Socrates Poison Bottle

This partitioned water bottle is designed for the suicide of Socrates, who was sentenced to death by the Greek government for impiety and corrupting the youth. The bottle contains a small amount of water and hemlock, which would mix as he tips the vessel to drink from it.


The vessel's form references traditional drinking vessels used during Socrates' time, most particularly the shape of a greek kylix. The last letter of the greek alphabet, theta, was repeated throughout the design as the symbol was often used to represent endings or death.

When tilted, the poison flows through a small slit in the partition. This references Greek drinking games, which used special shallow bowls called kraters. When tipped, a picture was revealed to the drinker. I made this tipping action very deliberate as Socrates agreed to take his own life - he knew that he could not be excepted from Greek law, and used his death as a final lesson to his followers.

The drinking vessel is made from vacuum-formed plastic, while the lid is a Objet Connex 3D print with a vacuum-metalised copper detail.