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TheFoo

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Simple can be elegant. There is nothing elegant about these to my eye, and if the object of discernment isn’t elegant living then you’re just left with the false sense of superiority of the snob.
Elegance starts with the mind, not the eye. Now I see where the problem lies.
 

double00

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probably too much overlap but it would be interesting to bring this convo to the food / cooking threaks
 

ValidusLA

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Many more words, yet no additional content or reason.

Who’s opinion is unsupported? I’ve talked about form and function and quality. You are preoccupied with not wanting a thing to look like another thing without having a reason for why it shouldn’t.
To be accused of word salad after your response to @brokencycle is hilarious. You spit out subjective phrasing, hoping there is enough of it to force the reader to get tired and accept your point of view.

Form -
This is, obviously, the aspect that people are disagreeing on. You find them very pleasing. I do not.
I find them bulbous and unpleasing to the eye. They reek of trying too hard to stand out through faux simplicity.
The tines on the fork look out of shape with the rest of the set; the neck and handle of the fork looks kinked and poorly thought out compared to the other pieces.
The knife, as mentioned before, looks like a poorly designed .... something. It is not graceful at all. If you set it away from the rest of a flatware setting and away from plates you could be forgiven for not knowing exactly what it is.

Function -
I am sure it is able to transport food from a surface to another surface or to a mouth. I am sure it is moderately or possibly very comfortable to hold in the hand.
However, unlike chef's knives, where a conversation over handle shape and ergonomics might actually have some place to go on either side of the discussion, the question of "Does this function as flatware?" I don't think is first in the mind of most people when choosing a set. Because the assumed answer is already "Yes."
Ultimately the disagreement is about Form.

Quality -
I have no doubt that they are high quality. I have no qualms with them from a quality standpoint.
 

GeneralEmployer

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Mind explaining? I’m seeing you say this is awful and that’s the worst, but it would be more interesting for people to discuss their thoughts in a way that others can actually engage them.
Foo en fuego –– Changing my mind somewhat, but I'm still with the mob (but for different reasons). Let me rundown my resistance to Pott 33 and fancy flatware in general.

I feel a very few essential objects, like things designed to put food in your mouth, should not call attention to themselves. I don't like being aware of the thing that is delivering food to my mouth, whether for good or bad reasons. Also, dedicated readers may find this hard to believe, but I'm a man of the people. You set out that Pott 33 and some peeps gonna be like I've never eaten with something like this before. It's like 2001 is calling, and it wants it cutlery back (Kubrick's imagined 2001, with the Arne Jacobsen flatware).


Some people may lose all motor function when they encounter such objects for the first time.

Also, in defense of Foo, I think most of us have unfinished homes. I feel flatware is a low mileage item. It's really for the man who has it all. Most, including myself, would be better off buying another piece of art or something of the like.

In defense of the mob, expensive flatware has a bit of flash problem. Flatware is a small detail in the American mind, and to have spent good money on it –– along with every other object in one's home –– communicates an all encompassing fixation on the material. But Foo is really the king of flash. With flash, you get strong reactions (love/hate). For instance, I hate Foo's porsche, but I love his suits. These reactions are so strong they runneth over. At this point, I don't even know about this Pott 33 business. I just know I feel.
 

ValidusLA

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In defense of the mob, expensive flatware has a bit of flash problem. Flatware is a small detail in the American mind, and to have spent good money on it –– along with every other object in one's home –– communicates an all encompassing fixation on the material. But Foo is really the king of flash. With flash, you get strong reactions (love/hate). For instance, I hate Foo's porsche, but I love his suits. These reactions are so strong they runneth over. At this point, I don't even know about this Pott 33 business. I just know I feel.
I have no problem with him (or anyone else) spending money on flatware. I spend money on much more ridiculous things than flatware (subjective of course). I love his Porsche, and I love his suits; I just don't like this flatware. Has nothing to do with Foo himself.
 

GeneralEmployer

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I have no problem with him (or anyone else) spending money on flatware. I spend money on much more ridiculous things than flatware (subjective of course). I love his Porsche, and I love his suits; I just don't like this flatware. Has nothing to do with Foo himself.
Yes, didn't say you said it was. But you prove my point. Most things that Foo purchases elicit a love/hate reaction because he's flash, that is to say, most things Foo owns call attention to themselves. I think Americans cannot tolerate flatware calling attention to itself. This is my adopted homeland, so I will stand by the red, white, and blue, but just with a little less fervor that natural soilers.
 

