A madcap design, inspired by Alice in Wonderland, has secured Sheffield craftsman Jim Stringer an accolade in the national “Pewter Live” competition.
Jim works for cutlers, silversmiths and giftware specialists Chimo Holdings, based in Eyre Lane, Sheffield, where he makes products for design led businesses like Robert Welch and Nick Munro, among others.
When it came to entering the competition, run by the Worshipful Company of Pewterers, he knew exactly what he wanted to do.
“The brief was to design a timepiece and I quite fancied making a teapot and putting a clock in it,” says Jim. “It’s a functioning teapot and also a sculptural piece.”
The result was a teapot that combines the pocket watch of the perpetually late White Rabbit, with a beaker and saucer on top that doubles as the teapot’s lid and recalls the top hat of the Mad Hatter, cursed to live his life permanently at tea time.
“I didn’t want a handle on the beaker because it is meant to be the Mad Hatter’s hat,” says Jim, who instead created an insulating plastic sleeve that, on close inspection, appears to be made up of clock hands.
“I used a combination of new technology and traditional metal work skills,” says Jim.
“I use a Computer Aided Design package called SolidWorks and sent the design to a company that was able to produce the sleeve on a 3D printer.”
Jim did the design and made the piece in his spare time, finding himself in a similar position to the White Rabbit as the competition deadline loomed.
“I made it in the nick of time. I got it done at the 11th hour,” he says.
Jim’s teapot, which is featured on the Tea Council’s website, secured runners up spot in the Pewterers’ competition.