All Metals Are Precious

A detailed image of a roasting tin, showing natural patina of wear

The world of metal is crowned with gold and silver, shiny, valuable and riding high in the stock exchange.

A detailed image of an old cake tin base showing knife cut marks

Our daily lives are surrounded by more humble metals; tin, aluminium, pewter and steel, to mention a few. We encounter them in the kitchen – a pan to roast in the oven, a blade to cut bread and foil to wrap the leftovers. Everyday metals are often overlooked in the hierarchy. What’s the difference between the ‘good stuff’ and the daily material of life?

When we use, handle and physically engage with the material, we naturally develop a deeper understanding and connection to it. With metal, there is a literal and physical exchange. Our body heat moves from one to the other, leaving one colder, the other warmer, however, in time it all equals out.

So, by handling the ordinary objects around us, can we understand ourselves a little bit better?


  1. Rob Howsam says:

    Couldn’t agree more David!

    1. David Clarke says:

      Very glad to hear that Mr Howsam!

  2. Andrew Hayes says:

    Beautifully put David. I Think of this often – the hierarchy of metal and our almost constant interaction with the ferrous and nonferrous. It is refreshing to think about the sensitivity and ingenuity that goes into the ever present metal in our lives be it: structural or sacred.

    What is a metal something that always catches your eye when walking down the road?

    1. David Clarke says:

      Structural or sacred, very well said.
      A secret I let you into; the photos for this post are close ups of baking tins! Bloody lovely.

      Unfortunately heirachies are not only in metals but everywhere. All should be recognised and questioned.
      A great question too Andrew. The walking bit changes my answer as its a slower action than travelling in a vechile:
      So i really enjoy a can thats been run over multiple times and squashed as flat as a pancake.
      A shadow of it’s former self.

  3. B says:

    So beautiful, David! Looking at the close-ups of your baking tins… as I try to read each scratch, mark of corrosion and of wear, I think of all the sharing of joy, pleasure and even sorrow that these objects likely witnessed and enabled to experience.

    1. David Clarke says:

      Yep. Interesting thinking of taking on the legacy of these very overlooked and humble objects. Continuing their use; adding to the marks and continuing the effect of corrosion. However what we are absolutely left with is the recalling of the sharing, the moment a warm cake is taken from the oven and that sweet aroma that kicks off the taste buds and leaves everyone dribbling!!

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