These trivets are handmade in Kanazawa from kiri (paulownia, or empress tree), a fast-growing and very lightweight tree. Kiri is valued in Japan for its resistance to moisture, heat and warping and is traditionally used to make chests of drawers and the Japanese instrument koto.
Kiri naturally has a hollow center and the trivets make use of this unique feature as a design element. Small holes are original holes; large holes are made by the artisan when there is a crack or other issues near the holes. The size of the trivets reflects the size of the trunk. There is no two identical pieces as the artisan works to enhance the individual character of each cut piece.
Kiri craft in Kanazawa is distinct because the surface of the product is burned. After burning, soot is removed and the surface is polished. This process makes the surface harder, the wood grain appear more prominent, and stains and scratches less visible. But most of all, the burning creates a warm, smooth, and rounded surface that you can’t help but want to touch.
The kiri trivets are superb as holders of hot pots. As kiri has a very low conductivity of heat, the trivets will not become hot, and the table or counter will stay cool. The surface of the trivets is already burned, so even a very hot casserole will not leave a burn mark. They are beautiful to look at, warm to the touch and do the job extremely well. You will love the kiri doughnut trivets.
Please Note When Ordering
The shape and color of each piece is unique and no two pieces are alike. Other than specifying the size, you can tell us if you prefer a piece with a small or large hole. If you are really particular, we can send you images of a few pieces and you can make a choice from that group. Otherwise, let us pick a piece for you.
- Material: Kiri grown in Japan
- Size is approximate; thickness is 11/16" for all 3 sizes
- Diameters: Large 7¾" to 8¼"; Medium 6⅛" to 6¼"" Small 5" to 5⅛'
- Color and grain pattern of each trivet may vary
- Made in Japan
Who Makes It
Iwamoto Kiyoshi Shōten was founded in 1913 and is the only remaining workshop in Kanazawa that specializes in kiri craft. Kiri craft was once a thriving industry that mainly produced hibachi (brazier). Kiri is a perfect material for hibachi as it is extremely lightweight, has a high ignition point and is a low conductor of heat. As life in Japan modernized post-WWII, demand for hibachi dwindled and many kiri workshops closed.
When the owner of Iwamoto Kiyoshi Shōten decided to bring down the curtain in the early 2000s, his daughter, out of college and working in Tokyo, returned to Kanazawa with her new husband to explore the possibility of reviving the business. Joined by her younger brother, the three young entrepreneurs updated the product line to create goods that are more in line with modern taste.
Their products appeal to a wide range of audience, including people who have never used kiri ware. Lightweight and simply shaped, with the only accent being the prominent wood grain, kiri products do indeed fit the modern lifestyle of any culture.