ValidusLA

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Yes, didn't say you said it was. But you prove my point. Most things that Foo purchases elicit a love/hate reaction because he's flash, that is to say, most things Foo owns call attention to themselves. I think Americans cannot tolerate flatware calling attention to itself. This is my adopted homeland, so I will stand by the red, white, and blue, but just with a little less fervor that natural soilers.
I can't comment on if American's can't stand flatware calling attention to itself. I'm American - I think its ok for flatware, generalized, to draw attention. For example, the Pride flatware posted on the page before the Minimal draws attention - in a positive way in my opinion.
 

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I'm putting a moratorium on the word 'creepy' being used on this site. Everybody on this site is a creep. I'm a creep, you're a creep, we're all creeps. But Foo isn't everybody. He has no creep to his game.

You going to visit your ex-landlady at her home unannounced to 'check up on things' for absolutely zero reason. That's creepy. But I love you for it. We all love you for it. Come to think of it, being a creep around produces a lot of high quality content. It is, rather, a badge of honor. Let's keeping on using it, but as a compliment of the highest order.
 

TheFoo

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To be accused of word salad after your response to @brokencycle is hilarious. You spit out subjective phrasing, hoping there is enough of it to force the reader to get tired and accept your point of view.

Form -
This is, obviously, the aspect that people are disagreeing on. You find them very pleasing. I do not.
I find them bulbous and unpleasing to the eye. They reek of trying too hard to stand out through faux simplicity.
The tines on the fork look out of shape with the rest of the set; the neck and handle of the fork looks kinked and poorly thought out compared to the other pieces.
The knife, as mentioned before, looks like a poorly designed .... something. It is not graceful at all. If you set it away from the rest of a flatware setting and away from plates you could be forgiven for not knowing exactly what it is.
A most basic principle of design is that form should be assessed in relation to function. You are assessing form based on prejudices and preconceptions.

What does it mean for fork tines to “look out of shape”? What shape, exactly, should they have? If a fork’s neck and handle are “kinked”, is that good or bad? Why does it matter to a thing’s design whether one can “[know] exactly what it is” without context? I wager to the extent you have any answers to these questions, they inevitably reflect preconceived notions of good form that have no rational bases—but I’m happy to be proven wrong.

Further, you are using words like “unpleasing”, “trying too hard”, “poorly designed”, “not graceful”, etc., without substantiation through any logic or conceptual explication. This is merely proud ignorance. Or, in other words: “Yucky! That’s different from what I’m used to!”

Function -
I am sure it is able to transport food from a surface to another surface or to a mouth. I am sure it is moderately or possibly very comfortable to hold in the hand.
However, unlike chef's knives, where a conversation over handle shape and ergonomics might actually have some place to go on either side of the discussion, the question of "Does this function as flatware?" I don't think is first in the mind of most people when choosing a set. Because the assumed answer is already "Yes."
Ultimately the disagreement is about Form.
Let us assume for the moment that what you have posited is true: that all flatware is, for all intents and purposes, functionally equal.

In that case, one must then consider why certain forms are better than others with respect to such function. The Pride set, as an example, is easy to like because it still retains the fundamentally traditional forms of flatware that have been predominant over the last ~200 years. Yes, it does away with all obvious ornamentation, but David Mellor did not go the extra and more important step of prosecuting the basic forms adopted from history.

It turns out that there are many aspects of traditional flatware form that have no good reason for persisting. For example, we are all used to seeing a sharp taper from the head of a fork to its handle. However, this seems to have no functional benefit. So why taper the handle at all? Because “elegance”? As discussed, perceiving and expressing elegance are matters driven by education, refinement, and illumination. At least, they must be in order for elegance to matter. Otherwise, it would be nothing more than convergence on the least offensive common denominator—which is neither challenging nor special.

Instead, many talented designers have realized the inward taper from head to handle is pointless (e.g. Pott, Mellor, Jacobsen, etc.). If you don’t need to taper a handle, why go through the trouble of tapering it? If we understand a thing or feature to be useless, we should then consider it enlightened and good to do without it. Truth, in my experience, is always more beautiful than falseness, no matter what one’s immediate impression.

David Mellor was a master designer and one of England’s greatest. The Pride flatware set was his very first. The Minimal set was his last and he seem to have considered it to be his best work. If you look at the evolution of his flatware designs over time, you can see how the “elegance” of Pride melted away and evolved into the “not graceful” Minimal. Or maybe, it just evolved. Sadly, not everyone can keep up.
 

