For the first twenty years of my life, I was hardly impressed by names like Arne Jacobssen, Charles Eames, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe … Since I started studying architecture at the age of 20, I briefly hold my breath when they’re mentioned. Not for fear, it’s more a respectful, excited little wheeze.
My studies made me aware of design products and the people behind them. I know the effort of the design process, the toughness of the development phase, the displeasure when something is wrong or delayed in production. But I also know the indescribable happiness, when something that was just a small sketch once is finally a finished building. When my first project, a single-family house could be handed over, I’ve brushed a tear of joy.
I doubt Erik Magnussen cried over his EM77 vaccum jug, which he designed for the Danish company Stelton. Yet with his draft from 1977, he has made many generations of tea and coffee drinkers happy.
The straight cylindrical shape of the jug is one of the hallmarks of Stelton. Therefore, it’s not surprising no less than Arne Jacobsen designed a Cylinda Line for the Danes. However, the simple EM77 in ABS plastic attracts attention rather by the many different colors in which it has come out so far. If I’m not mistaken, it is available in red, black, saffron, white, lime, slate, lavender, soft black, sand, light gray and finally in green. In stainless steel, the material of the original design by Erik Magnussen, the vaccum jug is an elegant highlight, too. There is the classic steel look or the latest trend versions copper, mirror and brass.
It is precisely this colorful variety, which, in combination with a calm, unpretentious design leaves the classic always up to date.
The actual innovation, the tilt mechanism of the cork, restrains discreetly behind the visual presence. But how does this marvel of design work? In tilted position the liquid flows out and in standing position the jug is so well closed that hot beverages keep their temperature for hours.
The cork itself looks like an Oreo cookie. It is larger than the opening of the jug and conceals it completely. In contrast to conventional jugs, the tilt cork is not screwed. For this purpose, it has a counterweight on the bottom and two interlocking elements. The cork thus can’t fall out when tilting and only opens a small gap when pouring. The relatively high weight pushes the cork into the jug when it’s in a raised position. The opening is sealed and the temperature can be kept without problems.
Whoever is complaining now: “What do I do with an insulating jug that I can’t take to the picnic? Everything flows out when I put it in the basket”, should know that Eric Magnussen thought about that, too. Each jug is sold with a simple and elegant picnic cork.
If one of the parts disappears without a trace in the next move, you can simply order the corks, the glass insert, the spout and a great, matching tea strainer at Stelton. The jug can be assembled quickly and the handling is very easy.
You see, I am absolutely enthusiastic and a huge fan of the everyday object, thought-through from the front to the back. I myself own a classic EM77 in the color sand and an EM French Press in black. Even if the two have not been my first designer pieces, I know exactly when I’ve bought or received them as a gift. For me, it is not just a simple kitchen utensil, but a gem, which delights me every day.
In my opinion, everyone should treat oneself with a design classic, even if it will most likely not remain one. I can guarantee you will love these pieces just a little bit more than your usual kitchen utensils, furniture, clothes, … Butterflies in the belly can sometimes come in the form of an insulating jug.