Elin Flognman is a contemporary jewellery artist living and working in Sweden. She draws inspiration from the everyday, trying to find a point of intersection between the familiar and the extraordinary. Her unique cutlery pieces are crafted from surrounding objects and materials that were found, given, harvested, or sometimes even stolen.
If you had access to all the powers, how would you improve the world?
I would make sure everybody on this planet had a guaranteed basic income like a citizen wage for all. If people feel safe to be able to eat and live then that is a good start I think.
What are the biggest sustainability challenges in your work and how are you addressing them?
The biggest sustainability challenge to me is when an idea comes up in my head that calls for an unsustainable material or method. The challenge is then to find another material, rethink the idea or just let it go. Fortunately this has led me to edit some ideas before they get too far. I included sustainability as a part of my artistic process for many years now and I still find it inspiring.
Which conscious lifestyle choices are you making? And are you considering any new ones?
I live in the city where they used to make Saab cars and it is indeed a car town. However we choose not to own a car. Instead we are members of an electric car pool. We normally travel by train. We are a family of vegetarians considering going vegan. We buy most of our clothes, furniture and appliances second hand. Maybe the vegan choice is our next one, if anything Steinbeisser has shown how exciting that can be.
What have you rebelled against in the past, and what are you rebelling against now?
I grew up in a politically aware home. I was very argumentative as a child, questioning gender roles, fighting for animal rights, engaging in environmental issues. Now I’m an everyday rebel by limiting my consumption, not eating meat, walking and going by bus instead of by driving by car. I also believe that working as an artist is a rebel act in itself.
Do you think cutlery can still be improved? If yes, in what way?
I don’t know. The most efficient way of eating is by hand. The great thing about the Steinbeisser experience was and is that you get to think in brand new ways about the everyday activities you do without thinking.
What was the inspiration for your Steinbeisser pieces?
I had many sources of inspiration for the different pieces. For the optic spoons I wanted to use glasses that once enhanced the visual sense to become the spoon to enhance taste.
Describe your work in 3 words!
Surprise. Senses. Humor.
What kind of materials do you use and where do you get them from?
I have a material manifesto. I only use the materials I can find around me. For these pieces I have used copper from my parents old copper roof, wood from my garden and a nearby park, old glasses and a kitchen table, just to mention a few.
What has been your favorite dinner experience?
I truly enjoyed the Steinbeisser dinner in Amsterdam last year. Other than that I always enjoy a picnic. There is something special about eating outdoors.
What excites you about tomorrow?
The endless possibilities. Seeing my children growing up.
What are your 3 favorite pieces on Jouw…?
I love the Gold Wrench Spoon by Nils Hint, the Branch Spoon by Stuart Cairns, and the Dinner Creatures Plates by Machteld Lambeets. All these pieces make you think and laugh.