Making toast

An innovative creation by a Northumbria University student could signal the end of the traditional two-slice pop-up toaster.

Third year Design for Industry student George Watson, 21, has invented a device called ‘Glide’, a ceramic, upright, ‘motion toaster’, designed for use at the breakfast table. His invention has already won an international design contest, and grabbed the attention of a number of global kitchen product manufacturers.

Glide has been designed with smooth, modern, attractive lines and colours, and sliced bread moves through heated plates and emerges toasted and ready to drop into the integrated toast rack.

“Breakfast was traditionally a family activity, but these days families rarely have the time or the inclination to sit down together and enjoy it together. ‘Glide’ was designed to encourage families, especially children, to come back to the breakfast table. It engages the user, is fun to use and is a social focal point,” said Watson, who’s originally from Twickenham, but now lives in Jesmond, Newcastle.

“There has been little development of the toaster since the start of the century, and whilst other appliances have developed and improved incorporating new technologies and thinking, toasters have remained relatively untouched,” he added.

“The traditional two-slice toaster is often bulky, made of plastic, and hidden away in a cupboard. I wanted ‘Glide’ to be something you’d be proud to display, almost like a piece of art. Slip moulded bone china allowed me create its intricate and sculptural form, but also provided the material longevity that I required. ‘Glide’ is a toaster that brings life and joy to a stagnant domestic appliance, and is iconic object for the home.”

George created ‘Glide’ as a course project, designed specifically for a competition brief set by online magazine ‘Designboom’, in conjunction with Macef – the second biggest design show held in Milan each year.

The ‘Glide’ won its category, ‘Ceramics for Breakfast’, beating 5,000 other entries by students from 93 countries. It also won George a prize of £3250 and a trip to Milan. His work on ‘Glide’ was displayed the Macef show and as a result he has been approached by a number of companies interesting in making and marketing the toaster.