Material du Jour – Copper

At Pinch, our method to convincing people to try something new is by luring them with something familiar and then spinning it. That’s why when it comes to designing our “food furniture,” we try to only use materials you can find in the kitchen. Along with the most obvious — wood, marble and stainless steel — lie more intriguing materials like silicone and our current favorite: COPPER.

In architecture, we see copper applied to roofs, gutters, doors… since it is corrosion resistant and lightweight. Also, due to copper being biostatic, bacteria will not grow on its surface. Therefore, many public products, such as handrails, bathroom fixtures, and countertops are made from copper.

But what’s the connection to food? This great conductor of even heat is also frequently utilized in the fabrication of cookware, but currently, we’ve noticed copper making its way back to the culinary world in more original ways.

Although we don’t consider ourselves particularly trendy, we are fascinated with how trends develop and influence each other especially when they cross industries. From furniture to culinary… it’s fun to try and spot emerging trends!

Here is a round up of some of our favorite pieces featuring copper… some designed by us, some designed by others…

click on image to see larger

This Prohibition kit or “Camouflage kit” designed by Francesco Morackini, is a clever design that plays with presentation and purpose. His design is composed of four functional products: a watering can, a fondue stove, a cooking pot, and a fruit bowl. Each object has an individual purpose, but when combined, you can create your own still for alcohol distillation. We appreciate how instead of using copper for decorative purposes, Francesco Morackini chose copper as a historical reference to the European distillery process. Lucky for him, his European ancestors chose such a nice looking material.


From his brilliant (pun intended) copper pendant lights to his more recent hexagon inspired nesting bowls… We appreciate how Tom Dixon incorporates the warm metallic glow of copper in his designs.


A stylish and functional dispenser for butcher’s twine made with shiny copper and matte wood.



From Dublin’s creative duo DesignGoat, the Eating Objects project is geared towards empowering the diner in their molecular gastronomy experience. Exposing the processes and science behind the edible show, their series of tools let the user in on the secret behind modernist cuisine. We are fond of their material philosophy with copper – besides its luxurious appeal, they chose copper because of its ability to keep marks from each human user, adding a more personal element to the overall experience.


Two of our signature moves can be found in this design. One is combining contrasting materials like matte walnut and shiny copper. The other is compartmentalizing bites. This walnut plank with shiny copper divots ensures that the carrot cupcake rolled with cream cheese frosting and candied carrots stays put and doesn’t slide around.



Hot bavarian pretzels accompanied by spicy mustard dangle from a copper pipe.


A pinch of lobster in buttered brioche – served on our copper nail tray.


TJ Girard is a sought-after food designer and creative consultant, celebrated for staging theatrical, interactive food + beverage experiences. She now resides in California where her creativity is solar powered! TJ writes the Design Milk column called Taste.