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German Tea for Me

Wilhelm Wagenfeld, one of Germany's leading industrial designers of the 1930's, was commissioned by Jenaer Glaswerk to design some products created out of heat resistant glass. The Tea Service was first of several goods and consisted of a teapot, sugar bowl, creamer, cups / saucers, and a tray for all to rest upon. 

The thin glass set shined light on the designer due to its popularity and aesthetic. When the maker wanted to promote the set under his name, he later replied “In my opinion practical and rational considerations spoke against this idea. I recommended eliminating even the family name of the enterprise in a new trademark design. The consumer should remember merely the name of the place where the glass came from. This would increase his appreciation of the product itself.” And that lead to the pieces being marketed under the name Janaer. 

We can appreciate this anonymous standard, which he had learned while at the Bauhaus. He wrote in realtion to “this is perhaps the main difference between handcraft and industry, the former is still bound to the individual…..whereas the industrial product is the expression of collective work and collective execution. Only through the joint efforts of designer, technician, and craftsman does the product arrive at its final form.” This belief raised the quality level of consumer items of that time, which would not have happened with the the teaming up of designer and producer.

We applaud this forward thinking designer and his ideas of production, functionalism, and beauty. 

Tea Service / 1931 / Heat resistent glass

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