Sociable Serviceable

Australian writer, Gay Bilson, who in introducing a section of Plenty: Digressions on Food quotes Octavio Paz.

Octavio Paz, in an essay in his collection Convergences, wrote about ‘seeing and using’. He suggested that craftsmanship ‘in its perpetual movement back and forth between beauty and utility, pleasure and service … teaches us lessons in sociability’. He wrote of the ‘rationality’ of industrial design, the impersonal uniformity. The handmade bowl is, by his definition, already sociable. So too is food prepared with discrimination and offered at the domestic table.

Note that the origin of the object does not determine its being imbued with the sociable. Use does. Industry is quite capable of producing the mock-handmade.

And so for day 107

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