Drinking your morning coffee from a favourite mug, elevating a homemade soup with a beautiful bowl, or giving your midweek dinner a fine dine feeling are what make simple moments matter.
I’m a firm believer that the objects we choose to surround ourselves with should not be saved for best, but used and celebrated every day, and nowhere does this ethos feel more appropriate than at mealtimes.
Effortlessly adaptable, functional and durable British design brand Monoware offer a paired-back range of timeless tableware, glassware, cutlery and tabletop essentials all aimed to inspire and enhance our daily experiences.
I recently chatted with founder Daniel Baer to find out more:
Can you begin by introducing Monoware and telling us how the brand got started?
My motivation for creating Monoware was the challenge of finding contemporary tableware that was suitable for daily use and would stand the test of time. In my experience the multitude of options available have more of an emphasis on aesthetics rather than quality, making it hard to know which products to invest in.
I felt there was a real gap to serve a generation of creative cooks and diverse households who appreciate timeless design, durability, and sustainable craftsmanship. We originally launched with simple stoneware ceramics all produced in a natural colour palette and have since gone on to offer glassware, kitchenware and cutlery.
What inspires a Monoware product, and how are these ideas reflected in your final designs?
At Monoware every product begins with us asking ourselves how we can improve the objects we use every day. Our Everyday Mug, for example offers the ideal capacity for both a cup of tea or a cappuccino, whilst our Grain Bowl has been designed to work with both soup and pasta.
From an aesthetic point of view, we like to create shapes that blend the modern with the traditional, whilst highlighting subtle complexities. For example, soft square profiles that merge into round, as well as finishes and colours that draw inspiration from nature, helping us to ensure a timeless feel and a natural appearance and allowing our pieces to transcend trends and seasonality.
How are Monoware pieces made, what methods and materials do you choose to use?
To keep our ecological footprint as low as possible, we always look first to collaborate with makers, designers and businesses close to home. We are particularly proud of our recent Small Batch line, for which we work closely with UK-based makers and support them through yearly design commissions.
At Monoware, we advocate ‘buying to last’ and that’s also reflected in our material choices. Stoneware for example is durable, long-lasting and retains heat evenly. Besides that, it can go into the oven, microwave and dishwasher, which is very useful for everyday use. Our cutlery sets meanwhile are made out of 18/10 stainless steel, which is the highest grade and guarantees that the utensils are hard wearing, rust-resistant and dishwasher safe.
When it comes to creating pieces we all use every day, how do you make something different?
Everyday tools play a significant role in our daily lives, which means they need to be crafted to fulfil their intended purpose with the greatest comfort and precision. For instance, cutlery must be comfortable to hold and use, with a good grip and appropriate weight distribution. Dinnerware should be easy to handle, with a comfortable weight and size that is easy to clean. Good glassware needs to have a smooth rim to allow for easy sipping, while the material itself should be thin enough to provide a comfortable drinking experience and durable enough to withstand regular use.
At Monoware, we have high standards for every product we create. We put each item through meticulous testing to ensure that it meets our strict requirements for functionality, durability, and sustainability. Only if it meets all these benchmarks do we consider it worthy of production.
What’s next for Monoware, can you tell us a little about what we can look forward to seeing next from you?
We design everything in our South London studio, and it can often take well over a year before a piece goes into production. Whenever we make the decision to expand our product ranges, it’s always a thoughtful decision and a mindful process, rather than a trend or a seasonal-led launch.
At the moment we are working on another new ceramic piece for our Small Batch accessories range which will be launching later this year and we are also working on a project that we’re really excited about for the upcoming London Design Festival this September.
Thank you, Daniel for taking the time to chat with me, I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us next.
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
To find out more visit the Monoware website.
Feature image by Nicola Capper, all other images courtesy of Monoware.
Enjoyed reading this post? Then read my chat with Karolina Obroniecka Perez-Maura, founder of Lagom Handmade Glassware.