(in)visible: taste


March 2013


The architectural craft of pasta making.

First, the raw material is carefully piled up to form a small white mountain.
Then, a hole is carved out of the middle, in which then the second component is dropped. Slowly, adding one bit of moist before the other, stirring gently, the mountain of dust becomes a tender, moldable substance. Now, the tool comes in. With a long, cylindrical wooden stick, the material is smashed, pressed, turned and pressed again, over and over, until it becomes flat, thin, elastic, and almost transparent. The building material is ready for use.

For the most simple version, it is gently folded, cut in thin slices, and unfolded. For more advanced practitioners, now the double craft of composition and repetition comes into play. The huge sheet of thin substance is cut into equal pieces. A new material is chosen for the interior. Usually soft, often white, sometimes a mixture of colors and textures. The amount of filling is carefully measured: too much or too little spoils the composition. The crucial act is the folding: the coming together of interior and exterior in the form of the whole object, and the consistency when the act is repeated over and over again to make a balanced series.
The half-product is ready. It can either be dried, or put on display for a limited amount of time for potential buyers, who have to decide and act quickly. The final owner, who in some cases is also the producer, is still to perform one last act in which all efforts mentioned above can be destroyed. The product is heated, in boiling water, for a very limited amount of time. Too short: it will be unfinished and irreparable. Too long: it will fall apart, and lose its shape. But the true craftsman can make all aspects of the product come fully into play: the delicate balance between interior and exterior, between texture, shape and taste.


Klaske Havik