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Meet Nobuhito Nishigawara of wrflab

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nobuhito Nishigawara.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
The line began when I created a set of dinnerware as a gift to my wife to use at our home. As we used the dinnerware and I made changes to make the pieces more durable and functional; changing the clay body, and changing the form of the bowls and plates to more efficiently stack. We liked the dinnerware so much I began reaching out to local stores to sell the line, and it grew from there.

I had no intention to sell the pieces when I started making this gift. My studio work at the time was mainly ceramic sculpture. When the line first started I only used on glaze color; original. Now the line has expanded to include 12 different glaze colors. Original is still the most popular color in line with mugs being the most popular item in the line. The line was launched in May of 2013.

All the products are designed and manufactured in Orange County, California. All the pieces are hand thrown porcelaneous clay (white stoneware). After each piece is thrown on a potter’s wheel it hardens then is hand trimmed. The handles for all the mugs and pitchers are pulled by hand. We don’t use the slip casting or jigger process in any of our pieces. Creating each piece entirely by hand allows for more nuances in each piece.

When someone purchases a piece from W/R/F, they are getting a one of a kind piece. The name of the line, West River Field, is my Japanese namesake, Nishigawara. Nishigawara literally translates to West River Field. I run the day to day operations. My wife, who is also an artist, is involved with the creative development of the line.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has been smooth. From the beginning, Taku Shinomoto, an owner of Tortoise Life in Venice, has helped and supported me.

We’d love to hear more about what you do.
I am a potter. I make everyday use dinnerware. My design focus is simple and minimal aesthetics. I am most proud of as my company is my workers.

Philip, Jose, Grace, Hannah, John, Natalie, Ethan are very devoted team members, and I cannot run my business without them. I am in a very skill base business, and my workers bring their special skills to make all sorts of demands possible.

There are other great potters I know of but what sets my company apart from others is teamwork and ability to fulfill any customers requests.

What were you like growing up?
Quite and not interested in pottery at all.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 717 S. State College Blvd #G Fullerton Ca 92831
  • Website: www.wrflab.com
  • Phone: 7147852391
  • Email: info@wrflab.com
  • Instagram: _w_r_f_

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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