British artist Hugh Miller based this collection of chairs, stools and a table on a Japanese coffee-making ritual he observed while travelling.
The Coffee Ceremony were prompted by the designer’s time on a research fellowship in Japan. Having observed “everyday ceremonies of life”, he developed his own ceremonial version of making and serving coffee.
The collection comprises a coffee cart, table, a communal bench, a stool and a chair – with each piece serving a different stage of the ritual. Mugs are held in woven loops in the cart, which also features a removable wooden panel that doubles as a tray. The coffee set itself includes a wooden scoop and square container, as well as a copper pot with a curved spout and handle. The pot sits on a raised collection of brass pegs set into the table, with cups and utensils stored on shelves underneath.
The chairs, bench and stool are intended to “denote a hierarchy” for people taking part in the ceremony. While the person serving coffee is confined to the stool, their companions are invited to take a seat on the chairs and bench.
Made in English elm and brass, this collection explores contrast: between texture and smoothness; between hidden and visible; between plane and lath; and between lightness and solidity. These contrasts illuminate the duality of Japanese and Western cultural influences that underpin this furniture.