Design Principles II, Spring 2016, Instructor: Liz Knight

Form Studies: Salt and Pepper Shakers (2016)

A study in utilizing keywords to influence form.


Timeline: 2 Weeks

Design three sets of salt and pepper shakers embodying three different keywords/themes.


The first keyword that I chose was "Playful." I found that forms that were playful tended to have wavy forms and often could lend themselves to be manipulated in some way. Playful forms could be humorous due to their context and literal form. Many playful objects also tended to be colorful.

Below is an inspiration board that I created for "Playful," which includes objects I find playful in my daily life, as well as online images whose forms I found to fit under this theme.

I then created a series of sketches to help me determine forms that could be indicative of playfulness.

I decided that I wanted my form of my salt and pepper shakers to be able to suggest the idea of playfulness on their own, rather than be influenced by a pre-existing or object or form that one would find to be funny in the form of salt and pepper shakers. I created many overlays of my first sketches using tracing paper. I then moved onto creating foam models of some of my sketches to help see my forms in 3D.

Below is a process board for my "Playful" forms.

I created my final model out of maple and walnut wood. I wanted to establish a relationship between the salt and pepper shakers, and enhance that relationship with the "Playful" theme. I made the salt and pepper shakers fit like a puzzle with one another, in two different ways. This allows not only for the form to be playful, but for the act of using the salt and pepper shakers to be playful as well.

The second theme that I chose was "1920s Nostalgia." Below is an inspiration board for this theme.

Using the same process as my "Playful" theme, I created sketches and foam models that I thought would best represent the theme of "1920s Nostalgia."

I decided to explore more about the dances of the time. I wanted to create forms that could suggest the movement and gesture of dance, and still have the relationship between both the salt and pepper shakers.

Below is a process board for this theme.

I carved my final salt and pepper shakers for this theme out of maple and walnut as well. The male (pepper) figure is indicated by his leading gesture as well as the movement of his feet mid-step. The female (salt) figure is indicated by her flowing dress.

My third and last theme was "Luxury." While luxury can be identified as extravagance, it can also be identified through simplicity. Below are the inspiration board and sketches I created for this theme.

I settled on a concept of having salt and pepper shakers that included the use of negative space and that had contrasting geometric/abstract forms. I built foam models to discover which forms I thought best suited the theme.

My final model for "Luxury" was made out of walnut and maple as well. I created two outer boxes for the salt and pepper shakers using finger joints. I created these joints by creating a sled for a table saw. I decided to use finger joints in order to create a stable and lasting outer structure for thin material. I then drilled holes in the top portion of the box for my two lathed pieces. I decided to pair each box with the opposing wood in order to create further contrast between the pieces. I found this form to further fit the idea of luxury, as the surrounding boxes establish a feeling of preciousness of the objects when they are in use.

Lee, Megan Final Luxury Model