Saturday, July 31, 2010

Maybe we're all born with a spoon of some kind in our mouth?

It must be in the blog air, the reminiscing about our paths to jewellery and looking at the very early work (something that's still very recent for me, a latecomer to the field). I had just been thinking about my first silversmithing pieces and how I got here when I was further inspired by the recent posts by Melissa Cameron and Karen, Melissa (previously a designer) talking about the events that lead her to seriously pursue jewellery as a career, and Karen (the amazing host of Melbourne Jeweller blog) showing her first year, first semester RMIT silversmithing pieces.

So here's something from my first months at RMIT in 2008 when we were introduced to silversmithing by the lovely Beatrice Schlabowsky. The making of a copper spoon from scratch was especially a tough one for me, and I remember being very proud at the end, of having been able to forge something that resembled a cutlery piece even vaguely. I'm always amazed and impressed when I now see other spoons from the first year projects – they're so beautifully designed, all really original, and perfectly finished! (This is not to say we weren't taught well, but more a realisation that while some possess natural abilities for shaping metal, others like me have to learn them from the very, very, very beginning! : )

Our briefs that semester were to design and make a "Filter" and "Spoons". Here's some:

Seven Characteristics in Spoons (2008)
Stainless steel teaspoons, steel wire, adhesive (yes! supaglue!), magnet, shrink wrap
These seven spoons are a playful take on modifying an industrial object, always identical in the hundreds and thousands that are produced, to speak about individual tendencies.

I thought about the states of being 'Discontent', 'Enlightened', 'Charismatic', 'Self-Obsessed', 'Fragile', 'Pessimistic' and 'Optimistic'. See if you can spot which is which.

Looking at this image has also given me an idea for something that a friend in the virtual sphere, Eddy, asked me to do a while ago …

Japanese Laundry (2008)
Roller-embbossed copper, brass, black pebbles, thread, glass
This was my filter. I can't remember exactly anymore what the rationale for being a filter was, but somehow I arrived at a mobile-like solution that plays with the sense of gravity and proportion. It has stony weights hovering just above the ground, attached to the wing of a mute and blind house (no entry, no exit, only form). The oxidised tones and patterns of copper and brass reminded me of silk, and the black pebbles of garderns; water of East – the reasons for the name. I wanted to present the piece standing on a pond, for the reflection – so I placed it on a tray with cardboard and water for the assessment. Oops … spillage and tearing that I can now laugh about … Here's a detail from a picture I took later on:

Then, there was a spoon that I created on the morning of assessment, in the usual panic.
But I like it! Maybe it's dedicated to Yoko Ono?

Breathe (2008)
Qantas plastic spoon, nylon netting,
grapevine twig, mother of pearl, copper

And then a few cast spoons:

Atmo-sphere (2008)
A gasket and a plastic Qantas spoon cast in fine silver

Childhood (2008)
Thread lace and wax – this image is taken before casting in fine silver

And finally, a nameless copper spoon that I will keep forever : )


  1. Oh, I love this. And how I know we're kindred spirits, I've been collecting those same Qantas spoons from international flights as well!! Lauren xx

  2. I like the spoon concept, really nice :)

  3. Thank you, glad you found these.