Sitting on a bamboo stool in a quiet corner of Gaya Ceramic Arts Centre I pinched small balls of clay into forms that fitted my hands, as we played, created and explored with clay. It was July 2010 and a group of seven joined me in Ubud, Bali for two weeks of indulgence – Culinary Clay – a remarkable workshop where we considered the intimate relationship between food and the vessel in which it is presented. Since returning I have been exploring the spoon form, one of the most sculptural forms of the humble everyday objects we use on the table.
I returned to over 2000 images I took of the landscapes around Ubud and the vegetables, spices and herbs with which regional recipes are made. Layered hillside terraces, repetitive rows of planted rice, the rhizome forms of galangal and ginger, intricate woven offerings made from palm leaves, coconut shell segments used to scoop flesh from fresh coconuts and old twisting vines and trees became a rich source from which to draw inspiration for this body of work, 87 spoons.
I enjoy the intuitive process of pinching, allowing forms to evolve as they nestle into my hand during the making. The spoon form is an extension of the hand, a utensil with which to scoop food to the mouth or into a bowl. A spoon also needs to rest, and so the rough, gritty, yet delicate brown bowls came about as places for the spoons to settle.
My spoons are made to be used and handled.