Dec 14, 2006

for love of objects

DSC_0032_1, originally uploaded by Larry Forney.

I used to work in a local cafe. There were many things to hate about this experience, what with my natural lack of charm and ability to hate total strangers based on one particularly rude or annoying trait.
But that's another story.
Every cloud has a silver lining, and this particularly wet cloud had a lovely shine in the form of the espresso maker. They, very simply, had one of the most beautiful espresso machines I had seen. I would stare at it's cogs, it's shiny silver wands, it's grates, growing sticky from hours of mochas and lattes, and just be awed by the beauty of the chrome-like reflection and the glass details.
Ah the fetishisting way we learn to adore our tools.
Understand, it's hard for me to get attached to things. I am not a person who needs to be surrounded by the objects they own in order to feel comforted. I do not like to shop, and I do not particularly like to own. And yet. And yet there is design. Specifically the design of objects of utility. The way we learn to adore the tools of our trade, the inspiration behind designing such tools to be aesthetically pleasing and sometimes, in their own right, newly astounding even in their ugliness, by what they represent. The tarnish on old brass objects and the gunk on an old typewriter and it's strange appeal. The way we make an espresso shot the same, every time, rotating our wrist, tamping and twisting the little metal pieces, watching something we made come to life as the result of a honed skill, worked on to make the most of the tools of the trade. And the way that machine is made to be beautiful and the function beautifully. That just thrills me.
I think the thing about such design, such beauty found in little metal pieces and details, the way a big hulking camera should be ugly but instead it's stunning or a gearshift, even can be enthralling makes me think we really love this life, for we decorate the very things that less of live and let our imaginations sing.

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