I finally got my copy of the book, after a long wait. It was conceived exactly ten years ago, and developed during the last twenty months or so.

It is a project that emerged from the sudden inspiration a reputed German photographer had when seeing and touching some of by bamboo spoons, during an exhibit in Munich, Germany. His desire came to life again two years ago when, by chance and a lot of coincidences, he saw, in a meeting with nostalgic friends, the pieces I had made as a gift to Pierre Mendell, the great designer who recently passed away.  Now, in addition to the desire, he had another special reason to make such book: to celebrate his 50th career anniversary.

I should say that in the beginning I was curious to know more about someone’s interest in making a book about spoons.  It seemed like a joke. Then, I was speechless when listening to the translation of the hand-written letter, asking for my permission. Then, it was time for the ingenuity of believing such professional would accept to photograph them here, followed by the courage to send a suitcase full of spoons, taken by two very excited daughters, having as destination his super equipped studio in Hamburg.

Disbelief escorted me during my morning walks.  When I thought about the distances, the time elapsed from the single and quick face-to-face meeting we ever had, the endless list of topics abandoned, and above all the very highly improbable happenings that mark this history. I was definitely astonished with the announcement that that man would bear the expenses of making a daring book, with a format that allowed meter-long photos. When I knew that six specialists would be invited to write informative and philosophical texts, I was proud as a peacock.

The copy of my daughter Bebel, who lives in São Paulo, passed directly through bureaucracy, and was delivered within a few days after being posted in Berlin.  She had helped materialize the desire of a person we hardly knew, and was radiant while holding the book in her hands, showing it to me through the Internet.

With the father’s authority added to the authority of a party directly interested, I forbid her to read any word or to show any image. I would rather live the full anxiety for another day or two, and then be able to feel my own emotions, without any influence. So far, my emotions were floating at the pace of little news coming from Europe about the arrangements, and events occurring there. I have never asked about dates or decisions related to that publication.

There is hope. Here, it showed up two or three times a day, before the confirmation that the book was still retained in the customs, in Campinas. I had to wait for ten days, while the package waited for release. With so many negatives, the hope gave room to irritation, and then to unbelief, until curiosity won over disappointment.  I asked for Bebel’s copy, and I got it at the boarding hall of the Galeão airport, where I was on my way to Paraíba. It was certainly an unexpected scene to see a bearded man on the verge of tears, impacted by the beauty of huge black and white photographs of spoons.

I always knew, and this amuses me, that there are people who love spoons, and that this can cause surprising attitudes. But the determination of that photographer exceeded, by far, everything I had ever seen. Hans Hansen is his name.


Alvaro Abreu
Vitória, July 09, 2012.

Written for A GAZETA