Spoons as Comforters
Spoons are not just transferers of food.
Spoons also administer the dosage of medicine; or even the solace of the placebo: the sweet substitute for the real thing...
In this latter regard, the spoon is a vehicle for delivering emotional contentment. They are vessels for nursing, with handles for delivery.
These spoons were from a series Phill commenced in 1993.
'Spoon for Nursing the Lovelorn', the first in the series, was acquired by the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, after Phill was the recipient of the National Craft Award.
The influence on the design of these spoons was the passage of Halley's Comet, half a decade prior. Although the Comet's display was disappointing at the time, there was high public consciousness about comets per se, because several others also appeared during those years.
Two commemorative Phill Mason Comet Brooches from Halley's Comet Exhibition, Handmark Gallery, Hobart, 1986. Tektite, sterling silver, shakudo.
The motif of the comet - basically a head and a tail - was to abstract into many forms in Phill's work thereafter.
Dr Norris Iaounnou at the 1997 Hobart launch of his book, 'Masters of their Craft: Tradition and Innovation in the Australian Contemporary Decorative Arts', talks with noted craft curator, Robert Bell (center) and MHR Duncan Kerr (left).
The book overviewed the work and practice of 152 professionals in five craft media: Clay, Glass, Metal, Fibre and Wood [(i.e. approx. thirty practitioners per medium) See exerpts from the book about Phill's work, immediately left]. Published by Craftsman House, 1997.