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IN THE WORKSHOP: THE AYASA COLLECTION

AYASA, which in Sanskrit means ‘of metal’, was our first collection and embodies what we set out to do as an Indian design studio. Our idea then – and now – was to celebrate the quiet but considered functionality of Indian household objects that are often not considered design pieces, but absolutely should be.

In India and the subcontinent materials such as copper and brass are used for eating and drinking rather than just decoration. This collection celebrates the idea that beauty and utility can be in balance.

Once we had designed the collection we struggled to find a craftsperson in Bangalore capable of doing the metal spinning by hand. Traditional methods aren’t being practiced widely anymore and many machines are now CNC-operated. We searched extensively and eventually met Venkatesh Chinappa (A.K.A Venky Anna - Anna means older brother) who came with over 25 years of experience of spinning metal. Venky Anna is now part of our workshop team in Bangalore and makes all of Tiipoi’s brass, copper and aluminium-spun products.

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We searched extensively and eventually met Venkatesh Chinappa (A.K.A Venky Anna - Anna means older brother) who came with over 25 years of experience of spinning metal.

Today we can easily say that metal spinning is at the heart of so many of our products and is central to what happens in our workshop! But apart from the spinning itself, there are several stages that take place before this step, the first of which is sourcing good metal sheet material, be it brass, copper or aluminium. This material is then cut down to size and these are now which are also known as 'blanks.'

Then comes a process called ‘annealing’ which is when the cut blanks are heated. These blanks are then worked on and formed with a long tool called a ‘spoon’, which is mounted on the machine.

Venky Anna performs all these various stages of the process working with our (amazing!) engineer Vibin Vishwa who communicates back and forth with the studio in London. Also, another crucial part about metal is spinning is that most products need an appropriate ‘tool’, - think of these as moulds in a way. These tools are made locally in mild steel.

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The tooling stage is crucial because it is an expensive process and corrections are not necessarily straightforward (although we've done this a while to know a way around it) Once the tool is ready, Venkatesh can spin the first prototype - there are usually small corrections after this stage too before it is totally perfected.

Although metal spinning is thought of as an industrial manufacturing process because a machine is involved, it is in reality a highly specialised manual technique that is akin to any skilled handcraft.

The tooling stage is crucial because it is an expensive process and corrections are not necessarily straightforward (although we've done this a while to know a way around it)
Once the tool is ready, Venkatesh can spin the first prototype - there are usually small corrections after this stage too before it is totally perfected.

Although metal spinning is thought of as an industrial manufacturing process because a machine is involved, it is in reality a highly specialised manual technique that is akin to any skilled handcraft.

Click on the image below to watch the video!

Our Ayasa metal storage jar was the first product we ever designed so it has a special place for us in our hearts (also it's still our best seller!) and the workshop because it was also the first product ever spun for us by Venkatesh. The jar comes in copper and brass but we also do a coloured range made out of powder-coated, food grade aluminum aluminium.

The Indian kitchen has always proved to be a rich source of ingenuity. Inspired by the extended 90-degree rim/ lip found on Indian stainless steel kitchenware, we designed our pourers with rims makes them effectively ‘drip-free’.

While the Copper or Brass pourers are hand lined with Tin to make them food-safe, the coloured pourers are hand-spun out of food-safe Aluminium and powder-coated in different bright hues on the outside.

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Our trivets are inspired by the stands used inside pressure cookers in India to raise vessels off the base and allow for even cooking. Named Chakra, which in Sanskrit means wheel, they have been designed as continuous rings with no joins and have a unique ‘v’-profile. The trivets are spun in 5 stages and use very little material. In fact, any material left over from the spinning process is used to make our Ayasa jars!

The collection also includes our food-safe Loha Copper bowl and lid and Sama deep drawn (or pressed) nesting trays, which come in lacquered Brass or Copper, and colour powder coated Aluminium.

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We are a product design studio based between Bangalore and London.

India fascinates and inspires us. We think that there is more to Indian design than just sticking an elephant on it, and that Indian craft has more to offer than simply repeating the past.

India can seem a pretty chaotic place. But sitting there, quietly are some really incredible, super functional designs. The “designers” of these objects if they can be found at all, aren’t celebrated in the same way as they are in other countries. Instead design is seen as a bi-product of living. This unassuming approach, with an emphasis on a quiet functionality, is what inspires and drives our creative process.

At Tiipoi, we tell positive and insightful stories of a real India, that is changing and shifting all the time. We don’t want to tell nostalgic stories of its past. We prefer to look at what is happening right now, and highlight India’s role in contemporary design.