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News, updates, and stories on Tortoise, our artists, and artwork

Staff Favorites at Tortoise!

Wallet irose wallet opened

“Even though it’s made of leather, the texture looks like washi paper. The beautiful lines and layers reminds me of origami when it opens. The wider opening behind the bill holders also makes it easier to find coins, and it helps me specifically from dropping coins…cause I’m kind of clumsy.” – Sachi

IROSE means ‘brothers’ in old Japanese.  Appropriately, the brand is designed by the Takahashi brothers, experts in leather.

Their wallet is part of their Paper Craft Series and uses high quality pig skin.  The wrinkles on the wallet are made by hand, and the many pockets make it easy to find your cards and small notes.

$378

Irose keychain Irose keychain 2

IROSE also makes a popular line of leather key holders.  Made out of a single sheet of leather, the keys are held in place in an accordion style and can be slid out at an angle when ready to use.  Wear around your neck as an accessory if you like.

$66

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“Colored glassware is harder to recycle than clear so reforming these colored sake bottles into carafes is not only beautiful, it’s thoughtful for the environment.  You can use them to pour nihonshu when you have company, or in my case to dress a big salad.” – Emma

F/Style is a small company in Nigata run by just 2 women designers.  They use old-world techniques to make modern items and accessories.  The upcycled carafes are made from different colored sake bottles and wine bottles.  F/Style chose to upcycle amber, yellow and green bottles because they discovered that colored glass is more difficult and expensive to recycle.   Look carefully and the carafes have very tiny markings on one side because they also serve as measuring cups.  The small markings show 180 ml, 360 ml, and 540 ml — also the traditional measurements for rice: 1 cup, 2 cup, and 3 cups.

Medium carafe: $30

Large carafe: $34