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Japanese have long taken pride in their ability to adopt, adapt and improve on customs, practices and styles from other countries. Having succeeded globally with cars, electronics and even fashion, it was only natural the Japanese turned their hand to trying to surpass the West with one of its favourite culinary delights - ice cream.
New spoons and old spoons Today I am sending off a set of cherry eating spoons. This Galician spoon has been my favourite style eating spoon since I was inspired by an old spoon in a museum in Spain 5 years ago. And these spoons I posted last week. They were made for the new Stone Henge visitor centre and based on neolithic originals. These original neolithic spoons are from Charavines in France amazing to think they were made with flint tools.
How can a maker rebel against the worst excesses of consumerism yet still make a living from making and selling stuff? This is a dilemma I struggle with. The Western world is too full of stuff, most of it produced in far off lands with working conditions and environmental practices we outlawed years ago. Most of it is designed to become obsolete or out of fashion and will head soon to landfill to encourage more buying and production. So what am I doing in a world already too full of stuff making more stuff? Am I part of the problem or part of the solution? IMG_1308 I know that many of my customers already have enough tableware in their homes but just aspire to own something more wholesome, something with meaning, a connection to the maker and the woodland perhaps. One of the things I enjoy most about my job is the regular messages from customers who have used my work for many years. Just this week Kate Malone judge of the Pottery Throw Down TV program told me how much she enjoyed using my porringer. That means a lot to me. There is a real connection when someone tells me they have eaten their breakfast from one of my bowls for 15 years and gained pleasure from it every day. USA 2015-480So I guess this is how I justify to myself making stuff. If folk turn their back on having masses of stuff destined for landfill and instead choose to save for fewer things that last and have meaning perhaps it would be a better world. Whatever, I feel deep distaste when I see folk fighting over wide screen TVs that I know cost the earth and will be in landfill in 10 years. Instead of watching any media today I spent the day in my workshop making porringers. It feels like therapy.
Super Chairs Product designer Hilla Shamia has developed a novel way to meld poured aluminum with irregularly shaped wood pieces to create sleek tables and benches. The process preserves that natural form of the tree trunk while still allowing the molten aluminum to flow into the crevices of the wood, slightly burning the area where the two materials meet. These remind me somewhat of Greg Klassen’s glass tables from last month here on Colossal. You can see more of Shamia’s work on her website.
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