The creative path is not a linear journey. For Luke Hope—a product designer based in London—returning to design after spending 20 years away from it has resulted in a robust platform for contemporary homewares. With a passion for wood, Hope began with explorations on creating minimal wooden spoons. What started as a simple train of thought turned into an array of refined tableware.
Browsing through the designer’s portfolio, one can notice his favour for natural colours of wood—ranging from the pale beige of sycamore, the dark brown of walnut, to the exquisite black of bog oak. The focused palette is a parallel to every object, concise and detail-oriented. By exposing their natural colours, the patterns of wood are accented to shape design decisions.
In contrast, the forms of Hope’s spoons are meticulously controlled. Viewing separately, the products pose identical characteristics. But put together, each item receives subtle modifications to cater to sophisticated aesthetics and attentive functions. With ‘Blonde sycamore long stem’, the rounded handle is elongated to balance with its spherical bowl for a firmer grasp. Differently, ‘Sycamore moon scoop’ is sharply carved at the mouth and intricately attached to an octagonal handle to hold larger bodies of substance. While these two share a similar shape, they elegantly hold unique individuality through small components.
At times, an elaborated design like ‘Curvy sycamore eater’ stands out due to its delicate distinctions. The slightly curved handle delivers a graceful grasp yet maintains a familiar gesture. The bowl is kept shallow to give comfort to the mouth. The neck is slightly edged to give a subtle emboss with an artistic touch. When put together, they form a harmonised composition like water droplets cascading down a plain canvas.
Luke Hope’s return to his design background is an inspiring story. Not only did it bring new and refreshing outcomes, but it also enticed designers like myself to reflect on my own creative career. By simply focusing on one material and one mundane object, a creator can master craftsmanship through a series of persistent actions. Only then, he or she can bring diverse realisation to imaginative thinking.