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Series of three silver spoons 2003

Simone Ten Hompel (born 1960, Bocholt, Germany)

Series of three silver spoons
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Copyright: Copyright The Artist; Photo: Mike Davidson, Positive Image / Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums

Simone Ten Hompel has worked with metal for all of her adult life, training first as locksmith/blacksmith, then as a jeweller. In 1987 she moved to London to study silversmithing at the Royal College of Art, graduating in 1989. She now combines lecturing at London Metropolitan University with her own studio practice in her London workshop. In 2005 she was awarded the Jerwood Applied Arts Prize: Metal. Ten Hompel is one of most innovative makers and teachers working in Britain today. She frequently chooses to work with base metals but has always retained a love of silver. The attraction lies in how the metal can be manipulated and changed and its links with the past as a material that is melted down and used over and over again. It is this very reworking of the raw material that is the key to her preoccupation with spoons. She is fascinated by the story that when a family fell on hard times the silver spoons were melted down or used as currency. For Ten Hompel this is simply another way in which the spoon nourishes the family, not just as a vehicle for taking food from the plate to the mouth. This group of spoons is minimalist in character. The shape and outline of the individual pieces are tantamount to ornament, especially when grouped together. Each spoon has a variation in design the shape of bowl, the cut-out slot that embellishes the handle and the formation of the joint between handle and bowl. The surface throughout is matt with a light texturing. The slots in the handles have a practical purpose they can be used to suspend the spoons, like a row of musical notes. Ten Hompel breaks rules and habits, in this case she contradicts the notion that flatware must sit flat on the table.

Acquisition Details

Acquired from The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh, 2004
Purchased with funds from the National Collecting Scheme for Scotland which was originated and operated 2003-2006 by the Contemporary Art Society and supported by the National Lottery through the Scottish Arts Council.
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