Archive for the ‘Kitchenwares’ Category

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

Swipe Takes to the Botl

Saturday, June 9th, 2012

The botlfilter Personal Water Filter System, that is. Created by proudly Canadian company botl Inc., whose mission is to create environmentally responsible products and reduce plastic waste, the botlfilter system has joined the frontline of the tap-water revolution.

It’s small, simple, portable, and best of all, waste free. Just pop a filter bag inside the stainless steel case, drop it into your bottle of tap water, shake for 15 seconds, and drink happily away.

The filter bag (which is fully compostable and biodegradable) uses activated carbon from coconut shells to trap nasties such as chlorine, chloramines, lead, phenols, pesticides and detergents. Shaking the bottle speeds up the process. The filter case is made of North American stainless steel, with food-grade plastic caps. It’s dishwasher (or soap and water) safe, and infinitely reusable. On top of this, packaging is 100% recycled, recyclable and carbon neutral. The whole system meets NSF Standard 42 for chlorine, taste and odour reduction.

One filter bag produces up to a gallon (about 8 bottles) of tasty water: switch to a fresh bag every 1–3 days, depending how much water you guzzle.

One word to the wise: like most filters on the market, botlfilter is intended for use with municipal tap water, not to purify contaminated water or that from unknown sources. So resist the urge to fill your bottle from the nearest puddle (or even the nearest sparkling lake). Or if you must, don’t blame botl (or us) if you grow an extra head.

botlfilter Portable Water Filter Case, with 4 Filter Bags: $12.95
botlfilter Replacement Filter Bags, pack of 16: $12.95

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

Coffee Fit for a Mad Scientist

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

chemex10cup

Chemex Brewing Systems

? 1941: Dr. Peter J. Schlumbohm

In 1941 chemist Dr. Peter Schlumbohm created the prototype for the Chemex, for his own use, from an Erlenmeyer flask and a laboratory funnel. The production model is a mid-century design classic. Fabricated from a single piece of borosilicate laboratory glass, it trades a nice wooden collar for the original duct-tape and adds a small ‘navel’ indicating the ideal brewing quantity. Widely considered the best filter coffee making system available, when used with laboratory-grade Chemex filters. 

Chemex Classic Coffeemaker, 3 cup: $54.95
Chemex Classic Coffeemaker, 8 cup: $64.95
Chemex Classic Coffeemaker, 10 cup: $69.95

Chemex Accessories:

Universal Lid: $9.95
Wire Grid (for electric stoves): $11.95
100 genuine Chemex Filters: $13.95

       chemexfiltres

This very useful instructional video comes courtesy James Hoffmann, World Barista Champion 2007 and founder of Square Mile Coffee Roasters based in London, England.

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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.

Because Everyone Knows that the Most Important Piece of Equipment in Any Design Studio is the Coffee Maker

Sunday, September 12th, 2010

[popup url="http://cache.vendaria.com/vpop/VpopV6.html?ct=13&ctname=&fw=550&fh=400&logo=101&fv=9&ap=vnd_krups_dolce_gusto&fl=gkiJQQjjddegfaFFUQdkaibkbdfVffdVjiVb_other_EN003504000550.swf&purl=MAIN_krups_dolce_gusto&iid=RECpfzvLqvKuKLJKmvIKfwlqIJIIlq&bg=FFFFFF&nm=BZOpener&curl=&err=0&title=Vendaria%20Media&tp="]dolcegusto[/popup]
[popup url="http://cache.vendaria.com/vpop/VpopV6.html?ct=13&ctname=&fw=550&fh=400&logo=101&fv=9&ap=vnd_krups_dolce_gusto&fl=gkiJQQjjddegfaFFUQdkaibkbdfVffdVjiVb_other_EN003504000550.swf&purl=MAIN_krups_dolce_gusto&iid=RECpfzvLqvKuKLJKmvIKfwlqIJIIlq&bg=FFFFFF&nm=BZOpener&curl=&err=0&title=Vendaria%20Media&tp="]Click the image for a multimedia demonstration[/popup]

Krups Nescafé Dolce Gusto
? 2008: Antoine Cahen & Krups GmbH

Okay, so if you subscribe to Barista Magazine and roast your own green beans, this may not be the machine for you. However, if someone in your studio is taping increasingly threatening notes over the coffee station in the kitchenette (8 1/2″ by 11″ laser printed, all caps, lots of exclamation marks … you know the kind) or your receptionist is threatening to quit next time the whole boardroom asks for extra-foam soy steamers, then we have a suggestion for restoring workplace harmony. Using Nestlé’s proprietary multi-beverage capsule system, Dolce Gusto produces perfectly passable cappuccinos and lattes, on par with what one is served at the ubiquitous chain latte factories. And, thanks to the magnetic capsule holder, the beverage doesn’t actually come into contact with the machine, meaning virtually no clean-up. Despite its robo-pet styling, the Dolce Gusto is actually a fairly serious machine, with the same 15-bar pump and ‘Thermoblock’ on-demand heating system found in Krups’ traditional ground-espresso machines. Capsules containing 100% arabica beans and sterilized milk are available from Swipe in six varieties – caffè americano, cappuccino, latte macchiato, caffè lungo, espresso and chococino – at $8.95 for a carton of 8 capsules.

Starter set including 16 capsules: $219.95


krupsxp5240

Krups XP 5240 Espresso Machine
? 2009: Krups GmbH

The overall styling of this all-stainless machine owes a great deal to Krups’ ongoing collaboration with Konstantin Grcic, and to the successful XP5000, launched in 2006. The most striking technical innovation making its debut here is the patented Krups ‘Precise Tamp’ system, a ratcheted handle that automatically tamps the cake and adjusts the cup depth for the quantity of coffee used. The handle also features a cake-ejection button, eliminating the need for a forceful (obnoxiously loud, kitchen-counter-denting) knock out. In common with other higher-end Krups machines, the XP 5240 offers a 15-bar pressure pump and the ‘Thermoblock’ on-demand water-heating system which eliminates downtime between cups (even if the whole damned boardroom does ask for extra-foam soy steamers).

$299.95

Krups coffee accessories also available at Swipe:

Krups Fast Touch Coffee and Spice Grinder: $34.95
Krups GVX 2 Burr Coffee Grinder: $112.95

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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.

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.