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Atelier Tete Porcelain Made By and For the Hand

Atelier Tete’s porcelain dinnerware is handmade by master ceramicists in Japan, making every item unique.

Atelier Tete master ceramicist at work

Designed and made in Japan’s Hikone City, close to the shores of the infamously beautiful Biwa Lake at the foot of Mount Ryozan, Atelier Tete crockery celebrates the visual and tactile nuances of hand-crafted products. ‘Te’ or ‘手’, which means ‘hand’ in Japanese, is at very the heart of what Atelier Tete creates and as such, the hands of a master ceramicist are present at every stage of production. From the throwing, moulding and finishing of the body, to the application of the final glaze, every Atelier Tete porcelain plate, bowl and cup is hand-crafted using traditional techniques that have been cultivated and refined over centuries in their native Japan.
Atelier Tete plaster prototype

The plaster prototype is annotated for Atelier Tete’s master ceramicists to follow when working directly into the clay.

The first stage in the production process is a collaboration between contemporary designers and traditional craftsmen, a key stage represented by Atelier Tete’s logo: two hands outstretched, conveying the concept ‘from hand to hand’. Together, both designers and craftsmen refine their ideas about what will be developed, and test their concepts by creating hand-made prototypes in plaster. Notes to the ceramicists, detailing the final specifications, are written directly onto each plaster ‘pattern’ for reference during the production process.

Atelier Tete ceramic crockery on the drying racks

Once Atelier Tete’s crockery has been moulded in clay, it is left to dry in the open air on racks.

Expert ceramicists create small batches of crockery from porcelain clay using the plaster ‘patterns’ as their guide. The ‘biscuits’ or unglazed pieces of crockery are then left to air dry before kiln-firing at 1,225 degrees. Atelier Tete’s use of high quality clay and their careful crafting process enable them to produce porcelain ceramics that are fine and durable, while exhibiting all the character and variation so sought after in traditional earthenware.

Atelier Tete glaze tests

Glaze tests for Atelier Tete’s range of porcelain dinnerware reveal how the glazes can pool and create a sense of depth in colour on the surface of each piece of crockery.

Once fired, Atelier Tete’s bright white porcelain ceramics are finished with a gloss glaze whose colours are informed by the atelier’s surroundings, an area in central Japan of stunning natural beauty. The organically curved forms and hand-shaped surfaces of every Atelier Tete piece create opportunities for the glazes to spread and pool across the surface of the porcelain, creating rich variations within each piece while the brilliance of the bright white porcelain highlights the subtleties in each colour, no matter how light and delicate.

Products made by Atelier Tete

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