AUSPICIOUS PLASTIC is a podcast about ‘precious objects’ that bring meaning to our lives – and the stories behind them.
Presented and produced by broadcaster Megan Spencer, guests discuss the things in their lives that are precious to them, and the stories behind them – often those made of plastic and/or of the Tupperware variety!
“When using my Mum’s old Tupperware containers after she passed away, I discovered how such simple ‘pieces of plastic’ could hold so much meaning – and emotion. I wondered how a gnarly old canister could help someone to grieve, and decided to investigate. Through Auspicious Plastic I’m discovering a plethora of stories about us: people, community, food, family, friendship, empowerment and more. Instead of being worthless containers bound for landfill, they become containers of fascinating inter-generational stories.” – MS
Presenter/Producer: Megan Spencer
Original Music: Jeremy Conlon/Cooperblack (used with permission)
Logo: Studio Ink
Thank you: Massimo Maio & Sarah Pepin for equipment loans and to my Auspicious Guests!
© 2017-2019 Megan Spencer. All rights reserved.
Episode 14: Chris Waite
Chris Waite is a meditation teacher with UK mindfulness organisation, Breathworks.
He’s also a medical doctor, a ukulele teacher and he’s in the process of finishing a Degree in Music Composition.
From South Australia, Chris worked for many years as a GP – also with The Royal Flying Doctor Service – until a back injury forced him to slow down and re-assess his life.
Breathworks is a program which helps people deal with chronic pain. As you’ll hear, Chris has been on a transformational health journey of his own over the past few years, aided by […]
Episode 13: Darren Hutchesson
Darren Hutchesson has had a lifelong love affair with plastic. A devoted Tupperware fan – and a distributor back in the 80s – he’s also a talented Lego designer (“Adult Fan of Lego”) who makes painstaking sculptures out of the tiny plastic bricks. Has done since he was a boy.
Also a devoted vegan, Darren’s a collector, a thinker and a great storyteller with a beautiful mind. He’s spent a good deal of time contemplating his relationship to both forms of plastic, as you’ll hear in this moving and sweet kitchen table conversation, about connection, memory, creativity and […]
Episode 12: Simon Wilson
Simon is a second-generation bow hunter who lives in regional Australia.
As a kid he’d ‘go bush’ with his late Dad to hunt for ‘pests’ such as rabbits and foxes, later feral deer.
Bow hunting’s a passionate pastime for Simon. With Australia’s feral deer population now at “problem” proportions, he’s part of the current movement of hunters who use hi-tech bows to hunt deer in the wild, the meat from which they take home to eat.
Bow hunting is a divisive topic. Most people have strong views about hunting, one way or the other. In this episode of Auspicious Plastic, […]
Episode 11: Lucia & Roly
Lucia is an old friend – an Australian ex-pat who’s now ensconced in the beautiful English countryside, surrounded by animals and nature.
Meeting in the 90s, she and I go ‘way back when’, sharing intense coffee chats and fun times around the inner-urban streets that formed us.
Lucia is one of the wisest and most insightful people I know. And the funniest.
A card-carrying “cat person”, she works as a psychotherapist. In this episode we share a profound conversation about love, loss and vulnerability in a way that sincerely took my breath away
Episode 11 released 09 February 2018.
Episode 10: Carrie King
Carrie King lives and works in Berlin. Originally from Ireland, she travels light – except when it comes to her beloved trove of personal diaries, which she takes everywhere.
Having having written and confided in them for 20 years (since she was 9), Carrie’s lost count of exactly how many she has but keeps them close in a beautiful old wooden bureau. These much-loved, hand-written tomes contain fragments of Carrie’s youth, memory and identity. They are mementos of a life well-lived and reflected upon, as she reveals in this sweet, personal and poetic conversation.
Episode 10 released 08 January […]
Episode 09: Casey Jenkins
Casey Jenkins is an “endurance performance artist” from Melbourne, best-known for her 2013 “craftivist” work “Casting Off My Womb”.
During it she knitted a huge textile from yarn “inserted daily” into her vagina, for one month. A video about the installation went viral, causing a huge controversy and opening up a public dialogue – much of it abusive – about women’s bodies and cultural ownership over them.
Meeting in Berlin, Casey and I chat about the woollen object she created, now wound into a neat, soft, precious ball. Also a well-travelled symbol of ‘cultural disruption’, it is about to be […]
Episode 08: Vanessa Ellingham
It’s the day before Vanessa Ellingham‘s birthday and the day after the 2017 German Federal Election. Immigration looms large for both: Chancellor Angela Merkel’s governing party loses a substantial amount of votes over the issue, while Berlin-based, New Zealand-born Vanessa publishes the first issue of her migration magazine, Nansen.
