A SILVERED PAST
Photos by Andrea Blair
Creating a new purpose for vintage items is one of my favorite ways to be creative. Giving a new function to ordinary objects is especially fun with endless possibilities! Vintage silverware and flatware are affordable pieces that, when viewed with a creative eye, can be transformed into extraordinary art. These functional pieces that we use every day have a fascinating origin.
Early on the meals and feasts would be consumed using one’s fingers and were inelegant, to say the least. During the Middle Ages, the eating habits improved in monasteries which then spread throughout the land, and during the Renaissance dining was further elevated. Eating with a knife and fork became an art form; utensils were decorated for the first time. Silverware changed to become lighter, with the knife tips becoming more rounded, the handles longer, and the fork became the utensil to pierce the food, thus replacing the need for the pointed knife tip. Spoons were originally made of wood, bone and horn, and a knife and spoon were personal property that was carried by each diner in a special pouch attached to the belt.
In later centuries, a knife, fork, and spoon were considered a complete set and all pieces were beautifully embellished. Social gatherings soon included serving new delicious beverages, and coffee and tea spoons were introduced along with sugar and cookie tongs. Many of the special utensils that are still in use today came into being during the Renaissance, such as the fruit, dessert and oyster forks, as well as soup ladles.
Antique and vintage silverware are highly sought after for use in today’s entertaining, and trends for weddings are to gather pieces and combine together regardless of patterns. Repurposing silverware into new uses is the most exciting trend. The service that these pieces extended to us in the past has transitioned into objects of fashion for home and personal adornment! Bracelets, key chains, ornaments and pendant necklaces are the current fun way to use these beautiful vintage pieces and Station 8 is proud to showcase the creations of several local artists
One of my artisans who creates gorgeous charms and pendants to sell in my shop explained: “I’ve always loved the beautiful patina of vintage silverware. The specks of tarnish are beautiful and tell someone’s story. Because of that I rarely shine up the pieces before I create. I was first inspired to stamp silverware when I saw my aunt’s set of stamped garden marker spoons and have been stamping silverware ever since! “
The gorgeous jewelry made from vintage silverware now have words of praise and encouragement and positive affirmations that remind the wearer and those who see them to “be brave” and “believe” and can be fun and whimsical as well. You may find a set of vintage butter knives with “butter is better” or a Christmas ornament made from an old serving spoon with a charming message on it as well. An unexpected addition to a traditional tree may just make your guests smile and ponder their own pieces that have been in the family for generations. Enjoying these vintage pieces in today’s lifestyle is truly a wonderful way to celebrate their past services!
Wishing you all Happy Holidays from
all my gals at The Shops at Station 8!
All the best,