Saturday, November 29, 2014

Spoons - Form and Decoration, Part V

It could be argued that all spoons made by hand fall into the category as an art form, as these beautifully graceful salad spoons demonstrate.

These natural clay spoons, when assembled into a display, become an exercise in pattern and form. Yet you could pluck any one out of the arrangement and use it.
No problem firing these!

I'm not sure what the material is used here, but this decoration is a great inspiration that transforms these spoons or dippers into art. Equally functional and artful.

This grouping with similar roundness of spoon bowls, yet varying sizes, similarity in handles, yet variations also in length and thickness still function as a grouping.

And these seem so organic, they could have been picked up on the seashore.  Great interpretation and glaze.

Different handle length and uniformity in similar bowl size create a grouping, yet they all become very individual because of the free expression in decoration.

I like the onion-like lines on the spoon to the far right.  Look at the negative space created by the length of white left on each handle.

With the two strong forms of the linear handle and the roundness of the bowl, there are two opportunities for endless decorations.

A slight segway here--

I have a 'thing' for shells. So, of course, I love these two examples of silver spoons with a shell motif.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Even More Spoons, Part IV

There are many approaches to making clay spoons.

You can create molds for multiples of the same and matching shapes or make a series of all the same shape.


Same bowls, different handles

Same handles, different bowls

Make them all the same with the same glaze.
Aren't these gorgeous? 

Natural clay handles might simplify how to fire them in the kiln--supporting them by laying them across kiln posts, making a clay support or by stilting them. 

Of course, if you plan to attach a handle, firing the bowls of spoons are easier. The could be stood on end with a bead rack or other stilt form, then handle and bowl are glued together. 

Making ceramic bowls and handles that would later be glued together might be another experiment. I don't think I've ever seen that.....

Fitting them with wooden handles like these measuring spoons, or with driftwood handles.

A great website that matches materials to other materials with the right glue can be found at 

If you're in to glue trivia or news, it's also the webpage for you!

Maybe using spoons to test glazes would be an even better than using test tiles. 
I think I've come up with a brilliant idea!!

And, a word of advice, though. If you plan on making a set of spoons or a collection of any kind, be sure to make extras!

There will still be more posts on spoons to come.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Spoons, Part III - Ceramic Spoons and Glazes

One idea is to make different shapes; same glaze.  Notice each spoon has a hole in the handle for hanging.  Maybe a composition display in the kitchen?

I like the homey looking blue and cream utility spoons here. Strainers, measurers, dippers, salt spoons, scoops, lots of uses for a well-glazed, washable tool.

Great use of theme and variation. 
Owl spoons. So Picasso-esque.

Embossing with stamps makes interesting, if maybe not-so-practical spoon bowls.
Great breaks in the glaze on these spoons.

Spoon or spoon rest? You decide.

Simply charming spoon.  

Do you see the little man?

A child would absolutely love this.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Metal Spoons, Spoons II

Many clay designs can be borrowed from spoons made of metal.

Functional spoons? Not for peas, I'm sure. They just might put you off your meal.

Dec. 11, 2014 Update:  Just saw a version these skull spoons on the MOMA website. All the same, not silver, labeled "Sugar Spoons". ??? Must be for those who are trying to cut down.

Metal is, of course more resistant to stress than clay. Thin portions are still strong.

So, when designing ceramic spoons, special attention has to be applied to areas of stress such as the join between the handle and bowl, length of the handle and thickness of materials. The special characteristics of various clays must be understood when designing tableware.

I wonder if it would work to reinforce the stem with heat-resistant metal? How would the two materials react to each other? Might be worth an experiment.

Of course, this spoon would not work in clay, but the design is so pleasing, it can serve as a great inspiration for a re-interpretation. 

By the way, this is an absinthe spoon, meant to be placed over the top of a glass and used as a strainer.

I was surprised to learn that absinthe is still being used. I had thought it was outlawed.  

This design, with a little modification, would make a very nice clay spoon.

If you want to design pierced spoons or strainers, a quick look at tea caddies and strainers can give you some good design ideas.

This is a delightful design and works perfectly as a spoon form as does the fish shown is below.
Silver scoop designs would work well as clay since they are more compact.

Seeing this, I had visions of a small salt spoon and a salt dish made like a purse.

Or a face. Placement of the spoon might be amusing.

How about making spoons in the shapes of rounded fruit with stems?

Clumps of beets?  


Or bouquets of different flowers with the blossoms painted into the bowls?

And, of course, there's the great design possibilities of precious metal clay. Best of both worlds.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Spoons, Part I

I've been thinking a lot about spoons lately.

A spoon is a very personal kind of utensil. It's the first one we master.

Clay does not immediately spring to mind as a medium when one is thinking about making spoons.

Metal and wood are more commonly used, but clay spoons work just as well and sometimes better than some materials. Clay won't heat up, for instance.

And while metal and wood have their own strengths and therefore their own design requirements, people who know and understand clay could design beautiful and effective spoons with certain  parameters and restrictions in mind.

Besides, spoons present unique design possibilities.

We're all familiar with the Chinese ceramic spoon, which to me has always seemed a bit difficult to use. I've always thought they would work much better as a spoon rest.

A quick Google image  search with of "Ceramic Spoons" delivers a huge amount of examples.

There are lots of wooden spoon forms that could easily be translated into a clay design, although the handles would have to be heavier and thicker:

What a difference dark and light make.

This is a good form. The base of the bowl and handle join gives lots of support.
Interesting Bowls. This spoon has two bowls and might work well in clay.

Some have interesting handles:

This handle design allows the spoon to balance on the rim of a pot. 

Some have unique handles.  Like Apostle spoons.

And an antique spoon from New Guinea.

This wouldn't work with ceramic unless the bowl alone was made of clay, but it's a beautiful combination.

I love the idea of making salad spoons--Short thick sturdy handles and large bowls together.

How often do you see the two coordinated?

Next: Metal Spoons and Ceramic Ones.