Utensils find new calling

Deborah Milford and  her mother Vivienne, visiting from Adelaide, inspect the unusual jewellery...
Deborah Milford and her mother Vivienne, visiting from Adelaide, inspect the unusual jewellery on offer at Tony Hamilton’s stall at the Thieves Alley market day on Saturday. Photo: Linda Robertson
For most, cutlery is simply a useful tool, but in the hands of Tony Hamilton knives, forks and spoons take on new forms and new functions.

His stall at Saturday’s Thieves Alley market day attracted a lot  of attention, as potential buyers inspected the jewellery, wind chimes and coat racks the house trucker had assembled from old cutlery.

"It’s a very practical use for things people didn’t want," Mr Hamilton said.

"The wind chimes make a good noise, the hooks are heavy enough to hold anything and the jewellery is just a pretty thing that everybody loves."

Wind chimes were Mr Hamilton’s initial foray into utensil-driven art.

Fourteen years later, he has his own cottage industry taking his wares from market to market.

"The whole stall has grown from the wind chimes. The coat hooks were about 10 years ago, and the jewellery in the past three years," he said.

"It’s just something which grows on you and you have to do it."

It looks simple enough, but making things from old knives, forks and spoons is not as easy as you might imagine, Mr Hamilton said.

"It depends on the manufacturer and the metals that they used but we do break a heck of lot of them," he said.

"The tines break on forks, the spoons can split; there are lots of things that go wrong ...  but I do have thousands of them."

More than 200 stalls were set up around the Octagon, Lower Stuart, Princes,  George and Bath Sts for the annual Thieves Alley  market and a large variety of arts, crafts, clothing and creative goods were for sale.

Fine weather and hot temperatures meant thousands enjoyed an unusual day’s shopping in the central business district.

mike.houlahan@odt.co.nz  

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