Wood platters are essentially flat bowls. Alan Adler’s first wood platter was supposed to be a bowl. As a beginner, he made several serious mistakes that resulted in the wood block becoming smaller and flatter.
WOOD TURNING VS. POTTERY
Woodturning is the opposite of pottery. With pottery, the piece can always become larger during the making process. In woodturning the size of the wood never gets larger. In fact, this is a major stumbling block for new turners to make good forms as he or she wants to salvage as much wood as possible. This compromises the form and often results in a chunky or heavy piece. The old adage, “less is more,” applies here.
Woodturning is centuries old and can easily be traced back to the early Egyptians. The primary purpose of the lathe was to create utilitarian items for preparing and serving food. It was not until the early 1970’s that an art movement began to use the lathe for creating wood art and wood sculpture. There are still many turner who will only make bowls. I am not part of this group and enjoy using wood as a canvas.
I design and produce all my items in my studio in Montvale, New Jersey, USA. My primary machine is the wood lathe. This serves to make the form. Once the form is complete I will spend a great deal of time at the workbench enhancing the item with carving, piercing, staining and finishing with a protective coating.