These Punch and Fist salt cellars were made as a response to my awareness and unease about the culture of violence in which we live. Whether it is news or entertainment, violent images and stories are part of our everyday lives. There is also violence that doesn’t make the news; domestic violence, sexual violence, and child abuse. We may experience violence ourselves, witness it firsthand, or be involved in caring for someone who has. Violence is a part of our everyday life, sprinkled liberally throughout the day. We may have become desensitized to it, but I think these stories, images, and experiences affect us profoundly.
The Punch and Fist salt cellars call attention to the fact that we ‘consume’ violence regularly, much like we consume salt at virtually every meal. Made from translucent porcelain, the skin-thin vessel is punched, conforming to the contours of the fist. The handle of the scoop retains the shape of the inside of a tightly clenched fist. The result is a lightweight yet incredibly strong hand-held delivery system for salt. It can be used by the chef during cooking and then placed on the table for the meal.
This small object, the Punch and Fist salt cellar, serves as a reminder to be aware of the violence we consume, support those affected by violence, and to question the culture that perpetuates it.