TheFoo

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Foo en fuego –– Changing my mind somewhat, but I'm still with the mob (but for different reasons). Let me rundown my resistance to Pott 33 and fancy flatware in general.

I feel a very few essential objects, like things designed to put food in your mouth, should not call attention to themselves. I don't like being aware of the thing that is delivering food to my mouth, whether for good or bad reasons. Also, dedicated readers may find this hard to believe, but I'm a man of the people. You set out that Pott 33 and some peeps gonna be like I've never eaten with something like this before. It's like 2001 is calling, and it wants it cutlery back (Kubrick's imagined 2001, with the Arne Jacobsen flatware).


Some people may lose all motor function when they encounter such objects for the first time.
I have little concern for whether anything I like or do attracts anyone else’s attention. That is to say, exactly zero concern. Life is too short. If one wishes to converge on the mean or median, than please do, but let’s not pretend that is somehow an expression of taste or elegance. I don’t aspire to an average or acceptable life as anyone else might judge. I aspire to the best life possible as only I can ultimately effect and appreciate.

That said, I agree that useful objects should be useful and invite regular use and integration into your lifestyle. That’s what good design should do, at least. Really great design should elevate your experience from what it was before! For that, you obviously must risk the unusual. There is no progress without innovation.

Also, in defense of Foo, I think most of us have unfinished homes. I feel flatware is a low mileage item. It's really for the man who has it all. Most, including myself, would be better off buying another piece of art or something of the like.

In defense of the mob, expensive flatware has a bit of flash problem. Flatware is a small detail in the American mind, and to have spent good money on it –– along with every other object in one's home –– communicates an all encompassing fixation on the material. But Foo is really the king of flash. With flash, you get strong reactions (love/hate). For instance, I hate Foo's porsche, but I love his suits. These reactions are so strong they runneth over. At this point, I don't even know about this Pott 33 business. I just know I feel.
I have to disagree on this too. Flatware is so fundamental and present in our daily experience, it is a wonder to me we don’t invest more care in it. Art is great, but eating meals with friends and family is greater to me.
 

ValidusLA

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A most basic principle of design is that form should be assessed in relation to function. You are assessing form based on prejudices and preconceptions.
I am assessing form based on my subjective opinion of what looks good. You are ascribing prejudice and preconception to try to attack my subjective opinion and make your subjective opinion appear objective.

What does it mean for fork tines to “look out of shape”? What shape, exactly, should they have? If a fork’s neck and handle are “kinked”, is that good or bad? Why does it matter to a thing’s design whether one can “[know] exactly what it is” without context? I wager to the extent you have any answers to these questions, they inevitably reflect preconceived notions of good form that have no rational bases—but I’m happy to be proven wrong.

Further, you are using words like “unpleasing”, “trying too hard”, “poorly designed”, “not graceful”, etc., without substantiation through any logic or conceptual explication. This is merely proud ignorance. Or, in other words: “Yucky! That’s different from what I’m used to!”
This is once again merely attacking a subjective opinion with your opinion spit up into words to cloak it as otherwise. What, in your opinion, separates a "preconceived notion" from any other opinion?

This is the same as any defender of the works of say...Morphosis or Frank Gehry telling the multitudes of people who think their buildings are ugly that they are merely plebes who just don't understand.

Instead, many talented designers have realized the inward taper from head to handle is pointless (e.g. Pott, Mellor, Jacobsen, etc.). If you don’t need to taper a handle, why go through the trouble of tapering it? If we understand a thing or feature to be useless, we should then consider it enlightened and good to do without it. Truth, in my experience, is always more beautiful than falseness, no matter what one’s immediate impression.
"They have realized it is pointless" = They think it is pointless, and you agree.
The form is, itself, the point.
Surely based off your vast purchasing history, you cannot truly believe that doing away with anything not strictly useful is "enlightened and good." You are either engaging in pure rhetorical bandying, or you are completely unaware of the rank hypocrisy of the statement.

David Mellor was a master designer and one of England’s greatest. The Pride flatware set was his very first. The Minimal set was his last and he seem to have considered it to be his best work. If you look at the evolution of his flatware designs over time, you can see how the “elegance” of Pride melted away and evolved into the “not graceful” Minimal. Or maybe, it just evolved. Sadly, not everyone can keep up.
Appeals to authority are boring. Also hilarious considering you accuse others of prejudice and preconception. Falling back on "this master liked it the best" is the ultimate preconception.
 

