white spoons

March 9, 2012

Clockwise from the top: ceramic dessert spoons by Atelier OKER; The Four Seasons tea spoon set by Bailey Doesn’t Bark; enamel and steel spoon by Bran from Creatures of Comfort.

Meet my new fixation: white spoons. I’ve started noticing them everywhere and have felt in them a strange evocative power. What’s that all about?

Of all cutlery, to me spoons are the most feminine. Of course, speaking literally, their graceful and curvaceous shapes are suggestive of the female form. But also they are an essential tool in kitchen chemistry – historically a woman’s realm – used to add ingredients, stir the pot, and serve the food. Thus they are a symbol of nurturing and care. They feed the body, and even administer medicine when we are sick.

But what about white spoons? Almost deathly they seem to contradict the life-giving metaphor. Pale and brittle, these spoons look like bleached bones. Yet in Jungian terms, white is also the color of transformation, the dawn, consciousness – a purity that can only be achieved by having slogged through the mire, having lived life. And these bone-white spoons do resemble some grounded, elemental thing that has been burned by the sun.

So perhaps, white spoons symbolize something else altogether – the creative force? Maybe white spoons are so evocative because they represent the process by which we take all the disparate elements of our lives and concoct something sustaining and transformative, not only for the body, but also for the soul.

Clockwise from the top left: porcelain measuring spoons available at Labour and Wait; paper stitch spoon samples, part of “Our Fragile Dreams” by artist Cathy Cullis; bread spoons by Niels Datema provide precise measurements of all the ingredients needed to bake bread.

Clockwise from the top left: vintage ceramic spoons from Mclovebuddy; gold leaf spoon and salt well by designer Susan Dwyer of Up In The Air Somewhere; Kirsten Hecktermann‘s bone spoons available at Analogue Life and Horne. You can also see another beautiful white spoon by Stepanka in my piece on red thread.

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