Norm Sartorius

Artist Statement

“People look at me rather oddly when I tell them I make non-functional wooden spoons. Non-functional in that you wouldn’t use them in the kitchen but functional in that they are objects of beauty. My spoons are sculptures; my sculptures are spoons. Not spoons to stir the soup but spoons to stir the soul.”

“It’s a the play of heartwood and sapwood, color, unusual grain, knots, textures, or anomalies that suggests the spoons that lie within each piece of wood. The pieces begin with a rough shape cut on a band saw and are transformed by power carving tools, die grinders, files and hours of handwork. A finished spoon is as smooth and detailed as a fine piece of jewelry.”

A creator of wooden spoons for 26 years, Norm Sartorius has explored the common wooden spoon as a context for sculpture. Using rare and unusual woods of exceptional beauty he shapes each spoon to stand as a unique artistic statement of color, form, and texture. Testing the boundary between art and craft, his work is inspired by the material, nature, and rich ethnic spoon making traditions worldwide. In the end it’s always the dialogue between the maker and the wood that results in a form that happens to be a sculptural spoon. Often referred to as “Ceremonial Objects”, his spoons vary in size and shape, each piece being solely created by the artist.