Introducing Izabel Lam: Notes on Flatware History

12.19.19

“Movement and flow have been the first lesson in her life as a designer.”

 

Introducing Izabel Lam’s flatware to LoQ store. Lam’s collection is a metal rendering of oceanic movement, inspired by bodies of water which mystified her as a child. A sense of the natural and whimsical in her designs recalls a rich symbolic history, in which tools of the table were ritual elements—mediums of transcendent experience. 

The knife’s symbolic placement in table setting has endured since the middle ages, where a blade placed inward signaled a trustworthy gesture; christening and betrothal spoons have been featured in the art of gift giving since the 16th century. The fork was last to arrive on the table—with a delightfully strange history—originating in skepticism for its stylistic connections to devil’s horns, to an eventual exercise in virtue during the Italian Renaissance. Dining was closely tied to a spiritual nourishment, with cutlery serving as devotional design between one’s hands and the divine. 

Lam’s carved flatware conjures these ornate and fanciful histories, with precious metal reminiscent of jewelry—as if they are art objects with sense memories themselves. A time of year which emphasizes the table, LoQ store holiday gift shop will offer housewares and designs which elevate the everyday to ritual and treasure.

1. Izabel Lam in LoQ store

2. Image source unknown

3. From left to right - Arpège vegetable knife, Christofle 2005. Trussware dinner spoon, designed 1903. XUM dinner fork, designed by Robert Wilhite, 1990. Table Tools table knife, designed and handmade in sterling silver by Boris Bally, 2001. Arpège vegetable fork

4. Jean Puiforcat, Prototype fork and knife, ca. 1930

5. Massimo Vignelli, 'Ciga' Cutlery for Cialegaro, 1979

6. Diana Greenwood

7. Salvador Dalí, Ménagère, 1957, set of seven pieces of silver-gilt flatware

8. Surrealist Dinner on a Bed, 1937 Drawing for a Film Project with the Marx Brothers Salvador Dali