Urban Billy packed
Urban Billy on the boil
Urban Billy tea for two
Billy on the fire on the One Tree Plain, north west of Hay, NSW Australia

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.