Designing with Cutlery July 04 2016, 0 Comments

Couture Cutlery

So I promised to serve you up a tasty cutlery post, but I’m afraid it won’t be on a silver platter. I learned long ago that working with sterling silver is still a little out of our production capacity and design scope (that’s me euphemistically saying it’s out of our budget). This got me to thinking about using non-precious metals to create new designs. Of course, it’s not quite that simple. These metals had to be available in Cambodia; strong, but malleable enough to use with simple hand tools; affordable; and resistant to tarnishing in the humid environment. Although it seemed like a somewhat fanciful wish-list, just like Derek Zoolander, everything became clear to me while staring at a spoon.

During one of my many fruitful meanderings in the Russian market, I stumbled upon a fabulous art deco style spoon. This spoon happened to be located in a small stall deep within the food section of the market, having been protected from potential buyers by an epic battle between the scents of a fish monger and noodle soup vendor. It may have simply been my overwhelming desire to immediately vacate the area, but I bought the spoon and a handful of other cutlery and made a beeline back to the studio.

Upon arrival, I announced my find to the artisans at the studio, feeling both triumphant with my spoon and relieved at no longer being assailed by the scent of prahok (fermented fish paste – not my cup of tea, but very Cambodian). Looking back, I don’t think I explained myself in a particularly humorous manner but I was certainly met with shock and laughter! “She’s gone crazy!”

After some demonstrations and experimenting, I managed to persuade the artisans that I hadn’t actually gone crazy in the Phnom Penh heat. My initial work being done, I watched as they transformed the ragtag collection of forks and spoons into a veritable smorgasbord of pendants and earrings. But even after this, there was still a little something missing – we couldn’t just plate-up cutlery to our discerning customers. The answer lay, as it often seemed to do, in upcycling. We incorporated some bright buttons into the pieces and the result is what you see today in our Couture Cutlery range.

Don’t worry – we have no intentions of creating a deconstructed range.

Buy some cutlery for yourself in our online store.