There is something melodic about taking a humble object – something we use daily in our lives – and bestowing upon it elements of refinement and beauty. Why shouldn’t these utilitarian accoutrements of our daily lives not be lifted to a higher plane? Here is a splendid—and quite literal—example of a common object transformed beyond the run of the mill.
I first discovered these beautifully sculptural salt and pepper mills in the stores of celebrated British fashion designer Margaret Howell. As well as offering her timeless clothing, she also edits a tight line of household goods.
Designed by Alexander Muspratt-Williams, these solid beech timber mills, housing a refined Danish ceramic mechanism, are a lesson in removal of excess and the spirit of simplicity. The total absence of an unsightly fixing knob on the crown of the mill adds to its magic. The sensual organic forms, reminiscent of sculptures by Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore, fit comfortably in the human hand. They are not only visually beautiful objects to place on a table setting but are also a joy to use.