This set was originally designed when I was at art school in England for a competition, which I won, for a silver teapot, for the Johnson Mathey Silver Award, in 1982. Johnson Mathey were the biggest gold and silver bullion processors in the UK at that time and they sponsored a number of art school design awards. The prize was 2 Kilos of silver to make the winning design with, which , when you are student, is a lot of material to play with. The original design was a little different, and I for my final degree show I changed it and made the 3 piece tea set as you see it now, but without the hinge in the lid. After I graduated, the design sat at home until I decided in about 1998 to try and make it commercially, not in silver, but in stainless steel. My thinking was that it was still looking relevant as a design and it had stood up well to the passage of time and that I could find customers, at the right price to buy it. And i added back the hinge in the lid, which was one of its most beautiful features as it was impossible to see the hinge from the outside.
I found a factory willing to take it on and invested in the tooling and got going, and it was immediately taken up many by museum stores and quality retailers, it seemed to have found a niche, and so I developed the collection further to include a series of coffee pots, espresso makers, kettles, trays and spoons, as you see in the brochure attached. In 2000 I changed the name from io to nio and that was the name it had for the majority of its production, we also moved the production to a different and in my mind, better factory. In 2009 we stopped production as the price of the stainless steel material and other manufacturing costs had effectively doubled over the period we were making it and sales had dropped dramatically globally.
We also expanded it into a range of electrical products………… it was very cool
I think nio was was best work.