The drinking of tea is enjoyed world wide. It is seen as a quiet, palliative activity often shared shared with others. A sleek, leafless tree and its branches were the visual inspiration for the Branche teapot as they seem to embody the soothing, calm aspects of the tea experience. The primitive nature of the tree is captured in the simple act of pouring with a single hand.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
This subtle but striking teapot is designed to be poured using one hand, right or left. This gives the user flexibility by freeing one hand for other tasks. The smooth, contemporary design accentuates the comforting, quiet aspects of tea drinking.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
Branche is designed to be poured with one hand thus increasing the flexibility of its use. The walls are thick to increase insulation and to protect the pouring hand. The plug on the large branch can be easily removed to insert the tea bag and hot water. The smaller branch is the spout.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
The project started in late 2013 and completed in early 2014. It was handmade and constructed in San Francisco, CA.
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
The Branche was hand shaped in yellow foam and then vacuum formed to create a mold for insta-cast. Then the exterior was smoothed. I hollowed out the interior of the molded insta-cast. Next, I primed, and painted it Nissan white. Several clear coats were applied. The wood accents were formed using a lathe. A clear, natural finish was used.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
The Branche Teapot holds 355 ml. The overall dimensions are: 12mm x 12mm x 18mm.
Contemporary, sleek, soothing, comfortable, simple, intuitive
I internet researched and visited retailers to study teapots with regard to form and pouring methods to understand the differences between products. It was evident that very few teapots could be poured with one hand limiting flexibility. Often the handle was large making pouring difficult. In many instances, the lids had to be held in place while pouring. Interviews with users helped determine needs and desired appearance. Many expressed concerns about the outside temperature of the pot and wanted a contemporary style.
The most challenging aspect was to design a product which met the desired parameters of a teapot. These included a teapot for single handed pouring which was contemporary in design and embodied every aspect of the tea drinking experience. Protection from heat was a concern.
TEAM MEMBERS (1) :
Image #1: Sean Miller, Branche Teapot, 2014
Image #2: Sean Miller, Branche Teapot, 2014
Image #3: Sean Miller, Branche Teapot, 2014
Image #4: Sean Miller, Branche Teapot, 2014
Image #5: Sean Miller, Branche Teapot, 2014