A caravan of goods and trinkets to adorn the hearth, human and garden. Let us know about the items you cherish and recommend, and if it passes our surreally subjective ethical and aesthetic criteria we will feature it here.
The Spoon, The Fork and the Knife.
most ancient hand,
in your design
of metal or wood
we still see
of the first
of bonfires and the hunt.
So said Pablo Neruda in “Ode to the Spoon”. Whether made of bone, ivory, flint, slate, wood, bronze or silver, the spoon is the first and most important implement of the child and remains so in our last days. More than the fork or knife, we identify with the spoon for its welcoming, rounded design. Unlike its sisters and brothers, it has no hostile duality about it (unless presented to very disturbed hands). The shallow, measured basin, when not in mid-flight to the mouth, is an object to contemplate and behold. It is one of the earliest of hand-crafted objects and required sensitive carving skills to achieve perfect balance. Like a sword, a perfect spoon can ring a pure note when tapped, no matter what material it is produced in.
Prior to the industrial revolution, the spoon, along with the tossing fork and soup ladle, was an object of pride for the household, often displayed on wooden racks in the manner of hunting gear. Most often shaped and smoothed by the master of the house, with the makers mark usually carved into the handle, a large soup spoon would have been passed from generation to generation. The central spoon was often accompanied by smaller and more utilitarian variations which were often slotted, edged, cambered or weighted to facilitate leverage. This chess set of selections would ultimately lead to the pawns, or the common eating spoon, and the strange bond that goes with individual preference for size, shape or signifying decorations.
Hand-crafted spoons are not easy to obtain, and when you search, even for the cast variety, look for that edging and symmetrical shape that allows you to recognize the loving care of the craftsmen. While an individually packaged, plastic spoon may serve as rudimentary shovel to fuel the furnace, a real spoon is a magic wand that allows you to taste and savour… and give thanks.