Iwami Mortar and sanshō pestle
A ceramic Iwami mortar, handcrafted in the western part of Shimane Prefecture, Japan. An Iwami mortar has parallel ridges cut into the clay when wet, which once fired hard can be used to create a greater degree of control when bruising, crushing, grinding or pounding ingredients. Iwami ware is baked at high temperatures of over 1300 degrees, and results in a strong ceramic which is suitable for breaking and grinding sharp and hard ingredients. Finished with a hand-mixed glaze made from locally collected stones which are crushed and mixed with water. The sansho pestle is handcrafted in Kagoshima, Japan from sansho (Japanese prickly ash) found in the foothills of Kirishima. Harvested each autumn, prickly ash is the wood traditionally used to make Japanese pestles, which is said to impart a delicate flavour to food.