As part of our mission, we highlight the fabricators and suppliers we partner with to create our products. In what some might call “radical transparency” we aim to share our production process, the people, and materials involved in the making of this mezcal sipping cup.
For producing the copitas we partnered with the master ceramicist, Michiko Shimada @michiko_shimada. Michiko is a world of talent like no other! She has been running her studio for 9 years and is widely renowned in the ceramics world. As we began prototyping the design with Michiko, it became clear that porcelain can be a temperamental clay body. Luckily for us, Michiko has an intimate understanding of its inherent challenges. We are so blessed to be working with her!
Once we created the general design it was time to make some prototypes, testing for scale as well as for the look and feel of the material. We kept tweaking the design to optimize the “nosing” characteristics while staying true to the classic copita shape. Combining the ultra smooth porcelain and the specially curved lip allows our copita to feel great in the palm of your hand.
The porcelain slip is mixed and the pigment is added. The slip is poured into the mold and left to rest for a period of time which depends on size and desired thickness.
After the copita is removed from the mold it is sanded and manipulated to take on the feel of the artisan’s hands. The lip is modeled to curve inward and remain thin. Stamps are pressed into the semi-dry clay.
The dried copitas are placed in the kiln and fired at a very high temperature. Porcelain clay has one of the highest temperature firings, giving it the silky texture and allowing the ingredients to fuse and become non-porous. It takes multiple firings to achieve this stability.
After the first firing, the copitas are hand sanded and fired for the second time.
The Oro collection then gets hand painted after the second firing with 14k liquid gold and then fired for the third time.
Throughout this entire process, Michiko is making subtle adjustments to her technique. As she has explained to us, no two objects are ever the same and each process requires its own special approach. “...[sometimes] it’s hard to achieve what I want to do”, Michiko says, “but I like the challenge and the feel of understanding a little bit more about the material after every project.”
Our copitas are the perfect mezcal sipping cups that have been made from very talented hands. Similar to artisanal mezcal, our copitas are made in small batches and take time to produce.
Enjoy every last sip!