May 19, 2002
W2’s Chameleon Act
Victoria Whitbread and Jackie Piper started
Victoria Whitbread and Jackie Piper started in 1999 in London to create “innovative silicone products;” the most recent results are on display at the ICFF.
The pair likes to use a special pigment in their products that changes color as temperatures change. The whimsical outcome includes such products as a bathtub stopper that goes from deep purple to creamy white as the hot water surrounds it, and a candle holder that goes from pink to white as the candle burns down.
“The pigment has been around for a pretty long time,” Piper says. “You may remember those color-changing shirts. We started thinking about what sort of fun things you could do with the pigment in other areas and came up with these. We’ll also have a color-changing coaster in September. You can set the temperature at which the pigment will change, so you can have things react to either hot or cold.”
The items are handsomely designed, too. There’s more to them than their chameleon act. “Our manufacturer does lots of medical work, breast implants and that sort of thing,” says Whitbread. “I think they have fun with our products.”
According to Piper the color-changing magic has an added benefit: “It’s harder for other companies to copy.”