We think every merchant we work with for Provisions is special -- but when we find one with a great story, we'll be featuring them here. Because we want to tell the world about our favorite makers.
Today: We’re talking about a set of pewter spoons (and the pair of metalsmiths behind them) that do more than measure up.
Sourcing for our online shop, Provisions means searching for pieces that we’d want in our own kitchens -- and the best-loved products, in our minds, are the ones we use day in and day out. One of our most useful finds of the past year is a set of pewter measuring spoons made by Beehive Handmade.
These pewter spoons are carefully crafted by hand using an original mold, then the volume is stamped on the back of each spoon. They’re sturdy and pretty, with a slight heft. We use measuring spoons so often when we cook -- slinging them from drawer to kitchen counter to sink -- so we need a set that can handle hard work. These can.
Beehive Handmade is a small kitchenware company run by Sandra Bonazoli and Jim Dowd -- both artists with MFAs in jewelry and metals. They fell in love with metalsmithing (and each other!) in school, and their collaborative work reflects an extraordinary passion for metalwork.
They drew inspiration from the ornately detailed cookware they’d find in old flea markets. But they asked themselves (as we often do): Why is so much modern cookware so plain? Their solution was to craft a line of their own, from spoons to tea strainers, that was functional but also beautiful.
Being architecturally-minded artists, Sandra and Jim chose to hand-cast each piece they sell. Pewter is poured into original molds, then the spoons are hung on an aluminum split ring. They won't rust, they won't bend, and they'll always be ready to help us make the world's best banana bread or a sea-salted batch of chocolate chip cookies. The extreme care and attention put into each set is evident in the final product -- and it makes a difference in our kitchen. We like cooking with pieces that have personality behind them, and when we use handcrafted tools, it feels like a collaboration of an entire community of artists.
Photos of metalsmithing by Jim Dowd; all other photos by James Ransom.
What's your most trusted cooking tool? Let us know in the comments.