Lost Knowledge - Hand Implements - The Silver Spoon
Call For The Need Of A Perfect Spoon
I once read an article entitled "Toward a New Appreciation of Craft" by Pam Grundy, published over on Eye On Life Magazine originally. The article is no longer available but her call for everyone to make their own perfect spoon struck a note that rang a gong in my mind. Since then I've been thinking a lot about her call for the need of a perfect spoon, because I'm very doubtful that the majority of people in America today have any idea where to start to make their perfect spoon -- given all of the lost knowledge floating around.
You see, it really bothers me that most people wouldn't have a clue as to how to even begin to make a spoon, or anything other most useful tool, that we all take for granted these days. If they can't go buy it, they would not be able to improvise, create, or reinvent. That has me thinking about all of the lost knowledge that several generations of people living today are lacking despite our modern times. That led me to wondering how many people contemplate what industrial design and design trends really mean.
Every manufactured article that man uses, from an airplane to a phone, owes its shape or form in part to the industrial designer. The glass you used this morning, the car that carried you to work or school, and the lamp you will turn out tonight when you go to bed -- all had to be designed.
Someone, at some point, had to plan or create their shapes or forms, decide upon the right materials to be used in making them and select the colors that would be most attractive and practical for each.
Industrial design means the planning and design of manufactured articles. Fountain pens, kitchen cabinets, railroad cars, television sets, cameras, cell phones, and toys -- all show the influence of the industrial designer's talent. Without his aid and imagination, our modern cars might sill look like a carriage on wheels and our lamps like a stick with a bulb at the end.
Works of art, such as paintings and sculptures are designed too, but with the aim of answering spiritual rather than practical needs. They are not made to serve a useful purpose in the sense that an ordinary mixing bowl fulfills a necessary function.
The design of every day articles is guided or should be guided by their uses. The chair which is uncomfortable or unsafe is a bad chair regardless of how much effort has been spent to give it an attractive or interesting appearance. Good design always combines efficiency with pleasant looks and touch.
The idea of design for use is as old as man himself. In the earlier days of human development, progress was indeed slow as compared with the advances of the last three hundred years.
What Every Caveman and Woman Knew
Nevertheless, the caveman who realized his chunk of flint could be used more comfortably and efficiently if the grasping end were shaped into a handle -- had, in a sense, become a designer.
On his next stone tool he may have fashioned consciously a suitable comfortable grip and gave the implement at the same time a more refined appearance. He was definitely making progress in the design field.
The Ordinary Spoon
Some basic implements, such as the spoon, have changed their forms but little over thousands of years. Once the spoon with a handle was developed, the basic form could hardly be improved upon, though it might undergo variations.
The chief reason why the forms of such objects as spoons have changed so little through the ages is that man himself has not altered. The forms and proportions of the human body and the way it moves remain the same. Man's senses of sight and touch and his basic needs are not very different from what they were thousands of years ago.
So some of the things that early man made to increase the comfort and pleasure of living have needed comparatively little improvement. True, there have been changes in the way articles are made, and new materials have been introduced. However, attempts to change radically forms that have proved right and beautiful for their purposes from the very beginning are often doomed to failure.
Design for use is concerned not only with the form and color of an object, but also with the texture of its surface. Some art critics feel that surface treatment was at its best in the early days of civilization.
Then, man may have been guided in his choice of texture simply by his sense of touch, which told him when a smooth surface was right for one kind of article, a rough surface for another.
Early man did not adorn his pots and weapons just to make them handsome. Details of ornamentation had a deep meaning for him. Ornamentation sometimes served as a historical record when it told the story of a tribe or people -- picturing its legends and great events.
In this form, ornament was used not only on everyday utensils. At later states of civilization, ornamentation was used more and more for decorative purposes only.
If You'd Like To Know More!
- How to Carve a Wooden Spoon
Learn to carve a wooden spoon to add to your kitchen utensil collection. Eight steps; purchase a spoon blank in cherry or other hardwood.
- How to make a wooden spoon, the viking way
I will show you how to make a wooden spoon out of green applewood. Using only my handmade viking tools.
- How Silver Spoons Were Made | Collectors Weekly
This article describes how early American silversmiths made sterling silver spoons, from melting metal to casting to rolling, annealing, ham...
- Spoon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia