How TRIPWARE is made

Where TRIPWARE was born

The production of TRIPWARE began five years ago in the Mino area of Japan. About 60% of the ceramics in Japan are made in this region, famous for Minoyaki pottery. There are companies in Mino that specialize in everything from affordable to expensive high-quality pieces. Once fired, ceramic clay does not biodegrade and return to the earth. The experts in Mino understand the possibility of running out of materials, if they continue large scale production in the same way. In this area, with more than 400-year history of pottery, for more the last 20 years they have also been experimenting with recycled ceramic techniques. To address this concern, they developed a process for recycling porcelain.


1. Sourcing clay and recycled porcelain

Sourced locally in Gifu prefecture, an area famous for Minoyaki pottery, TRIPWARE is made from a combination of clay and recycled porcelain. The recycled porcelain is collected all over Japan. Manufacturers in Gifu teamed up with communities around the country to support these recycling projects. They coordinate the gathering broken or unused tableware that is sent to Gifu. The collected tableware and broken pieces are separated to find porcelain to recycle.

2. Grinding porcelain and making clay

Next the porcelain is crushed into a powder by a machine specially designed for this process. Then 20% of the clay is made with the recycled porcelain powder. For twenty years this process has been studied trying, different ratios of recycled porcelain powder and clay, to look at efficiency in manufacturing, and the environmental impact. The powdered porcelain is mixed into clay, pugged (processed in a pugmill), and then moves on to the next step.

3. Mixing and preparing clay

At this point the clay mixture is pugged again and shaped into a stick to prepare for the forming process. Air bubbles are removed from the clay to stabilize the water content and prevent cracking when each piece is fired.

4. Forming

The clay is molded into each shapes using machines. According to the production volume and the shape of the product, different machines are used. Forming by machines, like slab rollers, enables speedy and uniform production. Shapeless clay finally starting to look like tableware.

5. Drying, Bisque firing

Next each piece is set out to dry. It is important to remove moisture from the clay before firing. Some pieces are dried using heat radiation in the factory and some are set out in the sun. After being dried for at least one day, they are fired in the kiln at 1470℉. The process, called bisque firing, removes excess moisture, increases the strength of the material, and makes it easier to absorb the glaze.

6. Print and Glazing

After bisque firing is done, the next step is painting, A silicone pad with the TRIPWARE logo is used to print the logo on the back of the plate.

Then each item is carefully dipped into the glaze. The glaze is also an important process that prevents the passage of air and water into the clay, increases the strength of the product, and brings out the shine.

7. Firing

The glazed products are loaded one by one on a cart and moved to the final firing process. Moving slowly through the long tunnel kiln, the products are baked thoroughly at 2370 ℉ for about a day and a half.

8. Finishing, Inspection

After firing, each piece is inspected and any roughness is sanded away. Only the products that pass the high standard of TRIPWARE are delivered to the market. Products with glaze peeling or chipping, and other defects are taken out. Minor defect goods are sold as second grade goods locally and others are used again as a recycled material.

The entire process takes five days. This is how unused or broken dishes are reborn and begin their new journey again as TRIPWARE!


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