My Favourite Clutter: The Patina in These Spoons

Years ago, I de-cluttered my home. I discovered that the process was more about celebrating what you choose to keep than mourning what you decide to discard.

Home…Hurrah’s series My Favourite Clutter is all about celebrating those special items – the ones that share our stories and express something unique about who we are.  The clutter that we love for whatever reason!

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I have noticed, over the last few years, that a lot of the meaningful clutter in our home winds up in my workshop.  Simple items like my son’s first running shoes; the satiny, cream coloured shoes that I wore on my wedding day almost 19 years ago; lovingly home-made cards that we’ve received.  I store these things in boxes or place them on shelves.  I have no intention of throwing them away, and this type of clutter seems to feed my creativity.

The workshop is where I also used to keep these 9 spoons and a tea sieve.  They have travelled over miles, continents, and time to find their way into my possession.  They were given to my mother by my paternal grandfather’s grandparents. (Yup. Pretty old.  My mom figures that some of the spoons are probably from the mid 1800’s.)  If these spoons could tell their story, they would probably need a whole book to say it.

These spoons have developed a natural, worn beauty over time, the kind that cannot be replicated, charming and imperfect with age.

I mean, look at the first spoon below.  How many meals does it take to wear a spoon down like this?  It was clearly someone’s favourite soup spoon!  Do most of the things made in our modern day and age even last long enough to show that kind of wear?

How many conversations were had over the meals that wore this spoon down?
I love the patina that these spoons have developed over the years.
Engraved flowers and a bird infused tea time with a sense of family history.

Last year,  before storing them in a safety deposit box, I decided to have a bit of fun and draw one of them.  No plan.  I just picked up a spoon and started to draw it in the middle of a large paper.

Eventually, I added other things to the drawing: a piece of wood that I picked up while walking at a park with my mom, tassels from (the same) great-great grandparents’ table runner.  The background drawing was mostly from my imagination, and has a lot of symbolism.  The Rosemary branches are from my husband’s plant that we keep in my workshop.

My drawing skills are a bit rusty, but the only way to deal with that is to practice, so this was a useful exercise.   Maybe I would have done a few things differently if I had sat down and planned the drawing in advance, but allowing it to develop spontaneously was part of the fun.  Anyhow, hopefully this is just one of many drawings to come.

I think I am starting to understand why I am collecting “clutter” in my studio.  I may not be able to get to it for a while, but I think I have plans for it all.  Vague, incubating sort of plans.

Some of the colour and detail are lost in the photo, but it still gives you a good idea of what the drawing looks like.

I would love to hear about your favourite clutter!  Please feel free to join in the fun and link it back here so I can check it out!

Thanks so much for popping by.  Have a wonderful week!image

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Carina Spring

Hi! So glad you stopped by my little blog, where I joyfully embrace creativity. Here, at Home... hurrah!, I celebrate the beauty and depth of everyday moments, explore what life has to teach us, and share some of the interesting things I see and learn along the way. Thanks for the visit!

16 thoughts on “My Favourite Clutter: The Patina in These Spoons”

  1. I enjoyed this post, it has a grace and calm to it which is rare and special. The spoons are indeed lovely, so too your sketch. I recently discovered how very bad I am at decluttering, holding onto things even though I know it would be better to let them go. You can see two posts about it, “Spring cleaning…” And one (very recent) on socks! If you have a mind to. 🙂 Thanks.

  2. These spoons are such a treasure. Thinking about the people that have used them and the conversations they have witnessed, moved me. This post was a beautiful, thoughtful piece. And, about your painting, you really have talent, it is a matter of getting back to it. best

  3. odd, I needed to log in in order to comment? I’m a bit confused and hope it goes through ok!

    I love this post, because I really resonate with what you write about the story of the objects in our homes. What a beautiful story these items have to tell. Your sketch is amazing, I am so pleased that you allowed it to develop rather than plan, I know that feeling of just going with the flow – it is close to bliss isn’t it. What delightful subjects to work with.

    I do wonder if in another 100 years there will be anything left of our generation – Ikea furniture – domestic appliances that seem to have a very short life. That is why I am drawn to ‘vintage’ items, it is the connection with all the people in the past – the marks and scratches all have a story to tell.
    Thank you for sharing, it was a delight to read and a pleasure to see.

