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International design and architecture studio VW+BS has created a collection of tableware pieces, titled Silt, using the traditional material of unglazed Purple Clay, more commonly used for the tiny and elaborate teapots in China to serve black tea.
The practice has a history of working in old school materials, such as their bone china collection, Setcast for Asianera, in 2006. In 2012 VW+BS worked with Malaysian manufacturer Royal Selangor to create a new pewter-ware collection. Both of these projects took a traditional (and possibly unfashionable) material to create a contemporary form, changing the way in which we perceive them. In this case, the designers have created a collection that takes inspiration from a traditional tea set whilst updating the proportions to create a modern, stackable set, which can be, used daily.
This unglazed material has the effect of softening the taste of the water in the same way as activated charcoal. This occurs whether you are serving tea, coffee water or wine and as purple clay is a completely natural material, each piece will be unique and differ slightly in colour. The collection has been developed with the Taiwanese company Lin’s Ceramics Studio, using their particular brand of Purion ware, which is twice fired. Fifty sets will be produced, with each having a slightly different finish due to the firing of the clay.
Purple Clay is prized because of the absorbent qualities of the material, so for these reasons the set should never be washed using detergents, but rather with water only, and connoisseurs recommend using each vessel for one blend of tea or coffee.
The collection comprises seven items, which include a large jug with lid, small jug, bowl and four cups. The lid can be used on each of the products. Items will be available to purchase individually or as a set. Each set is priced at £195. The collection will be produced by specialist producer Lin’s Ceramics Studio in Taiwan and available to purchase from Autumn 2013.
VW+BS has collaborated with creative coffee consultants DunneFrankowski to create a recipe for the perfect coffee using the Silt collection. The duo will research the qualities of the material building a profile for the best form of preparation when making coffee. During this process, DunneFrankowski will document a method of heating, steeping and filtering the coffee working with the absorbent qualities of the unglazed Purple clay material.
From their East London coffee space Rob Dunne and Vic Frankowski run their eponymous coffee consultancy. Sharing a space with culture curators Protein, DunneFrankowski established their own coffee bar at the 18 Hewett Street gallery.
With a combined experience of 15 years in the coffee industry, DunneFrankowski are both certified Sensory Judges for the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE), UK chapter and have competed in both the UK and Irish Barista Championships.