- Location: San Mateo, CA
- Website: aquapalusa.com
Although we brought home a lot of pottery and ceramics when we worked in Japan ten years ago, and we bathed our way across the country before returning stateside, we are sad to say that we never bathed in a rustic Shigaraki ceramic tub.
The Shigaraki region of Japan is home to one of the country's six ancient kilns. The pottery that comes from it is venerated for a distinctive hand-made aesthetic: rustic, elemental, and rugged. If a chin-high soak in a giant and beautiful planter lights your fire as quickly as it does ours, you no longer have to head to Japan for the privilege: AquaPal USA, based in San Mateo, imports the massively heavy tubs and basins for installation in American bathrooms and on back decks.
We can't confirm the company's claims that the clay and titanium oxide mixture used to create these massive pieces of pottery emits negative ions which induce relaxation, but we can vouch for the deeply satisfying experience of a traditional Japanese bath.
A more low-key way to incorporate a bit of elemental Shigaraki into a bathroom would be to use one of the smaller vessels for a sink basin, either raised or recesed. AquaPal USA imports these in a variety of textures and finishes, from rustic to refined.
An even simpler way: a ceramic light fixture. The full catalogue can be downloaded here, and a movie about the manufacturing process can be viewed here. No word on prices; email them to ask about specific models.