turning demonstration Shefield

Last week I took the lathe in to Sheffield and did a demonstration for the local woodturning club. I am on a bit of a mission to try and convert folk to making a wooden bowl and eating their breakfast from it. Whenever I do a demonstration or talk to a turners group I start by asking for a show of hands to find how many make “functional work”, normally about 2/3 of the hands go up. The other third either only make “artistic”/non functional work or just don’t like putting their hands up. Next I ask how many have eaten from a wooden bowl or plate and normally the proportion goes down to maybe 1 in 20. Most turners are happy to make a salad or fruit bowl but it is very rare to find one that eats from wooden bowls. If turners don’t do it then what proportion of the general public do?

It does seem a shame because everyone that I know that has tried it loves the experience of eating from wood. It is quiet with none of the scratch of metal against pot, it is a natural insulator so your food stys warm without having to deal with a red hot plate and I think that wood is somehow in harmony with natural food in a way that hard porcelain never can be. Anyway this was the second time I have visited the Sheffield club and we are now up to nearly 1 in 10 that have eaten from wood so there is hope yet. There are pictures and a report on the evening on the Sheffield turners website here http://www.sheffieldwoodturningclub.org.uk/club_nights_2009/robin_wood_2009.htm

2 Responses to turning demonstration Shefield

  1. The Village Carpenter January 18, 2009 at 12:39 pm #

    Hi Robin, I’m new to woodturning but am very interested in making plates and bowls for daily use. I read in woodturners’ club article that you finish your bowls with boiled linseed oil. Does the finish affect the taste of the food and are there particular woods that are best suited to eat from and others that should be avoided because they taint the flavor of the food? Great blog!

  2. Robin Wood January 18, 2009 at 12:54 pm #

    Hi Kari,Thanks for the nice comments. It is important not to use boiled linseed it must be raw and I use cold pressed. I think in the US it is often called flaxseed. Boiled has chemical driers added to make it set faster.You can smell the oil when new but after a few washes then it goes. In Scandinavia linseed is considered a foodstuf, the seeds are put on bread and in the UK it is sold in health shops as a dietary supplement.Most hardwoods can be used, the maples are all nice, I use beech a lot primarily because it grows to large size and is easily available near me.