To a tea
Denmark’s Georg Jensen has a long and prestigious history that could be perceived as ‘stuffy’ and ‘dusty’ with its links to European royalty and heritage designs. Which is why CEO David Chu, who joined three years ago, has been on a roll in updating the brand’s image, collaborating with a coterie of renowned designers and architects, including Patricia Urquiola, Marc Newson, Zaha Hadid and now, with the Kusa tea set, Japanese architect Kengo Kuma.
Known for his moody, contemplative designs, which include the hypnotic GC Prostho Museum Research Centre and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics stadium, it seemed natural for the collaboration to reference Japan. The tea set created is not for British brewing-and-dunking, but for the layered nuances of a Japanese tea ceremony, or sado. Named after the Japanese word for grass, the tea set consists of a cha-ire (tea caddy), chasen (whisk), chashaku (tea scoop) and a chawan (tea bowl) on a tray, all crafted from silver. The circular tray is made from hammered silver, while the cup, pot and base of whisk have a darker exterior of oxidised silver latticework that echoes the slender strands of bamboo used for the whisk. A contrasting mirror finish on the inside of the bowl and cup finishes off the look with a polished gleam.
Only 11 examples of the hand-made tea set will be produced, each priced at US$80,000 (S$109,576).