Given the opportunity to design for production, I chose to explore something that is always made in multiples: tableware. I started by asking what pieces would make up a complete, but not excessive place setting and then began seriously questioning materials. Considering the typical use of each piece, I concluded that plates should be ceramic, the drinking cup glass, and the tea cup and bowls cast iron, for its heat retentive quality.
I decided to tackle the tea cup first. Starting with a pen, paper and a ruler, I sketched and measured all kinds of cups to determine the right scale before jumping into Solidworks to nail down dimensions. Along with patience and time-management, I learned about mold making and pattern board specifications. Utilizing both the technology of rapid prototyping and the age old manufacturing technique of iron casting, I ended up with a nice set of iron tea cups and a lot of knowledge.
Next step: learning to enamel.