In many cultures, joyous occasions are marked with a shared drink. Whether drinking Japan’s famous sake, a dark IPA or apple juice (like my daughter), the clink of glasses is synonymous with celebration and hospitality.
When visiting to Japan, I was struck by the care and craftsmanship that went into even the simplest of glasses. These tumblers combine three cherished forms of intangible cultural heritage—delicate gold-leafing, urushi lacquering and washi paper.
We are delighted to introduce hand-made glasses with our own custom washi paper set at the base. Designed exclusively for TATCHA, the washi represents the story of our brand. Fans scatter among the clouds in honor of our Japanese heritage, while the Golden Gate Bridge nods to our San Francisco roots. Camellia blossoms and sheaves of rice, some of our most treasured ingredients, appear throughout—as does our mon.
The glasses are perfect for any celebratory occasion and I hope that you will raise a glass with me. Kanpai!
Chief Treasure Hunter
published September 2014Holidays, Living, Design
Photo 1: The first step is to measure and attach the Tatcha custom washi paper, using a scale based on the bottom of the glass.
Photo 2: Once the washi is affixed to the glass, a clear glue is applied. The glue is specially created to adhere gold leafing without damaging it.
Photo 3: Gold is very sensitive to other metals, so bamboo tweezers are used to apply the gold leaf to the outside of the glass.
Photo 4: To eliminate wrinkles and air bubbles, the gold leaf is gently hand-pressed with cotton.
Photo 5: Glasses before and after adding gold leaf
Photo 6: These are some of the brushes and spatulas used to create the glasses.
Photo 7: A wooden brush is used to apply kiurushi, a clear lacquer, to the outside of the glass.
Photo 8: Before the kiurushi dries, a fine sand is applied to the glass, sanded down to the correct texture and coated with lacquer. This process is repeated until it becomes the perfect texture, then coated with color-finishing urushi.
Photo 9: Once solidified, the glass is thinly coated with black urushi. The final step is adding a fine gold powder to create a border and add a finishing touch.
Photo 10: Tatcha's 24-karat gold leaf tumblers