TheFoo

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Yes, didn't say you said it was. But you prove my point. Most things that Foo purchases elicit a love/hate reaction because he's flash, that is to say, most things Foo owns call attention to themselves. I think Americans cannot tolerate flatware calling attention to itself. This is my adopted homeland, so I will stand by the red, white, and blue, but just with a little less fervor that natural soilers.
See my above comments. I am really quite flummoxed by the forum’s anxiety over calling attention to one’s self. That is just a way of disguising the desire to be normal—or worse, the need to validate one’s limited ability to venture beyond normalcy—with a false veneer of “taste”, “elegance”, “manners”, etc.
 

TheFoo

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I am assessing form based on my subjective opinion of what looks good. You are ascribing prejudice and preconception to try to attack my subjective opinion and make your subjective opinion appear objective.
You can’t seem to climb out of your own circular ditch. I attacked your reasoning by trying to get you to investigate the judgements you pronounced without rationale. My opinion is a separate matter.

What exactly is subjective about what I’ve argued? Is it my own personal opinion that fork handles shouldn’t taper? Seems to me, if one person says “don’t bother spending the time and energy to do something (e.g. tapering a fork handle)” and the other says “no, definitely spend the time and energy to do it!”, then it’s the latter who shoulders the burden of proof. Tell us why a fork head must taper to the handle. I’m all ears.

This is once again merely attacking a subjective opinion with your opinion spit up into words to cloak it as otherwise. What, in your opinion, separates a "preconceived notion" from any other opinion?
Preconceived notion: the rain gods make it rain when they are happy with our sacrifices.

Challenge: there is no evidence rain gods exist and empirical observation suggests that rain is the result of condensing water droplets and gravity.

Counter-argument: [insert evidence that rain gods exist and demonstrate the falseness of empirical observations for the causes of rain or any derived inferences]

*****

Preconceived notion: fork heads should sharply taper toward the handle because this is what looks good to me.

Challenge: there is no functional reason why fork heads should taper to the handle and what “looks good” to anyone evolves with experience, education, and enlightenment.

Counter-argument: [insert explanation or evidence supporting why fork heads should sharply taper and demonstrate that what “looks good” is not subject to evolution]

*****

More clear? I parsed everything for you. Just like back in school. The bracketed stuff is for you.

This is the same as any defender of the works of say...Morphosis or Frank Gehry telling the multitudes of people who think their buildings are ugly that they are merely plebes who just don't understand.
Is that the limit of your understanding of design and architecture? Creators and professionals speaking down to those beneath them? This reduction leaves you in a position where you can handily dismiss anything that challenges your pre-existing taste on the mere basis of imagined class conflict. Convenient, no?

”They have realized it is pointless" = They think it is pointless, and you agree.
The form is, itself, the point.
Surely based off your vast purchasing history, you cannot truly believe that doing away with anything not strictly useful is "enlightened and good." You are either engaging in pure rhetorical bandying, or you are completely unaware of the rank hypocrisy of the statement.
“The form is, itself, the point.”

This can be true in art. But eating implements are for, well, eating.

I do try to do away with all things not useful, actually. I am not always successful and I am evolving my perspectives in different matters, but I do aim for that ideal.

Take traditional tailored dress. There are arguments one can make for and against it as a threshold matter, but once within that arena, I have consistently iterated toward removing the unnecessary.

Appeals to authority are boring. Also hilarious considering you accuse others of prejudice and preconception. Falling back on "this master liked it the best" is the ultimate preconception.
None of my arguments rely on authority, though
I have pointed to it on a supporting, empirical basis.
 

otc

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Sorry you were unable to take my one sentence seriously.

I find the overly square handles childish. They remind me of every plastic utensil set I've seen babies play with.

Here is a set Mellor actually makes for kids View attachment 1565423
The difference (besides the colors), is at least this knife doesn't look like a Cub Scout failed to whittle a pickle.

So what if it looks like a child's set, you ask? Maybe that doesn't bother you. That's fine. It doesn't appeal to me.

"Locked in a traditional mindset" is just a way of trying to establish objectively superior taste without support.
I like the children's set at least 2x as much as anything else that has been posted recently...

If I had lake house or something, I'd totally keep those there.
 

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