Archive for the ‘Housewares’ Category

The Big Sale. It’s Big, and It’s a Sale.

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Well, it’s finally starting to feel like spring, and we all know what that means:

Cleaning!

No? Okay then, let’s try:

Sale!

That’s right. In honour of the season and its renewing, motivating forces, we’ve decided to comb through our collection at the 401 Richmond store and reduce prices on a selection of products, books and magazines for pretty much all of the next month. It’s the inaugural Big Sale, and it’s aptly named, unlike our former annual Sidewalk Sale (which we were never actually allowed to have on the sidewalk).

Big Sale offerings include Bodoni’s mammoth Manual of Typography from Taschen;
$5 back issues of magazines and annuals such as Communication Arts, Archive and Print; a mixture of classic and contemporary products from Nava, Arzberg, Umbra, imm Living and Rosti; information-loaded digital weather-station clocks designed by Philippe Starck; past issues of the architecturally uplifting 2G Magazine (which has – rather sadly – just gone digital with the newest issue, so grab those printed copies while you can); and some elegant one-off pieces of silverware (because really, who says you need a table setting of four?).

We’ll be discounting these items, and more, right through to Sunday, May 26, when we’ll be open for the final day of Doors Open Toronto. (Another excellent reason to visit the 401 Richmond building, and Swipe in particular.)

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To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit Swipe at 401 Richmond Street West, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or email us at info@swipe.com.

Drinking Water, on Tap

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

Okay, so filling a glass bottle with water and whacking a flip-top seal on it is hardly revolutionary, but the folks at tap water are determined to relegate plastic-bottled water to the annals of shame. Buying bottled water is an indulgence; it’s wasteful; chemicals inevitably leach into what you drink; producing the bottles and breaking them down again uses up a hefty chunk of natural resources; fewer than 20 percent of bottles are actually ever recycled; and it’s bad for the fish (not to mention everything that eats them, including us).

The tap water website has more information on all of this. And we have the tap water bottles. They’re simple, sleek and sturdy, with a clean design. They’re made from resilient but lightweight glass, with strong clasps and rubber seals. And unless you smash them (and you’d have to make an effort), they’re the ultimate in reusability. Available in three sizes – the large 1 litre, the medium 500 ml and the super-cute little 250 ml – they’re equally at home on your dinner table, your office desk or in your handbag or backpack.

So if you’re not already a convert to glass, come and check them out. And if you are, then maybe you can convert a friend. Or a co-worker. Or your parents.

tap water bottle, large (1 L / 32 oz): $19.95
tap water bottle, medium (500 ml / 17 oz): $14.95
tap water bottle, small (250 ml / 9 oz): $11.95

Serve Your Cake and Eat It Too

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Bad puns aside, Arne Jacobsen’s sleek Cake Server will add modernist flair to your cake-serving ceremonies this holiday season. Hell, it might even make your cake taste better! AJ cutlery was designed by Arne Jacobsen in 1957 for the restaurant in the Royal SAS Hotel in Copenhagen, a project on which he was also the architect. Manufactured in stainless steel by Georg Jensen, AJ has been in continuous production since it was designed. With its modern, simplified lines, AJ was deemed a sufficiently radical departure from traditional cutlery design that it was featured as a prop in the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey. A range of pieces are available at Swipe, but the cake server, at $69.95, is a perennial favourite.

AJ Cake Server: $69.95

Why We’re Here

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

twergipeppermillA young advertising student dropped by the store the other day. Having selected Swipe as the subject for a mock ad campaign he wanted to ask a few questions about the shop, its philosophy and its target market. We obliged, and once again discovered that articulating the shop’s logic is always a useful exercise. The consistent theme throughout the interview was our sense of obligation to the creative community. A somewhat inappropriate counterpoint was a rather childish sense of responsibility to the objects themselves and, to a lesser degree, to their designers. Inappropriate, in that the reaction is an irrational, primarily emotional one. Good designs that are obscure, unfashionable or, for economic reasons, difficult to source seem, well, hard-done-by. Lonely and sad they wait for the day when someone notices them. It is hard to believe that in 1994, the year we started carrying Stelton, the line was otherwise virtually unavailable in Toronto. Or that in 2000 we were one of only two Marimekko dealers in the city. When, in 1995, we first started stocking [popup url="http://www.swipe.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/toikkabarnowl.jpg"]Toikka birds[/popup] from Iittala, we were told by a college design professor that they didn’t belong in the shop because “they aren’t design, they’re kitsch”. At this point, all of these lines are available at shops throughout the city and, consequently, we have scaled back our selection to a few under-represented items (for example the lovely ashtray that is the heart of Jacobsen’s Cylinda Line).

