The spoons, Lutes explained, have an added significance for those with chronic diseases. Their meaning comes from a 2003 essay written by Christine Miserandino that laid out the basics of what is now known as Spoon Theory. “Spoon Theory,” Lutes told the CDC, “is a way of describing the relationship between chronic disease and energy. Each spoon represents a certain amount of energy, and as a chronic disease patient you only get so many spoons. Showering might take one spoon. Vacuuming the house would be two spoons.” Making art from spoons allowed Lutes to take his mind off of his own condition and to help other chronic disease patients (or “spoonies,” as some like to say) come to terms with theirs. A lot of the art he makes is bought by other spoonies. Lutes makes these pieces in the hopes that they will give the recipient something to feel proud of and as a way of starting conversations and building awareness about the spoonie community. So far he has been incredibly successful, selling his wares on Etsy to spoonies all over the world. Chronic disease can be a difficult thing to cope with and an easy thing to ignore. Through his spoon art, Lutes has been able to tackle both of these problems, finding a creative outlet for his illness and helping to raise awareness about chronic conditions in the process. See more of Lutes’ art here.