Having passed away at the age of 80 last week, Michael Graves was one of the most prominent architects of the late 20th century, yet he is probably most recognized for the teakettle he designed in the early 1980’s.
This kettle with the bird that sings when the water has boiled has been sold successfully for the last 30 years. Considered whimsical, yet beautifully functional, it is an example of how great design withstands the test of time.
Our Michael Graves kettle has sat on the stovetop, in various homes, every day for 29 years. It has boiled countless rounds of water. Never failing, no parts to break, a nice wide bottom for quickly heating, as well as perfect balance when pouring. The only design modification over the years has been to change the material at the top of the lid from metal to plastic so one can’t burn their fingers if touched when hot.
The kettle references the Art Deco style, yet is simplified so it can comfortably sit in a traditional, transitional or modern kitchen. The amusing wavy blue handle fits the hand perfectly. And the cheerful red bird makes me smile, even when it’s not singing.
Design is meant to be functional and enhance one’s life. I can say that this kettle does that in its small beautifully practical way, every day.