Bringing Art to Function – Wooden Spoons by Marie Eklund

Functional design can sometimes be limiting in the fact that there’s only so much play in the shape of an object. Take bowls or plates as an example, it’s going be hard to break the mould and create a form that actually outside of the function that’s set in our mind. That’s why working directly with the material and manipulating it in one’s hand gives us the ability to design through creativity and imagination instead of limiting factors already set in stone in our mind.

The value of picking up craft techniques and using them as a vital tool of the design process has never been more valid. Charles Eames once said, “If we are going to survive we have to become craftsmanlike people; and in that word’s deepest, fullest sense. It is urgent therefore that we start thinking and talking about craftsmen and craftsmanship in a much broader and unlimited way.” It’s been more than 60 years and not much has changed, lucky then we have some free spirits like Marie Eklund who have taken their ability to manipulate a material at will.

Marie spends half of her time in Stockholm and the other half in Tångeråsa, close to Örebro. Tångerås is a small village with quaint Swedish houses, no doubt where much of her inspiration comes from when she makes her pieces of woodwork. Although now branching out in to other areas of craft, Marie has devoted most of her time to the exploration of spoon making as a craft and what playful shapes can be crafted from such a material.

In some of her spoons nature can be seen, mimicking leaves or the bendy stem of a vine. Others are more blocky, what one might imagine was the primitive origins of a spoon (see above as an example). Going backward and forward between the simplified form and more creative forms is certainly inspiring and leads to some fantastic pieces that are not only designs with function in mind, but also true works of art that are sure to be cherished from this point on.

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