Cutlery, Selected for Lewis & Horning 1983-87
Originally designed and produced for Heals this cutlery was considered a perfect design and chosen to be offered as a gift to L&H customers on completion of their kitchen installs. It is featured here to illustrate the product, it being note worthy. The superb features of the range may one day be replicated given the design, whilst modern and specific to the eighties is possessed of a timeless quality.
Made of stainless steel, each item is weighted by virtue of its mass, well balanced and pleasant to hold.
The sketch or concept design is drafted and models of it are made in pear wood. Each piece shaped into fine and accurate representations of the finished set. Pear wood is used as it has the unique properties of being a fine, dense, short grain wood able to carry small details without fracturing.
The final design may have evolved by virtue of minute adjustments to the line of each piece and the experience of the designer being able to anticipate the balance of each item determined by the volume of steel at any given point along its length. Pressing tools are then fashioned by carving the required shapes into the face of steel blocks. A set of blocks are made, each block allowing the detail to progress the form gradually one pressing at a time. These are made in regard to the engineering drawings, each determining the accurate radii and line to form the required shapes.
To make a knife the process begins with a stainless steel ingot that is hot forged to form the handle by bashing it into moulds and then rolling the blade, clipping away the access steel, tempering, grinding, finishing and polishing. To make the forks and spoons each item is first pressed from a thick sheet of stainless steel with an industrial die then rolling out the head to the required thickness. This is then further processed by pressing and clipping using the dies and finally polishing.
The specific details unique to the Heals L&H presentation set illustrated can be observed in the generous bulb end of the cutlery handles allowing each to sit comfortably in the balm of each hand. The knife blade hangs down from the line of the handle leaving space between the plate and the fingers holding the handle as the blade engages the plate through the food. The blade also serves as a generous paddle affording an easy butter or soft cheese spreading paddle and daresay used as a generous scoop for the sauces to be transferred to the fork and into the diners mouth. The spoons are pointed with a bladed edge affording good penetration onto a stiff pudding or ice cream as well as an accurate address into the side of a boiled egg shell and subsequently into its inner flesh. The fork has a generous head wide enough to take four prongs, the traditional format leaning in from its hip with a curve up offering a spoon like sweep.