Clam ashtray

Design Objectives

Travelling on top of a number 27 bus down Westbourne Grove, Alan was suddenly struck with an idea for an ashtray. Not exactly something of riveting significance, but nevertheless an unsolicited mental image complete in all its detail. Including the shape, which resembled a dutch edam cheese. The identical halves were made from a single mould. They could be put together to form a base and lid, or used seperately thus providing two ashtrays.

The serrated teeth served to hold the halves together or to grip the cigarette. Within two months of its debut in the market it was copied in Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan. The genuine version has a credit stamped on the inner edge, the others don't. Anyway I've seen a half (with broken teeth) on a bank counter in Buenos Aires holding paper clips, on the dais of a Bankok bar where girls blow smoke rings from personal places, and on the desk of a designer who told me he'd salvaged it from a rabbit hutch in Norfolk.


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