Concrete chic

Concrete tableware brings the street to the dinner table.

Concreate dishware: bringing the street to your dinner table. Alexa Lixfeld

This is not your mom's dishware. It's not dainty, or pretty, or porcelain, or precious. When lifting one of these mugs to your lips, your pinky finger will not--I repeat, will not--be tempted to rise. No, these bowls, plates, and mugs are of the rougher variety. They are, after all, made of concrete.

What once was the humble material of sidewalks, or blocks a mobster might tie to a body to sink it to the depths of the ocean's floor, is now the inspiration for modern tableware. Want to infuse a little street into your dinner party? Now you can. German designer Alexa Lixfeld, winner of the iF concept award in 2007, offers these concrete bowls, plates, mugs, and saucers for your entertaining enjoyment.

Made out of an innovative kind of concrete-based material, dubbed Creacrete, the bowls are thin and durable with a glossy sheen. The finish is inspired by the ancient Japanese Wajima-nuri technique of lacquering pottery, which dates from the 14th century. This technique is known for producing spotless, shiny gloss. The combination of this refined lacquering with the roughness of poured concrete produces tableware that is as edgy as it is durable. And yes, it is safe to eat off these dishes. Some items are designed with intentional cracks and imperfections.

Though the flatware doesn't appear to be available in the U.S. yet, you can visit Alexa Lixfeld's Web site to contact her and demand to buy a set of bowls in time for your Thanksgiving dinner. Just be sure to ask her how heavy the dishes are, as shipping from Germany might a bit pricey if they are actually as heavy as, well, concrete. Not to mention that it might be a little tiring to pass around a bowl of sweet potatoes if that bowl weighs as much as a sidewalk...

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Emily Dreyfuss is the senior associate editor charged with keeping CNET's home page fresh and on point. With 7 years experience as a journalist, she writes commentary and is the former co-host of CNET TV's Rumor Has It.

 

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