Twergi Pepper Mill & Salt Grinder
? 1989: Ettore Sottsass

In 1988 Alessi acquired a centuries old Italian firm, Piazza Battista, that specialized in making small turned-wood kitchenwares. One year later, Alessi launched its inaugural wooden product line under the Twergi brand name (logo by Milton Glaser). Most of the items were designed by the late Ettore Sottsass and feature his trademark extravagant use of colour and pattern. With a distinctly unfashionable post-modern flavour, much of the line has since been retired. This pepper mill and the matching salt grinder are among our favourite products. And, yes, lonely and sad they wait for the day when someone notices them.

Pepper Mill: $159.95
Salt Grinder: $121.95

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To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at: info@swipe.com.

Material (Dis)Honesty

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

Despite recent suggestions that irony is dead, we’ve recently seen a minor flood of products wherein the key design concept is an ironic shift from one material to another. Early examples include the Happy to Serve You coffee cup, a ceramic version of the iconic New York City diner paper cup, and several quasi-art pieces from the often clever Vancouver-born designer Tobias Wong. More recent examples typically retain a familiar form (the plastic water bottle or the paper cup) while replacing an environmentally dubious material with something more acceptable or, at least, less disposable. Others seem to juxtapose a mundane or malevolent form against a more refined or benevolent function. While we reserve judgment on the enduring cultural significance of these products, we are obliged to acknowledge that they strike a chord, with I Am Not a Paper Cup being among our all-time best-selling gift items.

i_am_not

I Am Not a Paper Cup, Ceramic Coffee Cup
? 2007: James Burgess

Almost inconceivably popular, this double-walled porcelain cup, with its silicone drinking lid, is virtually indistinguishable from its disposable paper analogue. An odd mix of the advantages and disadvantages of both the paper cup and the ceramic mug that you will either love or find annoying on every level. Either way, it is dishwasher safe.

$19.95

also available are:

I Am Not a Paper Cup Lids

These silicone lids fit both the I.A.N.A.P.C. and a standard “Grande” paper cup.

Set of 3: $11.95

wearehappy

We Are Happy To Serve You, Ceramic Cup
? 1963 (2003): Leslie Buck & Graham Hill

Created in 1963 by the Sherri Cup Company (now a division of Solo), more than 180,000,000 Greek key Anthora (sic.) cups are carried out of New York delis and coffee shops annually. It can be spotted in virtually any film or television that features an authentic-looking New York cop and a cup of joe. In 2003 Exception Lab began producing a ceramic version of this quintessential New York icon. Dishwasher friendly and certified lead free.

$17.95

seletticanselettiwaterbotttleselettiespressopot

Seletti Porcelain Estetico Quotidiano (Daily Aesthetics) Line
? 2007: Design Selab & Alessandro Zambelli

From their website and product lines, one gets the impression that Seletti and Design Selab would like to think of themselves as the Italian ‘Droog’. Their Estetico Quotidiano series of porcelain and borosilicate glass serving items appropriates the forms of throw-away food and beverage containers to create an ironic table setting. All items are microwave and dishwasher safe.

Glass Water Bottle, 1L: $44.95
Porcelain Detergent Bottle Vase: $59.95
Porcelain Storage Can: $24.95
Porcelain Espresso Coffee Pot: $29.95
Porcelain Coffee Stirrer: $2.95

fredunzippedfredhalfpint

Fred Worldwide Glassware
? 2009: Liz Goulet Duboi for Fred Studio

The enterprising and prolific Liz Goulet Duboi repurposes the ubiquitous cardboard milk carton and plastic sandwich bag to produce a curious creamer and candy dish in borosilicate glass for Fred Studio.

Half Pint Milk Carton: $19.95
Unzipped Glass Zipper Bag: $29.95

Or, for a more intentioned take on the concept:

villadelirium

Villa Delirium: The Art of Krafft
? 2002: Charles Krafft

A working artist for decades, Charles Krafft (known facetiously as “the oldest promising young artist in Seattle”) finally achieved notoriety in the late 1990s with his “Porcelain War Museum Project”, recreating the AK-47s, pistols, and hand grenades of the Balkans conflict in a series of Delft-painted porcelain objects, produced in collaboration with Slovenian artists collective Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK). The first monograph on this idiosyncratic artist, Villa Delirium samples Krafft’s entire body of work in sixty colour photographs. (2002: Grand Central Press / Last Gasp; ISBN 0867195746)

$29.95

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To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at: info@swipe.com.

