The Next-Generation Paper Plate

I'm currently planning a party (ok, wedding) and have been coming across lots of interesting paper party supplies—including these awesome Gunilla Axén-designed cocktail napkins, which I am unreasonably thinking about shipping from England, and these ubiquitous but very charming paper straws, which I am most definitely ordering. Although we'll likely be serving dinner on proper china, I am tempted by these beautiful paper plates, bowls, and cups by Wasara: the loveliest disposable tableware I've seen.

Maru's Wasara collection features an array of beautifully designed biodegradable picnic plates, bowls, and cups.
Maru's Wasara collection features an array of beautifully designed biodegradable picnic plates, bowls, and cups.

Designed in Japan by Shinichiro Ogata, Wasara makes the sculptural pieces from 100% tree-free renewable materials, including sugar cane fiber, bamboo, and reed pulp. They're meant to be used once and then composted.

The 'compote' bowl shape.
The 'compote' bowl shape.

The forms are organic and almost sensual, with bends and dips designed for cupping in your palm.

A close-up of the dip in the coffee cup.
A close-up of the dip in the coffee cup.

According to the company's website: "Underlying the spirit of WASARA is the legacy of the Japanese aesthetic and values. Japan has a tradition of incomparable manufacturing backed by reliable skills and technique, one of the most refined food cultures in the world, and a spirit of hospitality and attention to detail. While WASARA tableware is by design ephemeral, it represents the essence of Japanese tradition and spirit."

A close-up of the bowl shows its organic, appealingly imperfect shape and tactile quality.
A close-up of the bowl shows its organic, appealingly imperfect shape and tactile quality.

They're available at shops around the U.S. and online. Here in San Francisco, Branch carries them. Packs of 8 to 12 plates range from $9 to $12; 6 bowls cost $12; and 6 wine and coffee cups are $10.

The plates come in three sizes, small, medium, and large.
The plates come in three sizes, small, medium, and large.

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