Dezeen Magazine

Frida Escobedo drinking vessels

Frida Escobedo designs trio of hand-carved obsidian drinking vessels

Architect Frida Escobedo has based this collection of drinking vessels made for tequila brand Maestro Dobel on the rich materials and textures found in the Mexican landscape.

The three obsidian drinking bowls of different sizes feature wide rims and rounded forms that reference the shape of the jícara, a cup made from the fruit peel of the calabash tree, traditionally used to drink tequila.

"It's based on the idea of the circle, of getting together and drinking together," Escobedo told Dezeen. "And holding a vessel in your hands immediately resembles the act of putting your hands together in a circle."

Frida Escobedo drinking vessels
The three vessels are hand-carved from rainbow obsidian

Escobedo worked with stone artist Juan Fraga to create the vessels, which stack one within the other.

Each is handcrafted from rainbow obsidian, a rare natural glass-like volcanic rock formed by the rapid cooling of lava.

The smallest vessel is made from reddish obsidian, the slightly larger from a silvery grey variety, and the largest from a golden obsidian, which has gold flecks that catch the light. Each vessel is designed to match a particular tequila.

Frida Escobedo drinking vessels
A limited number of 30 sets of drinking vessels have been made

The richly coloured pieces are intended to evoke Mexico's colourful and changing landscape.

"We thought about the Mexican landscape and how we could incorporate the greens and reds of the earth and that the idea of the volcanic landscape could also be present," said Escobedo.

"[The collection] has to do with the changing landscape and the materials and textures that resemble them," she explained.

Frida Escobedo drinking vessels
The thick-rimmed vessels stack one within the other

The Mexican architect collaborated on the design with Fraga, who travelled eight hours from Mexico City to the Sierra Norte mountains of Guadalajara to mine the obsidian.

"We then looked for the brightest areas within the stone before cutting, outlining, taking out the centre of each piece and finally polishing," said Fraga.

Each vessel took three days to handcraft using traditional stone masonry techniques. The series is available in a limited run of 30 sets.

Frida Escobedo drinking vessels
Escobedo wanted to incorporate "the greens and reds of the earth" of her native Mexico

Escobedo founded her eponymous practice in 2006. She has gone on to complete projects in her native country, as well as in London, California and Lisbon. These include a gallery in the former home of painter David Alfaro Siqueiros and an Aztec-inspired installation at the V&A.

In 2018, she became the youngest architect to have designed the annual Serpentine pavilion.