For the Love of Tools

In light of all the buzz surrounding Julia Child, I thought it might be interesting to share this scan of her kitchen from my 1977 edition of Architectural Digest Celebrity Homes:

Though there were also photographs of the other rooms in her house, I was fascinated most by the kitchen, because it reveals so much of Child's character. Her quote, "We rejoice in the shape of tools," says it all! If anyone has photos of a personal collection of tools displayed decoratively, I'd LOVE to see/ post them— interesting shapes and textures can render even the most functional objects beautifully decorative. (You might remember a post from a while back about the texture of a pair of levels I found, and another about the forms of forcolas... )

For me, the carefully chosen material possessions that comprise a person's "style" are interesting in that they reveal the character and personality behind those objects. I am just infatuated with characters who go to the ends of the earth to pursue a unique a
esthetic for their lives, even if it occasionally takes them off a cliff. The concept of "chic"? Frankly, I can take it or leave it (although probably leave it).

Yesterday, Scott Schuman from The Sartorialist wrote that Bruce Weber's character studies in A House is Not a Home made him aware that objects can say as much as words when it comes to revealing character.
And it's absolutely true. A picture is worth a thousand words? Try a beloved possession, or better yet, a collection of beloved possessions, arranged for life and action.

Bottom line: Indecorous taste, or in decorous taste... who even cares about the distinction, as long as the taste expresses personality, panache, character, and a personal aesthetic?


home before dark said...

Stumbled onto your site from AAL, and I'm impressed. I am almost 60 and without realizing it early on, I was a born a tool geek. Love the open, grab and go kitchen. I view my pot collection a beautifu, useful thing. It's also a timeline of growth as a cook. I believed our possessions are little pieces of our soul that tell us where we have been.


Welcome! So glad you stumbled on the blog.

A tool geek- I like that term! Lately, the more I read about artists, the more I find that so many of them had a fascination with tools (Alexander Calder and I.M.Pei both did, for example).


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