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For the past thirty years I have chosen to interpret my tiny corner of existence in the functional objects of everyday life. Making spoons, forks and serving pieces has enabled me to explore the graphic possibilities of flatware, the play of surface reflections and the sounds of silver. To these objects I often add commentary on the passing scene from gardening and family values to alternative energy sources. Historic and contemporary metal art also interests me and has led me to write on the history of the fork and Canadian jewellers and metalsmiths.


Most recently I have been following the avant garde cuisine some call molecular gastronomy, that has emerged in Spain. It results from the creative search for flavours and textures by Ferran and Albert Adrià at El Bulli restaurant and workshop. Experimentation with high-tech equipment for food preparation, like cooking with liquid nitrogen, has yielded spheres of olive oil, miso foams and hot gellies.

To me, these foods need new utensils that scoop, pinch and hold in ways both reminiscent and different from forks and chopsticks.  I am suggesting a tiny flat sled of sterling silver to slide under a streak of sauce; tongs of various sizes to grasp small pieces of fish and meat; a silver straw for slurping airs; and a miniature whisk to capture foam.  Instead of the traditional plate, I have borrowed from the Japanese Zen Buddhist tradition of bowls on a lacquered tray. Each place setting allows for a variety of foods to be served from a selection of bowls and pillow-like plates.

Between the knife, fork and spoon of the western place setting and the chopsticks of eastern eating, a coloured board with a cluster of functional metal objects seems an appropriate accompaniment for the tapas and morphings of today’s creative tasting menus.



Anne Barros, 2011