Now here’s an old chestnut: If there was a fire in your house, what would you save if you could only take one thing with you? Well, first I’m going to do a sneaky cheat. I’ll assume that the stuff my children have given me over the years is for some obscure reason in my car boot.
|Image courtesy of ebay.com|
Made in the 1950s, I bought it in the early 80s in a flea market in
For me, my elephant pie funnel is a cut above the obvious. It is both fun and functional. It is not as functional as the unadorned clean lines of an Eiffel/Blackpool Tower type funnel and perhaps it is ever so slightly more difficult to get the bits of pie off. So what? It is definitely more fun.
In today’s world of streamlined JIT manufacturing and cheese-paring efficiency, such a pie funnel would be a designer item. I imagine that it was manufactured at a time when form followed function and decoration followed form. Today in design less is more. Unfortunately functional streamlining is also emotional streamlining.
If there are no extra, special, individualistic details, then there is nothing to relate to emotionally in the object itself. Perhaps that is why we accumulate so much stuff and will eagerly buy the latest iGadget when the one we have still works perfectly.
We are sailing through a
Sargasso Sea of stuff. To guide us we have Jack Sparrow’s wildly-spinning compass.
We watch as the formlessly uniform kelp churns momentarily at our passing.
We consume stuff like Elvis consumed hamburgers: constantly chewing, never finishing, never satisfied, always ordering the next burger. Killing ourselves with our excessive demands. I read somewhere that Elvis ate constantly because he never saw an empty plate. An empty plate indicates satiety, satisfaction. Our lack of emotional attachment to the stuff we own means that we too are never satisfied. If everything we own is smooth and shiny, what is there to hold onto? How can I grasp it emotionally? How can such an object really be satisfying?
My Nutbrown Elephant Pie Funnel brings joy and amusement to the (now not-so) everyday activity of baking a pie. This is a perfect example of an article designed to add to the aesthetic and emotional enjoyment of both cooking and eating food. It is strange to think that such a small, simple object can have so much emotional power.
It is hard to imagine that the design chappie at Nutbrown had any idea when he designed my elephant that he was shaping emotions as well as pottery - adding to the pleasure of living. Is the hallmark of good design the ability to instensify the experience of using an object? I think it is more. Apple do this latter perfectly. Modern design impresses intellectually, materially. Earlier design, however, inspires true emotional warmth.
We need more elephant pie funnels. We need more home cooking. We need more Home. We need to concentrate more on our family and friends. Everything surrounding good food and good cooking brings us closer together. That is why I would save my Nutbrown Elephant Pie Funnel from a house fire.