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We often talk about objects from our past with a fondness, but what happens when the memories are negative?

Either you discard the thing or you build new memories – even if the object in question is a can of good old-fashioned...Spam?

The Spam brand is iconic and has spawned many an object – for some an object of derision, for others, to cherish. For example, there are spam posters, dolls, key chains, coffee mugs, t-shirts, teddy bears, jewelry, and even spam museum! Everybody knows what it is and the reaction is either love or hate. You’ll rarely meet anyone who is neutral. 

One Madison man falls squarely on the side of hate. David Pouncey’s bad blood with Spam goes back to his childhood as the son of a now retired Hormel Foods Corporation employee – we suspect he ate a lot of it as a kid.

But Pouncey has tried to reform his relationship with the go-to dinner of the cooking-disinclined. In doing so, he found a new use for the canned ham knock-off: carving.

On a new edition of It’s a Material World, material culturalist Gianofer Fields takes us to the 19th Annual Spam carving contest held on Madison's east side and introduces us to Pouncey as he hosts this Spam-inspired event.

Original air date: 05/11/13

Audrey Nowakowski hosts and produces Lake Effect. She joined WUWM in 2014.