Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Spoons As Functional Art

Norman D. Stevens, Director Emeritus of the University of Connecticut Libraries, has been collecting contemporary crafts for decades.

For the last four years, he has concentrated his efforts on amassing a collection of over two hundred 9" handcarved spoons from all over the world.

The variety is incredible. Who would have thought that something as utilitarian as a spoon could be interpreted so many different ways.

Recently, some of his spoons were on display in The American Association of Woodturners Gallery of Wood Art, and the Gallery Director, Tib Shaw, photographed 74 of them.

The 74 images have now been printed in a catalog "A Gathering of Spoons 2010," which is available from the AAW website. The cost is $10 for AAW members and $20 for non-members.

The styles include traditional, folk art, contemporary, and sculptural, and a variety of wood species are represented.

The craftsmanship is impressive, and the shapes are imaginative and inspirational.

All photos were taken by Tib Shaw and are copyrighted by AAW.


zolten sabo said...

Some of those look like the attempts I've made. Viewing these has made me realize that I'm on the right track...

Gye Greene said...

The Tick would **love** this blog entry!




Robin Wood said...

Hmm functional art? Which of the spoons pictured can you imagine anyone using? The one on the cover looks nice. Personally I found the brief too prescriptive, if you want one of my spoons buy one rather than ask me to make something else, a 9" teaspoon is too long to be a tea spoon so I didn't make one.

Good to see wood spoons get some attention though.

Jeff said...

I think that one of the ways that art contributes to society is to draw the craftsman's eye to a place he might not have gone on his own. I can't say that all of these spoons are useful day to day, but all of them have given me ideas for livening up my more pedestrian efforts. Very inspirational to me. Thanks for the post, Kari!

Kari Hultman said...

Zolten, you should see the others in the book. All very different. So, keep on in the direction you're going—your spoons looke great! I don't think there is a "right track."

GG, nice one!

Robin, yeah, I probably wouldn't actually use any of the spoons because they're so pretty. I was calling them functional art because they are actually usable. However, there is one in the book that I doubt anyone would use--it has spikes!

Jeff, I couldn't agree more. :o)

cribs said...

One of a kind spoon. They are all so amazing. The design is very unusual but I must say they are beautiful. I wonder, is the first spoon design can be use?

Unknown said...

Norman Stevens's collection is impressive and seeing so many spoons by so many different carvers repesenting so many different skill levels was great. During his talk Norman took down the "Do Not Touch" sign and let everyone present handle any of the spoons. That was a real treat.

I've added a few picture over on my blog if your interested. http://woodenzen.blogspot.com/2010/07/wooden-spoons-zen.html

Kari you sould really get one of your spoons in his collection.

TheApprenticeandTheJourneyman said...

Functional or not is open to debate. However,the craftsmanship would be difficult to debate. Thanks for sharing!