The COFFIRE porcelain table light by ZHEKAI.ZHANG fuses innovation and discarded coffee grounds to mimic the textures of marble to create a truly unique and beautiful table lamp.
ZHEKAI.ZHANG is a young product designer dedicated to bringing new insights into home products with innovative processes and sustainable materials. The studio’s philosophy is to develop unique design languages from the perspective of the relationship between fundamental industrial production and craftsmanship.
The COFFIRE table lamp is made from high-quality porcelain clay in Jingdezhen. After firing, the body is white, bright, glossy, smooth and delicate. The glaze of the lampshade is made from discarded coffee grounds.
“Currently, at least 400 billion cups of coffee are consumed worldwide each year, producing at least 8 million tons of coffee grounds. Most coffee grounds are discarded, landfilled or incinerated along with other waste.”
Some parts of the discarded coffee grounds will enter our urban sewage discharge. Therefore, the disposal of coffee grounds as waste will not only consume mounds of energy but also cause considerable harm to the environment—nevertheless, this design by ZHEKAI.ZHANG aims to explore a more sustainable route and new possibilities for coffee ground waste.
The innovative colouring technology used in the COFFIRE table lamp was derived from ancient pit-burning technology. During the low temperature (700-1000℃) firing process, the interaction between the biodiesel and the sugar in the coffee grounds, which oxidize to red/pinkish matter, create a unique texture on the surface of the ceramic, many variables, such as the temperature, humidity and the density of the coffee grounds influence this.
In addition, the traditional sandpits used in the pit-burning process are replaced by gas kilns;
First, it is easier to control a gas kiln as a modern firing technology in terms of operation, achieving mass production and significantly improving the yield of lamp firing.
Secondly, the gas kiln can be controlled at a constant temperature so that the colour of the fired lamp is more stable.
Thirdly, since there are no trace elements in a gas kiln, the colour saturation of the fired lamp is higher.
Due to the innovative colouring technology, the COFFIRE table lamp has a beautiful pink marble-like surface texture, a wonderful effect that no other glaze can achieve. The texture and colour produced by this firing technology make each lamp unique.
Watch a short clip on COFFIRE here.
All images courtesy of ZHEKAI.ZHANG