Mariana Brandt was a woman metalsmith designer, holding her own in the otherwise all-male metals workshop at the Bauhaus. She was the creator of innovative lighting fixtures, lamps, coffee and tea service sets, that were suitable for mass production. Her 1924 tea infuser is considered to be one of the top ten icons of modernism.
Brandt studied painting and sculpture at Weimar from 1911 to 1917. She enrolled in the Bauhaus painting class in 1924 where she studied under Moholy-Nagy. The following year she designed metal objects for its kitchen, then located in Dessau. She designed lamps during the next two years, and in 1929 she worked with Walter Gropius in Berlin.
From 1949 to 1954 Brandt taught at the Academy of Fine Arts in Dresden and at the Berlin Academy of Applied Arts, dedicating herself to painting, weaving, and photography.
Her “Coffee and Tea Service” was made of silver, ebony, and plexiglass, incorporating the latest advances in modern technology. Her work can be seen at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.