What’s brewing: Stainless Steel Design

By Sarah Gastler

As Part of the Nio collection, this teapot was designed in 1982 by designer Oliver Hemming. It is a striking sculptural teapot. The bold lines curve and stop in stark, dramatic geometry. The handle peaks high above the pot creating spacious negative space, room enough for your hand or for the lid to flip up.  One characteristic of this sleek design is that you can follow  the same centered line width from the handle to the spout and back to the lid’s grip. Both handle and spout crisply disappear into the body of the pot. To pour, you lift the light weight vessel and rotate the handle 90 degrees, from vertical to horizontal. It makes teatime look slick and feel, oddly, more efficient and contemporary.

The handle and grip on the lid are made from a black heat resistant material. The main material,  stainless steel, obtains the design in exactness.

Reflected in this smart design is the history and invention of stainless steel. In brief summary, the process for making stainless steel developed in the early 1900’s with the addition of corrosion resistant elements like chromium to steel. This was a substantial invention that irrevocably influenced modern life with wide applications for industrial, commercial, and domestic use. Because of the thin layer of chromium oxide, this metal remains lustrous and functional with minimum maintenance. Though a highly energy intensive process is needed to create stainless steel, another aspect of the material is that it is 100% recyclable, leading to new applications and possibilities.

Oliver Hemming used this material with elegant flair when creating his Nio Collection. With 30 years already under this stylish teapot’s belt, it sits like new and will for a long time to come.

Stainless steel information:




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