Patrizia Keller is a wood artist and spoon carver living and working in Switzerland. She finds her inspiration in nature, in the mountains and forests, where she often collects the material for her objects. Her work explores the functionality of an object, with the question of how far she can alienate the raw natural material, while trying to find the perfect balance between a coherent form and the beauty of purity.
What have you rebelled against in the past, and what are you rebelling against now?
I think I am not a rebellious person, I am rather calm and balanced. I just want to do what I love. I like to follow my own way and let others go theirs. I see myself more as a motivation and/or inspiration for other people to think outside the box and look at the world in a different way.
Do you need to be a rebel to enjoy your work?
I understand when others have to break out, but I can go my way in my work the way I want to without changing myself.
Do you use your own work?
Yes, I do. I have taken each of my pieces to my heart, so there are a few pieces that I could never part with and are now used by myself.
Do you think cutlery can still be improved? If yes, in what way?
I don’t know if “improvement” is the right word here, but yes, I think that the design, materials and therefore functionality of cutlery can certainly be further explored. New materials are constantly being invented and discovered, which fulfil new purposes and can therefore be used differently.
What was the inspiration for your Steinbeisser series?
I find my inspiration in nature, in the mountains and forests, this is also the place where I collect the material for the pieces. In one series I deal with the question of the functionality of an object but by preserving the raw and pure beauty of nature. In the other series I ask myself the question of how we eat and what the digestion of the human body does when we eat. I emphasize these questions by alienating the familiar shape of the cutlery.
Describe your work in 3 words!
Connected. Raw. Digestion.
What kind of materials do you use and where do you get them from?
I often collect my material in the local forest. I am fascinated by dead wood which shows traces of life, such as feeding traces of animals or the spalting of a piece of wood.
What are you working on right now?
I am currently moving my studio and have to settle in there first. But I’m looking forward to the time after that, when I can continue the work I’ve begun and start with new projects.
What has been your favourite dinner experience?
I love to cook, to surprise and to treat my guests with some delicious food. I hope I could already conjure an unforgettable experience on the table for some of my guests.
What excites you about tomorrow?
In this current, difficult time we are now living in I am rather calm and prudent. I am observant and see how the situation changes and let myself be surprised. It’s always good that we don’t know what comes tomorrow, this makes life exciting.
What further ambitions do you have?
Most of my objects are created and developed during the process of making. I don’t know at the beginning of a piece what I will hold in my hands at the end. So I just want to continue what I am already doing. Let the process flow, explore and experience. I only know that one day I want to make larger objects.