method called Molded Pulp, which primarily produces plain and primitive packing materials. Bamboo and bagasse pulp is poured into molds, and then dehydrated under heat and pressure in a press machine, allowing for dishes of many shapes and sizes to be made without using any starch or glue. Trial and error through this manufacturing process to produce beautiful and appealing It has surely made the industry take a second look at the possibilities for such techniques.
You will not find the rounded edges of typical paper cups. With an emphasis on texture and the touch in one’s hands, edges are wavy by design. This is one of their most distinguishing features. Cutting the edges in this way is technically extremely challenging, and requires a specially designed blade. Aligning the direction of the asymmetric shape is also a highly time-consuming process. The delicately uneven texture of the tableware, like handmade Japanese paper and pottery, is made possible through precision metal molds created by highly skilled Japanese craftsmen. It is the world-class Japanese metal mold production techniques that make them incomparably beautiful and so physically appealing.