Permanent Collection





This ceramic mortar and pestle is drawn from the kitchen collection of Alice Waters, founder of Chez Panisse, as part of her ongoing collaboration with Permanent Collection. Based on one of her most indispensable tools, a Japanese suribachi, this piece is perfect for making vinaigrettes, pounding sauces or grinding spices. This hard-wearing, versatile mortar and pestle will become your favorite kitchen friend! Hand-thrown by California ceramicist Colleen Hennessey, the mortar comes with a hand-turned pestle made from solid, sustainably-sourced maple. 

Pre-use instructions: We recommend doing a preliminary seasoning before first use: mix sesame seeds or rice with coarse salt, and grind thoroughly. This should remove any remaining clay grit and is a good preparatory process for any unseasoned clay kitchen tools. Keep your wood pestle clean and dry, and condition with mineral oil as needed.

Please note that, due to each piece being thrown and glazed by hand, size and color vary very slightly.   

Ceramic mortar and wooden pestle

Mortar fabricated exclusively for Permanent Collection by Colleen Hennessey in Mendocino, CA.

Pestle fabricated by Jake Pschigoda in southwest Michigan.

Hand wash only. Clean pestle with warm water and little or no soap and treat with pure mineral oil as needed. Soak mortar in warm water before gentle hand wash. Dry thoroughly.

Please use caution when using on fragile surfaces. We suggest keeping a dish towel under mortar on countertops.



Shipping & Returns


7.5 inches in diameter and 3.25 inches deep. The pestle is 7.5 inches long with a 1.5 inch diameter at the pounding end



This mortar and pestle is drawn from the kitchen collection of Alice Waters, founder of Chez Panisse, as part of her ongoing collaboration with Permanent Collection. Based on one of her most indispensable tools, a Japanese suribachi, this hard-wearing ceramic mortar and pestle was designed with Mendocino, California- based ceramicist Colleen Hennessey to be a functional and beautiful cornerstone of the kitchen. She trained in sculpture at Kansas City Art Institute before working for many years as a line cook while simultaneously honing her craft as a potter. Colleen throws every piece by hand on the wheel—each one is unique. The pestle is hand- turned in southwest Michigan by Jake Pschigoda from solid maple sourced from a local sawmill that purveys regionally and responsibly harvested hardwoods.

Recipe: There are many uses for a Japanese-style mortar and pestle, but Alice’s favorite is for vinaigrette. Pound a clove of garlic with sea salt until the garlic is smashed. Add vinegar or lemon juice to cover and leave to sit for ten minutes. Whisk in extra virgin olive oil (1 part acid, to 2.5 parts oil) and use to dress lettuce or vegetables.


Permanent Collections offers UPS Ground shipping on all U.S. domestic orders. International shipping to Canada and Europe is available via DHL and UPS.

Orders are processed one time per week, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. All orders ship from Berkeley, CA. Availability of products is not guaranteed. If you have ordered an item that is not available or that is delayed, we will notify you via email or telephone. When your order is processed, you will receive a shipment confirmation email with the shipping tracking number. Residents of California will pay state tax on their purchase (8.75%)

Expected arrival date for international orders is approximately 10-14 days from the order date. For international orders, a customs duty will be charged to you depending upon the country in which you reside and the cost of the product you have ordered. Permanent Collection is NOT responsible for payment of this duty. Please consult an online duties calculator before placing your order, as this charge could amount to a few hundred additional dollars for which you will be liable.


Should you wish to return an item, it must be in unused, unworn, unwashed, unaltered, and in undamaged condition and returned within 30 days of purchase. All returns must include original packaging: any boxes, hangers, garment bags, and other packaging materials.

To begin the return process, please contact us at We will then email you a return UPS shipping label and a return packing slip for you to mark with the reason(s) for your return. Repackage the item(s) you would like to return and place the prepaid UPS return label on the outside of the box you’ll ship back to us at:

Drop off your shipment at a UPS Store (find your nearest store at or at any UPS facility.

As soon as we receive your return, we’ll let you know in an e-mail and make sure that your refund is processed within 7 days. It may take up to 14 business days from the date we process your refund for it reflect on your original form of payment.

We reserve the right to deny refunds if the merchandise returned does not meet our return policy requirements.


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