Design Is No Picnic … Except When It Is

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

rostibasic

Rosti Basic Outdoor Dishes
? 1978: Koen de Winter cdnmapleleaf

As a professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal and President of the Association of Canadian Industrial Designers, Belgium born Koen De Winter has made a profound contribution to the establishment of industrial design as a rigorous profession in Canada. Most recently de Winter has been both designing and manufacturing a beautiful line of ceramic kitchenware and serving pieces under the brand Atelier Orange, subject of a previous Swipe post. Of the several items he designed for Danish housewares manufacturer Rosti, the Basic line of casual dinnerware in melamine, created in 1978, remains in production and is one of the manufacturer’s most popular products. While North Americans consider melamine dishes suitable only on the patio or for camping, in Benelux it is extremely common for families to eat both breakfast and lunch from plastic dishes, and Rosti sells hundreds of thousands of pieces of Basic each year. Having previously won the Design Canada Award, De Winter was, in 2005, honoured with Flanders Design’s Henry van de Velde Career Award, celebrated with a nice little photo gallery on Créativité Montréal.

rostibasicdinnerrostibasicdeeprostibasicbreakfastrostibasiceggrostibasiccuprostibasicmugrostibasicsoup

Large or Deep Plate: $9.95
Breakfast Plate: $8.95
Egg Cup: $2.95
Cup & Saucer or Mug or Soup Cup: $ $7.95
(All are available in white and most in lime green.)

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To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at: info@swipe.com.

Environmentally Sound Waste Management

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

Of the big three ecological challenges, garbage, land use, and carbon, garbage is perhaps the most tractable. But what with sorting, streaming, and less frequent collection, home waste management has, of late, become something of a chore. It has also become a bit ugly. Here we offer a selection of attractive garbage receptacles that, while they won’t solve the crisis, will help to make the solution more aesthetically pleasing.

closthespintrashcan

Clothespin Trash Can

? 2007: Hung-Ming Chen

An exceedingly clever design, the flexible spars of this plywood garbage bin adjust to allow one to reuse almost any size bag, paper or plastic. Simple, effective, and economical: get the original now and be justifiably smug when Ikea™ knocks it off at twice the price!

$29.95

garbobluegarbinogreen

Garbo Eco Trash Can

? 1996: Karim Rashid cdnmapleleaf

Umbra has puts an eco-friendly spin on the 1997 Good Design Awards-winning Garbo trash can by Karim Rashid. Not only is the updated version made of 100% recycled plastic, it’s biodegradable and will likely break down in a landfill long before the garbage it once held.

Umbra Matte Blue Garbo (perfect for home office recycling): $12.95
Umbra Matte Green Garbino (makes a great bathroom organics bin): $7.95

calypsorosti

Calypso Compost Bin

? 2008: Rosti Mepal in-house

From classic Dutch / Danish manufacturer Rosti, a compact and stylish lidded compost bin in stain-resistant, dishwasher-safe white melamine. At about 8″ in diameter, it is nicely proportioned for the typical downtown kitchen.

$19.95

And while we’re on the subject of:

trashalphabetcity

Alphabet City 11: Trash

? 2006: John Knechtel cdnmapleleaf

From the MIT Press, Trash is the eleventh edition of Toronto editor and culture martyr Jon Knechtel’s acclaimed multidisciplinary journal Alphabet City. In a visually arresting volume from undisputed Canadian book design champ, Gilbert Li, a series of high-profile writers, artists, and filmmakers investigate the proposition that we are what we throw away.

Alphabet City 11: Trash: $22.95

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To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at: info@swipe.com.

Dinner with HAL

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

Given Arne Jacobsen’s current stature it is hard to imagine that prior to the present Modernist revival this seminal figure in Twentieth-Century industrial design and architecture was little remembered by non-specialists. In fact, just fifteen years ago if you were looking for Jacobsen’s famous Cylinda Line from Stelton in Toronto your only options were Swipe and the (now defunct) Scandinavian Shoppe on Danforth Avenue. Today the line is readily available around town so we carry only the brilliant little ashtray, Jacobsen’s personal favourite, as a token of respect and affection.

ajcutleryset

AJ Cutlery

? 1957: Arne Jacobsen

AJ cutlery was designed by Arne Jacobsen in 1957 for the restaurant in the Royal SAS Hotel in Copenhagen, a project on which he was also the architect. Manufactured in stainless steel by Georg Jensen, AJ has been in continuous production since it was designed. With its modern, simplified lines, AJ was deemed a sufficiently radical departure from traditional cutlery design that it was featured as a prop in the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