    1. Thank you so much for the visit, and the kind words. I am glad that you enjoyed the post. I agree wholeheartedly with the joy of not planning everything in the creative process. Sometimes, it is so satisfying to let things unfold naturally – I guess it’s an approach that definitely suits my personality as well.

      Good point about ‘what will be left behind by our current culture?’ It worries me because we are consuming so many resources and intentionally creating things that don’t last. “Vintage paper coffee cups” don’t sound like such a treasure, do they? 😉 Take care. Xo

  4. Those are quite nice patinas. You can tell they have been used for a long time. Patinas are a top coat of rust on high carbon steels, and actually protect the metal from damaging rust, as well as adding character.

    1. Hi, thanks for the comment and for sharing that definition. I was thinking more of the dictionary definition describing patina as “a surface appearance of something grown beautiful especially with age or use.” But both definitions work, don’t they. 🙂 Take care and have a great week.

  5. What beautiful spoons. You’re right what a shame we don’t create items like that any more 🙁 Thank you for sharing them. Your drawings are beautiful as ever – thank you for sharing them too xx

    1. Hi Bekki! Thanks, I do love those spoons. 🙂 I agree, it is unfortunate that we have become such a throw-away society. It seems that so much of what is now made is not made to last at all, or it’s disposable. And Aww… thanks for the comment on my drawing. It was fun to work one and gave me much needed practice. 🙂 Take care! XO

  6. Dear Carina, I love your favorite clutter. Though I have trouble labeling it as “clutter”. Guess the term clutter has had a negative connotation around here. As in, “get rid of that clutter!” HA. So loved the patina, the running shoes, the wedding shoes, the drawing. You draw so beautifully, Carina. That’s such a gift. I can only imagine it takes time and spontaneity to create. I have some favorite silver pieces from my maternal grandmother. One in particular that comes to mind first is a beautiful ornate berry spoon, the ladle actually dipped in gold to protect the acidity of the berries from breaking down the silver. (That’s what I was told anyway.) Another favorite piece is a hinged bangle silver bracelet with beautiful carved swirling and clear gemstones inset all the way around, also from my grandmother. She passed away in 1996, and I’m her namesake. On really special or important days I wear that bracelet, and I feel like I have a little piece of her with me. Tonight we had a “Gift Night” at church. People brought artwork, photography, culinary gifts, even performed musical pieces, read poems or writings. I read this humorous piece I wrote for the blog last winter: “Little Experiment” It was a special night to celebrate everyone’s special gifts. Your beautiful drawing would have fit in perfectly. I loved this post, thank you. Have a wonderful week Carina! XO

    1. Hi Allie. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing; I truly enjoyed reading the comment. How wonderful to have a special bracelet to remember your grandma, and to still feel close to her in your own way. The other weekend, I went for a very quick trip to Alberta to see my dad because he is in palliative care. Before I left, a dear aunt gave me a necklace that she had wanted to give my grandmother (who passed away in June of 1997). She gave it to me because she knew it was going to be a tough weekend for me, and honestly I wore it the whole weekend, and I found it comforting. How lovely that you are your grandmother’s namesake. Thanks for the link to your story, I had a good laugh reading it, and as a Winnipegger who has experienced slippery, snowy roads and who knows how it can frazzle the nerves, I related completely! What a great idea about the “Gift Night” – a chance to share and discover talents and interests that others might not be aware of. By the way, after my whole de-cluttering process, the word “clutter” for me came to mean “the many items that surround us”. I found that when there is excess clutter, the meaningful things get swallowed up into the mix with the non-meaningful things. So in a way, it’s all clutter, but some of it is meaningful, beautiful, and is elevated above the other clutter, which is often discarded. 😉 Have a good week, Allie!

      1. Oh I’m so glad your aunt gave you that necklace last weekend. What a comfort it must have been to have that at that particular time…. and so meaningful. Your grandmother would be so glad. It’s almost like a little piece of her history is with you. I’m so sorry about your dad, must have been a very tough weekend. And so agree Carina, there is meaningful clutter and then there is just plain junk! HA. I think I am surrounded by a lot of JUNK mixed in with the beautiful and meaningful clutter and I need to do a mega sort around here….

        1. Thanks for the kind words, Allie. As for the clutter…keeping it under control is an on-going process, isn’t it! We’ve been noticing it is probably time to sort around here again, too! XO

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