My final project for ME203: Design and Manufacturing.

This was my foray into beauty and potential of manufacturing–a tea table inspired by my love for tea and ceremony. Arthur takes anything you spill and funnels it into the glass jar below for easy cleanup. It works great for discreetly emptying a cold cup of tea without ever having to leave your seat. A juniper bonsai is set into the center of the table’s surface to give the impression that its growing out of the table itself.

The powder-coated perforated steel sheet surface is bordered by mitered u-edging and embedded inbetween four pieces of walnut hardwood. This sits above a large funnel made of mild steel sheet, that I formed with a bending brake into two pieces I TIG welded together. This above a TIG-welded cuboid frame made of steel rectangular tubing, welds ground and then powder-coated, and a cushion of walnut and wood epoxy. Suspended below is a glass mason jar with a wide lip attached to the funnel with a flexible PVC intake coupler. The wood is finished with fade-resistant UV dye, a gel stain and shellac. Almost everything I made myself, via the processes described above, and the design was first sketched by hand and then transferred into SolidWorks.

These are just pictures of the final product–the journey along the way is far more interesting. Stay tuned for more photos to come.

Below is my product use story –

Arthur: A More Social Tea Table

Candlelight like liquid gold danced on the fabric walls of the makeshift tent. There was the soft hum of the evening breeze, but the chill not felt, for within those walls there was warmth and joy and revelry. “Ba dum” tapped the beat of a drum. “Twang­twang” from a freshly­stringed guitar. Festive, a band was playing. The newcomers with their wide­eyes ablaze, they felt relaxed and at ease. Food for the soul.

Arthur touched the ribbed rim of a cast­iron teacup to his lips, the smoky aroma of an aged lapsang filling his lungs.

“It’s not ready yet. Still, it’s much too hot.”

Carefully he laid down the teacup on the small, mahogany table level with his navel. Looking around, Arthur gazed at all the other revelers; like him, they were all seated on cushions around small tables; like him, they were all drinking cups of tea. Catching his eye was a beautiful young woman two tables away with ribbons in her hair. Seated alone she appeared entranced with the smooth melody and the calming elixir. Suddenly their gazes intersect. The young woman smiled, sweet and inquisitive, and Arthur’s cheeks flushed red. As aptly goes through the mind of a young man­­indecision. But Arthur had nothing to lose. Leaving his tea behind, he approached the young woman with ribbons in her hair and what began was a long conversation that touched on each of their deepest desires.

An eternity passed, or so it felt to Arthur. He returned to his table, but this time with the young woman in hand. And there was his cast­iron teacup.

“Cold.”

What do you do with cold tea in a yurt in the middle of the forest? There’s no basin to pour it in, no sink to give it a wash. For Arthur the answer was simple; over and over again through the course of the night he’d seen his peers do the same. Arthur emptied his cup of cold tea… into the table. Its perforated surface collecting every last drop.

This time the next pour wasn’t his. Handing the freshly­filled tea cup to his new lady friend, she smiled and Arthur’s cheeks flushed red all over again.