Well-made objects for home and office that have caught our eye this month, from tableware to tea towels and paper knives to pasta.
- Alvaro Catalán de Ocón/lights
These three lights by Madrid-based designer Alvaro Catalán de Ocón have been made using only three materials – wood, copper, and brass – plus a single light bulb. The series is called Candil, an Arab word used in Spain meaning oil lamp. “I was trying to create the atmosphere and light of a little candle in the side of a room,” says Catalán. These easy-on-the-eye lights are part of an edition of 100 signed pieces.
FLUX, a new company started by ceramics MA students at Staffordshire University in the UK, launched at January’s Maison & Objet in Paris. The debut collection uses traditional pottery techniques and introduces new design talent. These gilded Daisy Chain plates and mugs by Amy Clark are made of bone china.
- Vipp/salt and pepper mill
Founded in 1939 by Holger Nielsen, Danish company Vipp is known for its classic pedal bin. The firm’s new offering for the kitchen includes these stainless-steel and lacquered-aluminium salt and pepper mills. With ceramic grinding mechanisms that come with rubber inserts, they’re easy to disassemble for cleaning.
Family-run pasta maker Mancini, located in the village of Monte San Pietrangeli in Italy’s Marche region, follows Slow Food principles. Durum wheat (Levante and San Carlo varieties) from the family’s fields are taken to the hilltop factory on the Mancini property and passed through bronze dies where they are shaped into spaghetti and macaroni before being boxed in elegant white packaging and marked with the year of harvest.
The prototype of Seiko’s Active Matrix EPD digital watch was unveiled to the world at last year’s Baselworld to much acclaim. Its 300 dpi resolution screen shows five different styles of time display with the option of having two time zones. Charged by solar power, even if you keep this timepiece in the dark it will keep going for nine months.
- Hay/tea towels
These tea towels drew crowds at the Hay stand during January’s Maison & Objet fair. The Stabilo Boss-inspired palette is a signature of Dutch designers Scholten & Baijings. They have teamed up with the Danish firm for the first time to produce these cotton-mix patterned towels and a series of rugs and bed linen in similarly playful hues.
- Gerovassiliou/wine box
Thessaloniki-based winery Domaine Gerovassiliou is rethinking wasteful and unsightly wine packaging. These wine-boxes can store one, two or three bottles in two different sizes and can be stacked and used as a smart wine rack after use. Made from oak plywood, they reference the barrels the wine is matured in and have a useful handle so you don’t need carrier bags to take them home.
- Nivaldo de Lima/bag
Brazilian Nivaldo de Lima makes leather bags, including this smart Ipé messenger, from an atelier in Mallorca that he built himself. Crafted from washed buffalo leather – a material de Lima often uses for its great feel – the bag has two smart buckles to keep your valuables safe. The husband and wife team have just launched a bespoke service where they will make any leather accessory to order. A recent commission was for the owner of a 1923 racing Bentley that could be strapped on the back of the car.
Last year the Trieste-based tableware maker Italesse brought in Venetian designer Luca Nichetto to rethink the firm’s more domestic line. The hit new tableware collection is made up of Nichetto’s unbreakable Venti4 platter set, glasses by Swedish Claesson Koivisto Rune and a handsome mouth-blown glass carafe by Todd Bracher.
- Naef/chess set
Set up by carpenter turned toymaker Kurt Naef in 1954, Switzerland’s Naef plays up its Alpine roots with a collection of playful handcrafted products made from sustainably sourced wood. Suitable for children and grown-ups, its classic line of games includes this chess set originally designed by Bauhaus sculptor Josef Hartwig.
- Alessi/paper knife
Italian designer Giulio Iacchetti took inspiration from nature when designing this Uselen paper knife for Alessi. “References to the organic world are an inexhaustible resource to draw recognisable shapes that combine functions. The archetypal figure of a bird lends itself to this type of exercise,” says Iacchetti, whose humming-bird-shaped blade of steel makes tidy work of opening your postal correspondence.
- Muuto/tea set
Danish brand Muuto’s new teapot collection is designed by the Swedish Jonas Wagell of Jonas Wagell Design + Architecture. Made from porcelain, the collection is called “bulky” and includes a teapot, sugar bowl, milk jug, infusers, teacups, saucers and a cookie jar with oversized detailing that recall toy tea sets.
- OeO x Calming Park/candle
Copenhagen-based OeO has teamed up with candle maker Calming Park and looked to the city of Tokyo for inspiration for the first product in its “OeO collection”. The candle captures the essence of spring in Japan, with notes of pine, lotus flower, peony, cedar and patchouli.