How TRIPWARE is made
Where TRIPWARE was born
The production of TRIPWARE began five years ago in the Mino area of Japan. This region makes up about 60% of the ceramics in Japan and is 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. Because of this, Mino's experts were made aware of the possibility that they may exhaust the materials if they continue large-scale production in the same way. In efforts to save the history of over 400 years, they experimented for over 20 years with different pottery recycling techniques until they finally developed a process that worked.
1. Sourcing clay and recycled porcelain
In Gifu Prefecture, famous for Minoyaki pottery, TRIPWARE is made from a combination of clay and recycled porcelain. This recycled porcelain is collected from all over Japan. To assist these recycling efforts, manufacturers in Gifu Prefecture collaborated with communities across Japan. They organize the collection of broken or unused tableware, transport them to Gifu Prefecture, and then sort it to find porcelain to recycle.
2. Grinding porcelain and making clay
The recycled porcelain is then crushed by a machine specially designed to make a fine powder. For more than two decades, researchers have been experimenting with different ratios of recycled porcelain powder and clay to see how efficient they are and what influence they have on the environment. They found that combining this powder at a 20% ratio with clay had the best outcome. Once the powdered porcelain is combined with clay and pugged (processed in a pugmill), it then proceeds 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.
Depending on the production volume and product shape, different machines are used to form the clay. The use of machines, such as slab rollers, helps produce goods quickly and uniformly. At this stage, the shapeless clay finally starts taking on the appearance of tableware.
5. Drying & bisque firing
The pieces are then laid out to dry. It is crucial to dry the clay before firing to prevent it from exploding. Some pieces are dried by radiation in the factory, while others are put out to dry in the sun. After being dried for at least one day, they are fired in a kiln at 1470°F. This bisque firing process removes excess moisture, increases the strength of the material, and makes it easier for the glaze to penetrate and adhere.
6. Print and glazing
After the bisque firing has been completed, the TRIPWARE logo is printed on the back of the bisqueware using a silicone pad.
Then, each item is carefully dipped into a glaze. The glaze plays an important role in preventing the passage of air and water into the clay, while also strengthening and making the clay shine.
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, all pieces are inspected, and rough edges are sanded off. Products that pass TRIPWARE's high standard are delivered to the market. All products with glaze peeling or chipping are removed. Items are then sorted, ones with minor defects are sold locally as second-grade goods, and the rest are used again for recycling.
The entire process takes five days. This is how unused or broken dishes are reborn and begin their new journey again as TRIPWARE!