Untreated brass creates contrast in Daniel
Schofield's Tarnish tableware collection

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London Design Festival 2014: these brass plates, small vases and containers by Sheffield designer Daniel Schofield are mirror-polished on one half and untreated on the other.

Tarnish Collection by Daniel Schofield

To create his Tarnish Collection, Daniel Schofield polished and lacquered half of each item to keep it pristine. The other half was left untreated to allow it to develop a patina over time.



The untreated half of each solid brass object will react with natural oils secreted from the skin, tarnishing as it is used and creating a pattern that is unique to each piece.

Tarnish Collection by Daniel Schofield

The designer hopes this will result in an emotional attachment with the pieces, giving them a value beyond their functional significance.

Tarnish Collection by Daniel Schofield

"I hope people will enjoy and use them – they are primarily designed to be functional - but if the user forms a bond with the pieces, that would be the best outcome," Schofield told Dezeen.

Tarnish Collection by Daniel Schofield

The idea for the collection, which is made by hand in Sheffield by local craftsmen and silversmiths, came about when the designer was working with brass for other projects.

Tarnish Collection by Daniel Schofield

He noticed how it marked when touched and how these marks built up over time.

Tarnish Collection by Daniel Schofield

"I've been working with brass for a while, because of its warmth," said Schofield. "I started to see the marks as a pattern rather than a blemish, so I set out to find a way to display and highlight them. Contrasting them against the mirrored finish seemed like a poetic way to bring attention to them."

Tarnish Collection by Daniel Schofield

Schofield's Tarnish Collection will be launched at the designjunction exhibition during September's London Design Festival, as part of design collective Design Event's showcase of talent from the north of England.

Tarnish Collection by Daniel Schofield

Earlier this year, Dezeen spotted a flurry of brass products at both Clerkenwell Design Week and New York design week – signalling a return of the material in contemporary design.

Tarnish Collection by Daniel Schofield

  • Andrew Cross

    The untreated brass areas will also be naturally antimicrobial, rapidly killing pathogens that cause illnesses like food poisoning.

  • Dideah

    It’s like a modern pop singer. Sexy, but noisy.