I’m an independent designer based in a small remote town in the very middle of Australia. ‘Out bush’ we have a wonderful custom of putting the billy on the fire – which is more often than not a tin can that allows you to boil water for tea. Meanwhile, in the major cities, observations lead to the understanding that people use the offer and acceptance of a cup of tea as a way to spend time together. The meeting of these two ideas lead to the development and very recent release of the Urban Billy.
The traditional billy is a classic of Australian design – an icon of simple elegance and self-sufficiency – yet it has largely been left behind by most Australians.
The Urban Billy updates this icon in a way that brings its unique qualities back to life.
What the traditional billy did so well, the modern version retains: it brings people together for the ritual of a shared cup of tea, involving them in the timeless actions of this process. More subtly, the Urban Billy creates a moment in which they can watch the casually beautiful and fascinating transition of water from liquid to gas.
Made with five pieces of hand-formed borosilicate glass, with turned and bent mountain ash sleeves and lids, the Urban Billy is everything you need to share a cup of tea with someone. Even the spirit fuel to heat the water is housed inside.