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Oyster Appreciation: Some Pearls of Wisdom

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Oysters inspire devotion like few other foods.

For example, my mother once told me all you need to host a memorable dinner party are oysters and champagne, and I would tend to agree.

For similarly-minded oyster aficionados, at the Oyster Appreciation workshop at Hotel Hotel on Saturday 2 April participants will make a handmade oyster shucker with Alison Jackson, a Canberra-based gold and silversmith, by first selecting a handcrafted, unique wooden handle and then choosing a shucker blade. Each shucker will have the design influence of Alison Jackson’s unique craftsmanship and design.

oysters fix and make 2

Monster kitchen and bar head chef, Dan Flatt will then teach participants how to create a delicate dressing for their oysters, overseeing the participants progress as well as providing all-important tips on serving oysters. In addition, Steve Feletti from Moonlight Flat Oysters will teach the subtle art of oyster shucking as well as providing a tasting experience of oysters straight from the producer.

alison jackson

Alison Jackson is inspired by a connection with the objects we use every day and will bring this intimacy to creating an oyster shucker at the workshop.

”My practise is predominantly based around jewellery and tableware and metal is my usual medium,” she explains. “Creating this timber shucker handle draws parallels with the way I think about objects and tableware in particular as something that influences people’s environment and can become part of a daily ritual. Often with these kinds of objects, people love it because its got some imperfection, or they made it, or someone gave it to them. There’s always a story.”

oysters fix and make

While this love of beautifully designed things plays a part in Alison’s work, she also focuses on sustainability and will be teaching participants how to make a shucker that they can repair and remodel in the future if necessary.

“Working in metal I recycle a lot, I always say if worst comes to worst I can just melt it down and start again!” she laughs. “But also my work is designed for people to keep, they’re meant to be something special that people want to hang on to because of the simple, elegant aesthetic. Metal has a longevity, and I like to think maybe something could be used for twenty years and then passed on to someone else.”

Moonlight Flat Oysters'  location in Batemans Bay

Moonlight Flat Oysters’ location in Batemans Bay

Like the rest of the events in the Fix and Make series, Oyster Appreciation will focus on teaching the skills we all wish we knew.

“I teach my own jewellery workshops, and I’ve noticed more and more that people don’t have much association with tools in their everyday life,” Alison says. “I like getting people to go back to basics and realise that you can just go back to basics and tinker with what you’ve got.”

the essentials

What: Oyster Appreciation
Where: Hotel Hotel, 25 Edinburgh Avenue, NewActon
When: Saturday 2 April from 9am-2.30pm
Cost: $165 / $115 concession (including light lunch)
Find out more via the Fix and Make website: hotel-hotel.com.au/fixandmake/events/oyster-appreciation

Slider image of ‘oysters on a stone plate…‘ via Shutterstock. Feature image supplied. 

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