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