With the photo campaign ‘The world sees Bauhaus’, bauhaus100 invites you to capture and share your personal views and unusual perspectives of the Bauhaus. Here we present our image of the week.

Egg coddler, design by Wilhelm Wagenfeld, 1933/34, Jenaer Glaswerk Schott & Gen., photo: Joachim Fliegner, Bremen / ©VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017
Egg coddler, design by Wilhelm Wagenfeld, 1933/34, Jenaer Glaswerk Schott & Gen., photo: Joachim Fliegner, Bremen / ©VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017

April 16, 2017 – In time for Easter, we recall the egg coddler (“Eierkoch”) designed in the early 1930s by Wilhelm Wagenfeld, a former Bauhausler, for the Schott & Gen. glassworks in Jena. Since then, the small glass vessel has not only found its way into design museums, but also established itself in the kitchen for the preparation of custard royale, for poaching and boiling eggs, for soufflés, pâtés and amuse-bouche.

The coddler came about as a result of a serendipitous chain of events in Jena. In 1931 Wilhelm Wagenfeld held a lecture there on “Maschine und Handwerk” (Machine and handcraft), in which he criticised the lack of artistic design in industrial products. In the audience was the then managing director of the glass company Erich Schott, then engaged in the production of Jena Glassware, which was extremely popular at the time due to its heat-resistant properties. The lecture set the wheels in motion: Wagenfeld was subsequently commissioned to design of a whole series of glass products for the kitchen. Shortly thereafter, teapots, tableware, baking and oven dishes and more rolled off the assembly lines in their millions. “Utensils made from glass were a sensational innovation. The transparent material was associated with hope for a new society”, says Julia Bulk, director of the Wilhelm Wagenfeld Stiftung in Bremen. “Not only art, but also technology and science, were to play a role in this. In 1925 Georg Muche, for example, dreamed of the kitchen as the ‘housewife’s laboratory’ and of course the functional forms made from Jena Glass fitted perfectly into this concept.” Some style icons such as the tea service and the egg coddler are still produced today, and will no doubt grace many a table this Easter.