AJ Knife (Serrated Edge): $41.95
AJ Dinner Spoon, Dinner Fork, Dessert Spoon, Luncheon Fork: $31.95
AJ Pastry Fork: $29.95
AJ Tea Spoon: $24.95
AJ Espresso Spoon: $21.95

AJ Cutlery Sets:

AJ 5 Piece Place Setting: $157.95
AJ 30 Piece Setting (for Six): $949.95

AJ Cutlery Serving Pieces:

AJ Serving Fork and Spoon: $127.95
AJ Gravy Ladle: $39.95
AJ Bouillon Spoon, Butter Knife: $36.95
AJ Two-Tined Serving Forks: $44.95
AJ Breakfast Spoon (set of 2): $59.95
AJ Café Latte Spoon (set of 2): $49.95
AJ Cake Server: $71.95

steltoncylindaashtray

Stelton Cylinda Line Revolving Ashtray

? 1967: Arne Jacobsen

Jacobsen was a notorious pipe-smoker and this ashtray was, in his estimation, the most successful piece in his formative Cylinda Line from Stelton. We concur. Beautifully finished, the piece is a study in aesthetic geometry. Rotate the hemispherical bowl and ashes and cigarette butts drop neatly out-of-sight into the cylindrical base.

Small Revolving Ashtray: $89.95
Large Revolving Ashtray: $129.95

For those interested in Jacobsen’s career, an excellent hardcover monograph entitled Arne Jacobsen: Arkitekt and Designer published by the Danish Design Centre in 1996 is available at Swipe for $69.95.

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To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at: info@swipe.com.

Global Design from Replogle

Friday, February 6th, 2009

The largest globe manufacturer in the world, Replogle Globes of Chicago has recently shown an interest in applying design principles to an otherwise very conservative product category. These lines, while far from revolutionary, are both admirable for their understanding of contemporary aesthetics and their attention to detail.

Mikado 12″Globe & Spectrum 6″Globe

? 2004: Claus Jensen & Henrik Holbæk

Mikado, with its slate gray oceans, high-contrast metallic silver map, and unique angular brushed stainless steel base is a truly striking globe. Designed exclusively for Replogle Globes by Copenhagen based Tools Design, Mikado won a Advancing Design and Innovation Award in 2005. The 6″ Spectrum features the same slate-colored oceans and high-contrast metallic silver map as the award-winning Mikado, set on a circular stainless steel axis base.

Replogle Mikado 12″ Globe: $189.95
Replogle Spectrum 6″ Globe: $39.95

The Frank Lloyd Wright Collection

Licensed from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation these globes adapt some of Wright’s most famous architectural details and furniture designs as bases for premium quality globes.

Frank Lloyd Wright Barrel 16″Globe

This globe stand is an adaptation of one of Frank Lloyd Wright most universally recognized furniture designs. It is a modified version of the famous Barrel Chair originally designed in 1903 and modified for Wright’s personal use at Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin and for Herbert F. Johnson’s home, Wingspread, in Racine, Wisconsin in 1937.

Frank Lloyd Wright San Marcos 12″Globe

This 12” antique ocean globe features a stand adapted from a small hexagonal accent table designed by Wright for the Dining Pavilion of the San Marcos in the Desert Hotel in 1928.

Replogle Frank Lloyd Wright Barrel 16″ Globe: $849.95
Replogle Frank Lloyd Wright San Marcos 12″ Globe: $399.95

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To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at: info@swipe.com.

Local Design, Local Material, Local Manufacture

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

Swipe celebrates the return of legendary Canadian ceramics designer Koen De Winter. A long time Design Director at Montréal based Danesco, De Winter finally has an extensive line of his own in active production. Here De Winter and Atelier Orange succeed in the technical challenge of fusing local clay stoneware with porcelain elements during firing in order to create a beautiful contrast of material and colour. The line is dishwasher and microwave proof and is hand-produced in Saint-André-Avellin, Québec, Canada.

Lemon Press with Base $32.95
Oil / Vinegar Bottle $45.95
Small Mortar and Pestle $35.95

Born in Antwerp, Belgium, De Winter studied ceramics technology in Belguim and Holland in the 60’s. Prior to emigrating to Canada in 1979, De Winter’s designed several lines for the Danish housewares manufacturer Rosti, some of which remain in production today. As a professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal and President of the Association of Canadian Industrial Designers, De Winter has made a significant contribution to the establishment of industrial design as a rigorous profession in Canada. Having previously won the Design Canada Award, De Winter was, in 2005, honoured with Flanders Design’s Henry van de Velde Career Award.

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To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at: info@swipe.com.