Hai Le About Home

Stanford University

Reimagining a common household item






1 month


This salt and pepper shaker pair was created as a mutually-dependent set, as opposed to two separate tabletop pieces. I wanted the pair to come from simple geometries but also convey their purpose by using familiar cues. The black symbolizes the pepper, while the white represents salt. They fit together to form a cube, but are able to stand alone as well. When separated, each piece has a matching gray interior face, bringing the white and black objects together.


The first step of the process was just pages and pages of sketches to come up with a concept that I liked. I also looked at salt and pepper shakers that already existed to get an idea of what the landscape was like.

For the ones that I thought showed the most promise, I created quick foam prototypes to see how they felt. In the image above, I liked the one in the top-left corner, but after creating a prototype, I realized how small the pepper shaker would be, and how it wasn't able to stand on its own. So I continued to sketch ways it would work. I found in my own research that people used more salt at the table than pepper, which explains the difference in capacity.

I followed this by creating the 3D models in Solidworks, then 3D printing them.

I sanded the shakers down and spray-painted them. I started by painting the gray interior faces, then covering the gray faces to spray the pieces white and black.

Once the 3-D models were refined and finalized, I prepared the CAM files needed for the computer numerical control (CNC) mill to cut all of the pieces.