Prototype teapot designed by Robert Foster

Made by Fink! and Co in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1995.

Robert Foster designed this teapot from stainless steel and aluminium as a prototype for Alessi in 1995. Foster is among a handful of Australian designers to be selected by the Alessi company to design home wares for them, along with Marc Newson, Lisa Maree Vincitorio, Denton Corker Marshall, Susan Cohn, Alice Abi and Tom Kovac. However, at this stage, neither this teapot, nor two other designs made by Foster for Alessi (including a fondue set in 1992 and another teapot), have gone into producti...


Squat shaped teapot with a rounded hemispherical body of stainless steel, flat base and red snooker ball style lid. The teapot has a single tapered handle and a narrow cylindrical spout made in pale purple stainless steel.


115 mm
135 mm


This teapot was designed and made as a prototype by the Australian designer, Robert Foster, for the Italian design company, Alessi, in 1995. Foster was invited by Alberto Alessi, director of the Alessi company, to design a teapot made from stainless steel with a view to it going into production as part of the Alessi range.

Foster's design concept for the teapot was to create a juxtaposition between the hemispherical body of the teapot and the line or form of the handle and spout. Foster says "the reaction of the vessel being pierced by the tapered handle stretches and distorts the symmetry of the polished bubble of the body. The direction of and the action of piercing implies the function of pouring or the flow of liquid. Its form is a perfect sphere and rests at the junction of the components. Its purpose is to open the vessel, allowing it to be filled, beginning the process of making tea".

The body of the teapot was hammered hot from stainless steel then planished (i.e. smoothed). A bottom was welded on and then it was abraded and hand polished. The handle and spout was carved from a solid block of aluminium (it was originally intended to be injection moulded) and then it was abraded by hand to get the final form, then anodised.

Although the prototype was liked by the company, the teapot was perceived to be "too organic" and Foster chose not to proceed to modify its form for commercial production.
Fink! and Co 1995


Purchased 2010
16 June, 2010

Cite this Object

Prototype teapot designed by Robert Foster 2017, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 25 November 2017, <>
{{cite web |url= |title=Prototype teapot designed by Robert Foster |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=25 November 2017 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
This object is currently on display in Store 2 at the Museums Discovery Centre.
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