Frank Gibney Jr. and Belinda Luscombe, "The Redesigning Of America," Time, March 20, 2000
Now, the godjets on our Formica prairies have been joined by another class of quasi-mythical devices: spoons and spatulas and salt and pepper shakers that look like satyrs and nymphs, fauns and elves. Personified pourers and peelers that are shaped to look animate are dancing and leaping across the counter tops, verging into cartoon characters. I think of Disney's dancing teapot from "Beauty and the Beast," Mrs. Potts dancing about with her son Chips the Cup.
These cutensils, as I will call them, made their first and high-concept appearance a few years ago in products by Alessi, the Italian firm known for architect-designed teapots and Philippe Starck juicers, bottle tops and napkin rings in bright plastics. Family Follows Fiction was Alessi's name for the extended clan of insouciant, even insolent, plastic characters that ranged from Guido Venturini's grinning sugar sifter with eyes, snout and feet to "monster" napkin rings and bottle tops in bright plastics.
Cutensils have gone mass market, in such products as Urchin, a sort of molar-shaped vase, and Mano, a hand-shaped container designed by Roberto Zanon for Benza.
Phil Patton, "Utensils Get Cute," The New York Times, October 29, 1998