Setting salt, May 2016

Part of a set of 4

Setting salt was inspired by the large variety of objects and foods used when setting the Victorian dining table. The numerous diagrams made available by ‘Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management’ showing how to do this correctly, along with table manner instructions touched a particularly strong cord. And reignited an interest I have with objects that have been made for a very specific purpose, but who’s purpose may now be obsolete; as society’s culinary customs have changed, simplified and to some extent disappeared.

The need for multiples to make a dining set, also delighted me as a maker; the act of collecting and using to consume, seems to offer the host and the guest a unique opportunity to revel gastronomically and take pleasure in the vessels that these foods were offered up in. Hence Setting salt is a set of 4 salt cellars with salt serving knives; that brings together a selection of the many precious elements that the Victorian table had to offer – silver, oysters and salt.

Size: Each set approx. 27.5cm (l) x 12cm (w)

Materials: Oyster Shell, silver leaf, wood glue, bamboo, steel knife (found object) thread, salt

Exhibited: A commissioned piece for ‘The Victorian Dinner Table’ Exhibition, Leeds Gallery for Leeds Library, Leeds, May 2016