Young designer Wilhelm Teller took inspiration from his grandmother’s curio cabinet to create a line of creatively beautiful dishware. Scouring second-hand stores, the designer collected dozens of ornate pieces of china, long lost from their original sets. Teller gave these orphan plates new life by recycling them into wonderfully mismatched tiered cake plates, aptly named “Grandmother.”

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Debuting at Salone del Mobile at Milan Design Week, Teller’s display appeared like a scene from Alice in Wonderland, minus the tea and sweets. His plate collection was part of a theme decided by 19 other young designers, who decided to create design projects based on imagery and objects that reminded them of their grandmothers.

For his creations, Teller chose brightly colored plates in varying sizes, shapes and patterns. Blooming flowers, traditional cobalt-blue country French, black and white abstractions, animals and gold-rimmed edges are mixed together to create playful and whimsical pieces. Salad plates, side plates and saucers are arranged according to size to create towers fit for cakes, hors d’oeuvres or traditional tea sandwiches.

Holding the tiers together are shiny gold fasteners, which keep each plate a few inches apart, and make room for baked goodies. Teller’s recycled cake plates come in both two- and three-tiered pieces and can be bold in mixed-up prints or kept classic with matching dishware. Grandmother plates not only recycle dishware that make have been lost from their original sets, but also create a new, upcycled heirloom to pass down.

+ Wilhelm Teller