SHIWA LAB, a new brand established by Japanese design company Q.I Inc., has created the world's first glass with a surface reproducing the texture of an elephant's wrinkly skin. As the brand's name suggests, SHIWA LAB (shiwa 皺 meaning "wrinkle" in Japanese) creates products that let you enjoy the unique tactile properties of animals.

shiwa glass is the brand's inaugural product.

shiwa glass

shiwa glass accurately reproduces the wrinkly skin of an elephant, which you can feel when you touch and hold the glass in your hands. With a shape and using methods from traditional Japanese Mino ware, it's also a beautiful glass that you can display as interior decoration. Moreover, with its elegant box, it's also ideal as a gift.

According to the press release, wrinkles can be seen as beautiful sculptures that are constantly engraved on the body from the moment of birth. As an animal's skin repeatedly expands and contracts, cells that have stopped regenerating become wrinkles.

This project began with the desire to create an item that would convey the beauty and presence of life. SHIWA LAB used the wrinkles of a real, living elephant (who, as explained below, was in no way harmed in the process) to recreate a realistic feeling to the touch.

It took them five years to finally complete the glass to faithfully express the presence and depth of the carvings.

The process of making the mold from the elephant's skin was carried out in the presence of elephant breeders under strict safety controls. In order to ensure that the elephant was safe and happy, they used seaweed-derived materials for the mold and gave due consideration to the elephant's health and wellbeing throughout the entire time they were in its presence.

The wrinkles of the elephant are beautifully reproduced in Mino ware

The glass is made of Mino ware from Gifu Prefecture, which beautifully reproduces the details of wrinkles. Although it looks wild, it is made so thinly and delicately that light can pass through it, and it is also designed to be comfortable to drink. You can "experience the elephant's presence with your fingers and lips."

shiwa glass costs 14,140 JPY (incl. tax) and can be purchased at the Gunma Safari Park's online store.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.