The Hidden Heart Espresso Cup
Perfect for Valentine's Day (or any other day needing a little heart), The Hidden Heart Espresso Cup reveals a perfect heart shape when a double shot of espresso is poured into it. Because of its complex contours, this hidden shape can't be made with traditional molds or normal ceramic fabrication processes. Food-safe in Glazed Ceramics, and 2 make a perfect couple!
More about why complex shapes are difficult in ceramic:
Ceramic is usually either spun or poured into 2 part molds, but there are several limitations to this. With a spun piece (think pottery wheel), you can only easily make symmetrical shapes, and then if you want alter them a little bit from the outside. With a mold, you can make more complicated shapes but to be able to remove it from the mold, you can't have any contours that overhang (the underside, like a cliff, will get caught on the mold and you won't be able to pull it out). This is usually what's called draft.
3D Printing is Cool
Anyway with 3D printing those aren't problems, since the form is being built up layer by layer. The issue of draft goes away entirely, and there's much more freedom to focus on design. I like to design for the hand as well as the eye. Kitchen, food, and drink-ware should almost slide into your hand, and give you a closer connection to what you are putting in your body.
Of course, you still have to consider wall thickness and minimum feature height and a couple other things, but that's not a bad trade-off for getting any form you can image!
* Please note that the saucer is sold separately.
PS - If anyone has a picture of their Hidden Heart Cup in action they'd like to share, please send it my way at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll add it to this page! Thanks!