The WALTER is a prime example of where beauty, design and function meld into one. Can you walk us through how the WALTER was created?
My best friend came home from Brazil with the most beautiful terra cotta water filter, I was obsessed with it as an object, but wanted to remake it in my own way, and also find a filter that was the most efficient. After a bit of research I found Berkey and designed WALTER around their black Berkey gravity filter. I knew that there wasn’t anything on the market that was aesthetically pleasing and efficient, so I set out to change that.
What is the design process like?
Challenging! It was the first time I was designing a product that actually had to work, a lot of moving parts to think about. Initially I was throwing all sections on the wheel and attaching them, which was insanity, a very highly skilled slow process. Then I gradually taught myself how to make plaster molds and began the slip casting process, which has been really successful. I just recently designed a larger WALTER that holds two filters and the fluoride attachments, which was a challenge to make on a bigger scale, but I am really pleased with it.
Who are your design inspirations?
My dear friend Sabrina DeSousa of DIMES fame. She has nailed the new iteration of timeless restaurant interior, her personal spaces and the objects (DIMES chair and peppermill and more to come) she makes are so special. She is my go to person for bouncing my design ideas off, and definitely inspires and informs my decisions.
What are the properties that make for a clean and exceptional glass of water?
What I have really become interested in is the accidental ritual that happens when you use WALTER to purify. It really becomes a mindful measuring of intake and outtake, in this very calming way it slows everything down and makes you incredibly conscious. I’ve been drinking so much more water because of this. If you are putting effort into your water quality, you inherently think about it and want it more, which can only be a positive. I would say that makes for an exceptional glass!
Why is the Berkey your water filter of choice?
I researched many options and found the Black Berkey filter to be the highest quality gravity filter. It removes viruses to purification standards, pathogenic bacteria, cysts and parasites to undetectable levels, and harmful or unwanted chemicals and heavy metals to below detectable levels, on top of all of this power it’s easily cleaned and far outlives any other filter. You can literally turn pond water into EVIAN with a Berkey, it’s pretty amazing. A funny thing kept happening, when I was researching filters. The sites that promoted Berkey were either made by libertarian end-of-the-world “preppers” or bougie wellness hippies. If these two demographics are agreeing on Berkey, it must be a good thing.
What’s the deal with fluoride?
Fluoride has been deliberately added to many municipal water supplies since the 1940's, this common practice is now becoming more controversial, to say the least. I have an adverse gut feeling to Fluoride, but I can’t find sufficient data to paint a clear picture to inform my position. As a designer (not a doctor) I think it’s pretty clear that adding any synthetic chemical to water is problematic. I think the long term effects are unknown and untracked so if your municipality adds it, I’d filter it out.
Do you have any personal habits or tips you practice to help conserve water?
Well, I try to be as thoughtful as I can with water and how much I use of it. In terms of general practice, I pre-boil water to wash the dishes and wash in a big bowl, then re-boil a new batch to rinse, avoiding running the tap at all costs and employ a low flow toilet (it's awful how many gallons are wasted in every flush). The other conservation aspect is not just the usage, but how you are contributing to the contamination; household detergents and cleaners, disposing of pills, plastic waste turning into particles in water. It’s incredibly overwhelming once you really start to think about it. The first step is just awareness and letting it seep into your conscious, and then taking steps to change habits that can help conserve and protect our most important resource.
What are your top five CAP Beauty favorites?
And WALTER! of course!