The City That Never Sleeps never ceases to surprise me. This time it was a “Forkologist” in Union Square that completely caught me off guard. My latest Eureka moment came while wandering along 14th Street, just south of the farmers’ market in Union Square Park. Amidst the mosaic that makes this neighbourhood a cultural hub of the city, stood out a man who calls himself a Forkologist, a name that suggests a passion and mastery of working with the humble fork. Living in New York one sees so many unusual things that it is easy to get desensitised, but the man behind the forks caught my undivided attention.
Anthony McCann bills himself as a “Forkologist”, a specialist in transforming old silver forks into custom-made jewellery, typically a ring or bracelet. The inspiration behind this novel idea came about 14 years ago to Anthony, whose idea, in retrospect, seems well ahead of its time. Quite simply, the master of forks will take old silverware – although he calls himself a Forkologist he will work his skill on any piece of silver utensil – and transform it in under 5 minutes into an interesting jewellery piece that belies its humble roots as an unwanted cutlery. Such a simple (yet grand) concept, in addition to being novel, is also a very “green” form of jewellery-making that saves otherwise fine silver from din of the basement. The owner of a Forkologist jewellery piece not only connects with an old item of silverware that may have a rich personal history, but the owner ostensibly helps with the green movement with an environmentally friendly piece of custom-made jewellery.
So go ahead and bring your old silverware to the Forkologist. He will turn your old fork into a ring or, if you are lucky (and the old silverware of fine enough condition), into a bracelet. For those who do not have old silverware on hand, Anthony the Forkologist has a large selection of silverware on site for your convenience. And once you’ve chosen your preferred utensil don’t go too far — McCann the Forkologist will turn it into a funky piece of jewellery faster than you can finish a New York Mr Softee ice cream cone on a hot summer day!
Street jewellery production:
Many thanks to Kai Chan for contributing to this post.