A love of gardening, vintage and upcycling led Melbourne-based creative Jade Holli to turn old and unwanted forks and spoons into personalised and custom-stamped garden markers. How gorgeous to be inspired by a quote on the aged patina of a spoon while pottering in your garden! As Jade says on her website, she ‘loves to re-create pieces of discarded silverware into little objects of lovely for you to enjoy’.
With a chook-filled garden full of home-grown flowers and veges, Jade practises a sustainable and enviable lifestyle. Read on to find out more about Jade and her business, The Spoon Flower …
Please tell us about yourself. Where are you from, what is your background and how have you ended up where you are today?
I am a mother of two beautiful girls; they are the ones that feed my creativity. My youngest loves a good craft session or going on a nature hunt to hug a tree, pick flowers or just sit in the grass. I think I was born a ‘maker’; I’ve always been creating something. My favorite memory is nailing my brother’s building blocks onto my shoes when I was about 10 so that I could have high heels. Since then, my hands have always been busy. Once the owner of a New Age store, where I sold my own clothing and jewellery lines, then a small online craft store selling soft furnishings made from vintage and recycled fabrics (while playing mother hen to my babies), I then traded in vintage and that led me to vintage cutlery.
When and why did you begin exploring/ working with vintage cutlery?
The idea of creating something new and usable from something old and discarded really appeals to me. The different processes in creating stamped spoons is something I always enjoy. There is the hunt for the product, the quirky little words or working on a custom request; the smashing, the steadiness needed to stamp the letters, packaging (which is 100 per cent compostable), the networking. Every day brings something new.
Where do you source the cutlery from?
I source my cutlery from lots of different places. It is getting harder to find as the old silver plated ones work best and have a lovely vintage patina to them. I scour op-shops near and far, online via Ebay and Gumtree, and a wonderful bunch of family and friends who always keep their eyes out for me. Some pieces tell a story, you can see how much one teaspoon has been loved or the special engravings on a handle. They all hold a little piece of history.
Can you tell me about the creative process and how you go about making each piece?
Every piece requires something different to make them unique. Firstly, the words are chosen and then a spoon is selected so that the words will fit nicely onto the flattened face. Sitting on my porch step with an old tree stump that takes out the noise and vibration, I use a three-pound mash hammer and a steel block to hammer each piece flat. Single letters are hand-punched to create words, then polished and inked so the words fill with stain.
Apart from your work, what other interests or hobbies do you have?
I am a gardener at heart and I suppose this is why ‘The Spoon Flower’ sits so well with me. I’m constantly in my home garden or at my daughter’s school, where I co-run the veggie gardens with another volunteer mum. Always busy, I have to remind myself to put time aside to just sit and read a magazine.
How important is upcycling and sustainability in your work, work practices and home life?
Sustainability to me is very important. At home we recycle and re-use as much as we can, going without the little things and make what we have last longer. My home is an eclectic mix of everything old or upcycled and if something is no longer needed we pass it on to someone else. I recently started a house-cleanse based on the ethics of permaculture, which suits my lifestyle perfectly.
What’s one thing other people may not know about you?
I love having a cold beer while cooking dinner.
It’s not very cool, but I really like … milo on my ice-cream.
Have you had a ‘who’d have thought’ moment?
The Spoon Flower is my ‘who’d have thought’ moment. I suppose because it just happened – there wasn’t a lot of planning. It grows on its own and I just nurture and follow. I am amazed every day the love and support it receives. It fills me with such joy that every piece bought is helping us reduce our carbon foot print and that there are others out there who appreciate a little bit of garden love, a quirky quote or something a little bit fanciful and fun.
Thanks a million, Jade!
We love her upcycled vintage cutlery so much, we feature them in the store.