Square Platter with Trim is an early experiment in combining contrasting woods in a turning piece. Starting with a square block of Cocobolo I laminate blond wood strips around the outside edges. Once this assembly is complete I then shape the bowl form on a wood lathe.
There were two important lessons that I learned from making this Square Platter with Trim. The first is that there are wood species that are toxic to humans, animals and plants. If you ever come across a walnut tree look at the ground and you will notice that grass does not grow under the tree as it produces toxins to protect it from other invasive plants. Never use walnut as mulch near horses or in a stable. It will kill a horse.
I found out from making this item that I am allergic to Cocobolo. This exotic wood has a high oil content. While fabricating this wood the oils are released from the wood cells. I developed severe symptoms similar to poison ivy that had to be treated with medication. The problem with wood allergies is that they become worse with additional exposures. These toxins can cause respiratory issues that lead to cancer. This is something that I became aware of from a bad experience. Here is more information about wood toxicity.
The other lesson was about finishing the piece. I applied a polyurethane finish that blistered a few weeks later. The cause is the natural oils in the wood prevent the finish from adhering to the wood.
I design all my items in my Montvale, New Jersey, USA studio. Each item is unique and I will spend time on both the lathe and studio bench to achieve the result I am after.