Saturday, 23 July 2011

High Tea Extension

Material: Copper and Humbrol Matt enamels: no.200, no.61 and no.34
Ring Size: B and H
Weight approx: 51g
Height: 20mm
Width: 22mm
Length: 230mm

Forged from 8m (diameter) copper rod, this sugar spoon is designed to be worn on and extend the pinky finger. ‘High Tea Extension’ was inspired by many of the myths surrounding why it is believed to custom to extend the pinky finger at a 90 degree angle whilst drinking tea. Some of the myths I discovered included previously high society requiring to eat all food and drink with only three fingers, whereas the lower classes ate with more fingers if not the whole hand. Similarly sugar was once an expensive commodity reserved for the rich, so the rich used to use their pinky to dip (when wet with water) into the sugar. Therefore they would keep their pinkies erect and out of the way of touching any substances that would taint the pure sugar.  However other myths were based on practicality rather than social split, this included the notion that the hottest part of the tea cup is the bottom so naturally we want to move the finger closest to the heat away. Even a disorder based on the inability to bend the pinky finger is believed by some to be the birth of the pinky extension tradition. However no matter the origins, the extension of the pinky today whilst drinking tea to many is silly and a little humorous. Thus to comment on this ridiculousness, High Tea Extension,’ through the use of two rings, prevents the pinky from being bent when worn. Furthermore the extended length of stem the spoon adds to pompousness as it allows one to elegantly reach to obtain a cube of sugar or to simply extend the pinky when picking up a sugar cube from a sugar bowl in the other hand. To highlight the notion that this piece is an extension of the pinky, the piece is painted with a pastel, porcelain skin colour that was mixed to match my own skin colour.

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