Content sponsored by the IHA
Reporting by Morgan Walsh, photos by Benjamin Gross
For most 20- to 30-year-olds, the red Solo cup is an everyday object that stands for convenience, disposability and often debauchery. Often filled with an adult beverage, the Solo cup is frequently found at a house party, outdoor barbeque or while helping a friend paint an apartment. My first encounter with the ceramic version was during a studio visit. As I accepted the cup I was surprised by it's weight and rigidity—I was expecting the plastic variety. In ceramic, the cup was classier, more grown up and signified something lasting, other than the obvious reuse value.
Though I still attend parties where the original plastic Solo Cup proliferates, I'm drawn, as I imagine Core's audience is, to the durable and more thoughtful take on this vessel. While the Kikkerland version (pictured above) may or may not have been conceived in an effort to elevate the everyday object, the newest version by Revol, a 225-year-old French ceramics company, certainly is. (And here I can't help but call out a Chicago design collective's nod to ubiquitous design, Chilab and it's 2013 Unfolding Chair. Located in the southeastern city of Saint-Uze, Revol is the ultimate heritage brand, employing nearly 200 workers and finishing each piece by hand.
The latest in the "I'm not just a cup" series is a large format Crumple champagne bucket. Though the earlier, smaller versions of the Espresso and Cappuccino cups have enjoyed great popularity, the reference of this piece to the original Solo Cup is more appropriate and immediately identifiable - both signify festivity, celebration. While a Solo Cup often evokes the low-cost, a bottle of champagne often suggests the opposite. The Solo Cup is informal, used in various situations without though or intention, to open a bottle of champagne often implies a special event, or celebration with purpose. A whimsical take on high/low with a nod to ordinary, Revol has created a mature party cup that still calls to mind good old revelry.