Posted by Barbara Tilley on 8/8/2018 to News



My mother collected spoons.  Not the souvenir kind that have the states symbols and such, but teaspoons.  She didn’t really collect……she stole tea spoons.

Something about tableware made my mother think it was up for grabs.  I never saw her take anything that didn’t belong to her, except when it came to tableware.  Spoons and salt and pepper shakers and ashtrays were her favorites.

My sister and I would be mortified when after seating ourselves at a restaurant, she would announce, “Now that is a nice set of salt and pepper shakers.”  We knew….they would be coming home with us.  “What an unusual pattern on this silverware.”, would mean an addition to the spoon collection.

Sadly, my mother lost her battle with liver cancer when she was only 60 years old.  I had already moved and live in Virginia for about 15 years.  I went home to spend her last few weeks with her in my sister’s home.  My mother passed the weekend before I had to go back to Virginia. 

My sister and I packed my mother’s entire house in that weekend.  We were systematic but not relentless.  I still have boxes of nonsense that I couldn’t throw away right then and there.  Time has to pass for somethings to morph back into just everyday items and not Mom’s favorite whatever.

I started teaching classes in my home studio and had to make space.  That meant digging through boxes and bins to consolidate the hoard.  I’ve gone through lots of boxes and bins and the contents have made the transition from my mother’s cherished items to a bunch of worn out and used up house hold stuff.  I’ve been able to give up most of the stuff.  But there they are………

The little box of spoons.  Everyone of them is special.  And now they make me giggle.  They are stolen loot.  Hot little items of badness.  So many years have gone by that they aren’t missed or even thought of by the rightful owners.  “Bernice, remember when that sunflower teaspoon disappeared at dinner service 40 years ago?”

They are my dirty little secret, and they make me smile.

I have a fellow artist teaching a class on how to turn spoons into jewelry on October 20th, 2018.  I will be right there with the rest of the students turning one of my mother’s stolen spoons into jewelry.  My private joke.  I wonder how many times it will take to answer questions about the spoons before I can keep a straight face. 

Thank you, Mom, for the fun to come. 


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