When it comes to kitchen stuff, I have to admit that I am spoiled rotten. I have a utensil and dish for just about everything, including several oil containers.
Being an artist, my world is naturally filled with creative people who make things. My friend Shawn is one such person. He has been making wood-fired pottery for the past 20 odd years, and his pots only get better. He is present in my house one way or another every day of the week. We use his pottery constantly, and they always make our meals happier occasions.
To hang out for a firing is fascinated, and a lot of fun. When I happen to around I am usually in charge of the kitchen, while my man Dave feeds the fire with sticks on Shawn’s command. In the 24 hours (or less) it takes to fire the kiln, we work, eat great food, chat, and at the end, drink plenty of wine.
The kiln has to cool for a day or so before it can be opened brick by brick. There is always a slight dread lurking until Shawn gets to peek at his cooling pots and decide if it has been a good firing. Of course he is always a little critical of how things turn out, but in general, any pot that comes from his kiln is desirable (and that’s not just my humble opinion)
This warm burned-green colored pot sits on my counter-top and is picked up most days, by me, to drizzle oil over something or other. The thought of it being turned on the wheel, shaped, glazed, fired, before eventually sitting on a wooden plank outside of Shawn’s kiln is something that I am aware of every time I pick it up. It reminds me of my friend, and of how he knows that making a container to hold a specific thing, like olive oil is not a waste of time. He knows that the tools we use on a daily basic should be beautiful, and in turn enrich the user’s life in some way or other.
These are the corny, but important things I have to say about people who make lovely things. Settling for some piece of crap (there, I said it) from a shop whose sole purpose is to take your money without a though for how it was made, and under what conditions, is possibly something that is worth thinking about.
There is the question of what you can afford, but, maybe think about it a different way. Think about how many times you have to replace said piece of junk for yet another piece of junk, and if you should really be putting money in the pocket of someone who doesn’t give a hoot about you, or the person who they paid next to nothing to make it.
I am as guilty as the next man of buying shoddy goods because they are cheap, but am trying very hard to go without until I can afford something that is beautifully made, with the best of intentions.