A wooden spoon – I bet we all have one of those in our kitchens ... I’ve a few ancient ones, ones I inherited from my mother ... and a few I brought back from Africa ... where - I wonder at the selection and woods used.
|Barn the Spoon|
c/o Spitalfields Life
Bee Wilson asks look closer – feel the grain; is it a workmanlike beech factory spoon, or a denser wood whittled by an artisan ... is it round, or oval, short or long, cupped or flat ... childlike or preserving pan size ... and so the questions go on.
|Got the piece of bent wood -|
now to craft the spoon
Countless decisions – economic and social as well as those pertaining to design and applied engineering - will have gone into our utensil objects over the centuries.
The wooden spoon is a quiet ensemble player in so many meals we take for granted ... it was traditionally given as the booby prize ... yet we prize our wooden spoons – and it has many advantages.
|Alder Wood spoon with|
incised band decoration,
of the style used in
Shakespeare's time -
held at the London Museum
We eat with our utensils ... spoons, forks and knives, or our fingers and hands ...
Barn the Spoon is the craftsman par excellence ... “What I’m famous for is making straight spoons from straight branches, but what I am best at is making bent spoons from bent branches” ....
... “the beauty of making a bent spoon from a bent branch is that the grain of the wood runs into the bowl and makes it a lot stronger than a straight spoon from a straight branch”...
An excellent post extolling the virtues of a true artisan, who has that critical connection with the tools of his trade – essentially bent wood.
Over the centuries humans have used knives, pronged implements and scooped out wood for spoons ... some are beautiful, some sensuous in their feel, some are designed to perfection ... in fact so is The Gentle Author’s spoon ... also note where the reminiscences of medieval stone vaulting appear in the spoon (see article posted for full description) ...
Utensils of all sorts have stood the test of time, probably more so than the many high-tech gadgets that have superseded the ‘umble wooden spoon’ ... those early wooden utensils were tools to eat with, to last millennia in design ... not be discarded by the next geeky thought ...
That is U for Utensils from Aspects of British Cookery
Barn The Spoon c/o Spitalfields Life ... at the Cemetery with Barn the Spoon
Consider The Fork: A History of Invention in the Kitchen – by Bee Wilson ... a book I was given, which I thought would make an interesting read ... jottings extracted from her introduction ...
Please see my first commenter - Bob Scotney .. and my reply to him re the wooden spoon booby prize ... many thanks!
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