tea

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Design

A Bird’s Nest Tearoom Perched Atop a 300-Year-Old Camphor Tree in Japan

August 17, 2016

Christopher Jobson

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All photos by Koji Fujii for Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP

Architect Hiroshi Nakamura had always been intrigued by how some crows utilize found coat hangers as a structural element in their nests. With this idea in mind, a unique opportunity presented itself when treehouse builder Takashi Kobayashi contacted him with an unusual site for a tearoom: 10 meters above the ground in a 300-year-old cinnamomum camphora tree growing precariously on the side of a mountain that overlooks the ocean in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. Using the coat hangers as a starting point he designed the Bird’s Nest Atami Tearoom using a variety of minimally invasive construction techniques meant to protect the integrity of the tree.

“Hangers are not only durable but also highly elastic, and they offer more hooks to connect than branches and hence are easier to assemble,” he shares. “Crows, flying deftly across the dichotomy of natural and artificial, are creating a functional and comfortable environment.” Thus the tearoom became a lightweight scaffold-type structure that works in harmony with the trees branches instead of being directly anchored to it. From Nakamura’s notes on the project:

For the foundation, we carefully inserted pier type foundations between the roots in order to avoid the use of concrete and large-scale excavation. Using the structure itself as scaffolding, we assembled it by avoiding the branches as birds create their nest, adding or taking out components based on structural analysis. We mortared the room interior to be like a swallow’s nest. The design leaves open the possibility for visitors to experience nest building by picking up branches from the mountain side and fitting them into walls inside.

The tearoom is part of the KAI Atami resort, and you can see more views both inside and out on the Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP website. Please take me with you. (via ARCHatlas)

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Design

Mirror Coffee Cups by ‘D-Bros’ Reflect Patterns on Saucers

February 2, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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Created by Japanese design brand D-Bros (previously) these carefully hand-crafted coffee/tea mugs made from Hasami porcelain are painted with a thin layer of reflective palladium that allows each cup to mirror the saucer it rests on. D-Bros created many different geometric designs, some of which are available over at Spoon & Tamago.

 

 



Design

A 130-Year-Old Japanese Pottery Shop Puts a Modern Spin on Traditional Kutani Tableware

August 4, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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Founded in 1879 in Ishikawa, Japan, Kutani Choemon have been creating handmade and hand-painted pottery for the better part of 130 years, and while the history shows in the quality of their work, the subject matter is a bit more contemporary. Skateboarders, surfers, and drummers rendered in blue Kutani color glazes adorn a wide variety of their tableware and tea ceremony utensils, bringing a quirky and modern vibe to a traditionally conservative craft. You can see more over in the Kutani Choemon shop. (via Designers Go to Heaven)

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Art Design

A Dragon Teapot by Johnson Tsang

October 11, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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Artist Johnson Tsang (previously) has been posting an amazing series of process photos over on his blog that demonstrate how he makes many of his bizarre ceramic creations. One piece that really stood out is called a Painful Pot, which is a functional teapot being squeezed by a dragon, its head functioning as the spout. (via EPLOD)

 

 



Design

Creature Cups: A Wildlife Surprise in your Coffee Cup

October 19, 2012

Christopher Jobson

I love these ceramic creature cups by design group Yumi-Yumi out of Brookyln. At the base of each mug rests an animal that’s slowly revealed as you consume your tasty beverage. Good to the last dripping octopus.

 

 

 



Illustration

Tea Illustrations by Andrew Gorkovenko

September 6, 2012

Christopher Jobson

As part of a series of packaging designs for Triptea, designer and illustrator Andrew Gorkovenko created these surprisingly wonderful illustrations utilizing the tea contained within each box. This execution seriously goes above and beyond to create a great brand for simple product. You can see much more on his website.