Which just happens to be her precious object for this episode of Auspicious Plastic! But it’s not all politics, polls and publishing. Vanessa’s story takes an unexpected turn, guaranteed to melt the heart of even the most hardened political pundit.
Episode 08 released 30 September, 2017
Many thanks to Vanessa Ellingham!
Episode 07: Danny Walsh
While living in Berlin I had the good fortune to meet Melbourne musician, Danny Walsh.
A mutual friend introduced us: she’d photographed Danny and partner Emma at their Melbourne home for her blog. Filled with 1970s burnt-orange ceramics and vintage homewares, Kate figured Danny might have a precious object or two to tell me about. She was right: Danny’s hat – which he wore to the interview (a brown, tweed, pin-striped “Cabbie” or “Newsboy” cap) – has been a fixture on his head since […]
Episode 06: Sarah Pepin
Sarah Pepin is a Berlin-based culture journalist who I met at the 2017 Berlinale.
On visiting her apartment I encountered an impressive ornate old wooden sideboard which had belonged to her grandmother. It had recently been sent on an 800km journey from Sarah’s original home of Luxembourg to her new one in Berlin. Naturally I wondered if there might be a “bigger” story behind it, and whether it might hold the same kind of meaning my Mum’s Tupperware does for […]
Episode 05: Amy Brand
Originally from Darwin, Amy Brand is a sustainability project officer now based in Melbourne. Amy is a passionate advocate for the environment and sustainable living – which makes her relationship with plastic complicated!
While abhorring the waste that comes with so much plastic packaging, she collects vintage Tupperware for practical use (she also loves its design!) Amy also shares a beautiful story about one of her most cherished items: the red enamel kettle she inherited from her “Oma”.
Episode 05 released 15 June, 2017.
Many thanks to Amy Brand!
Produced & presented by Megan Spencer. […]
Episode 04: Robyn Overell
Robyn Overell and my Mum lived next door to each other for 35 years. Over the fence and around the kitchen table they shared a special friendship, many cups of tea, laughter and an appreciation for Tupperware – one of Mum’s passions.
They also shared many stories, one of which involved Robyn’s only piece (a singular blue plastic bowl from the 1970s) and how it came to be ‘lone’ and ‘lidless’. It used to tickle Mum pink, and has to be heard to be believed…
Episode 04 released 21 May, 2017. Many thanks to Robyn Overell!
Produced & presented by […]
Episode 03: Michael Pieracci
Michael Pieracci is an American “installed” in Berlin. A creative project manager, “photographer, presenter, traveller and drinker of tea”, Michael gave an engaging talk about ‘tools’ at Creative Mornings Berlin.
Inspired by his philosophy about ‘things’, I invited him to reveal more, and to share some of his favorite objects with me, on Auspicious Plastic.
Episode 03 released 9 April, 2017. Many thanks to Michael Pieracci!
(c) Megan Spencer 2017. All rights reserved.
Episode 02: Anna Brownfield
Anna Brownfield is a “feminist erotic” filmmaker, a ‘gun’ crafter and an old friend! She’s always inspired me with her resourcefulness, dedication to DIY and making.
In addition to the odd bit of Tupperware she owns, anywhere she goes she puts her sizeable plastic container collection to good use, especially now that she’s a mum.
We began by marveling at her “icy pole makers” which she bought at her very first Tupperware party…
Episode 03 released 9 April, 2017. Many thanks to Anna Brownfield!
Produced & presented by Megan Spencer. Twitter | […]
Episode 01: Delma and Katherine Calcagno
I begin with one of my Mum’s contemporaries, my dear Aunty Delma and lovely cousin Katherine.
The former is a five-decade-long “obsessed” Tupperware collector and “party holder”, the latter a lifelong “Tupper-kid” and now a demonstrator and freelance employee with the Australian branch of the company.
They talk candidly about how Tupperware has deeply touched their lives – and provide me with some answers as to why why it might have touched mine…
Episode 03 released 7 February, 2017. Many thanks to Delma and Katherine!
Produced & presented by Megan Spencer. Twitter […]
“Objects should not ‘touch’ [us] because they are not alive. You use them, put them back in place, you live among them: they are useful, nothing more. But they touch me, it is unbearable. I am afraid of being in contact with them as though they were living beasts.” – Jean-Paul Sartre
Auspicious Plastic is a monthly podcast about the precious things that bring meaning to our lives, and the stories behind them.
When using my Mum’s old Tupperware containers after she passed away, I found that these simple, worn old pieces of plastic held an […]