I assume that the use of the wooden vessel, i.e. a created or natural recess in a tree trunk, is one of the oldest cultural achievements of mankind.
The oldest wooden bowl in my hometown Munich found in a fountain is dated to 1288. The maple plate has a diameter of 28cm and is fully turned with a wide rim. It broke in two halves and was probably thrown into the well for that reason.
Wood does not require laborious extraction and processing, as is the case with metal and ceramics, and it was only with growing prosperity and industrialization that these and other materials became accessible to the broader population. At the latest with the advent of the first plastics, the aura of the simple and vulgar was finally granted to wooden dishes, it seems.
Nowadays the omens have been reversed, as the world is inundated with uniform, identityless mass products. People are longing for the warmth, originality, individuality and the esprit that a wooden bowl brings with it. The dark side of consumerism and the throwaway society are penetrating ever deeper into the collective consciousness, handmade, sustainable, environmentally friendly are the catchwords of a new lifestyle.
how to use my wooden bowl
What has been lost over the decades is knowledge of how to handle wood. In my 20 years of practice as a bowl maker, I repeatedly meet customers who do not dare to actually use a wooden bowl because they are afraid of breaking it or making it unsightly. The opposite is the case. The piece gains character through use.
In general, my bowls can be used for the same purposes as a glass or porcelain bowl. You can pour hot soup, prepare salad in it, knead dough and much more. However, as with all wooden objects, cleaning in the dishwasher, soaking for hours in water and using in the microwave or oven is not recommended.
how do i care for my wooden bowl?
The bowls are best cleaned under warm running water with a soft sponge or brush. If necessary with a little washing-up liquid. The oil that is washed out of the wood fibers over time should be replaced from time to time with linseed oil or walnut oil, after each use is ideal, but not necessary. I oil my bowls, which have been in use every day for tens of years, every few weeks. To do this, put a few drops of oil in the dry bowl and spread evenly with a cloth or paper. The bowl is like new again.
How is the surface treated?
After the bowl has been turned and sanded, it is subjected to a special thermal treatment developed by me while it is still moist, and in the course of this it is saturated with pure, additive-free, food-safe linseed oil. This process, which is one of my well-kept company secrets, makes the shell very insensitive to subsequent cracking and the penetration of liquids of all kinds into the wood fiber.
The bowl is then finely ground again and polished to a silky shine with the pure wax of the carnauba palm. Carnauba wax has been known since the 16th century and is safe for human consumption.
I do not use any finished surface products of unclear composition, but only raw materials whose manufacturers can guarantee that they are free from harmful substances.
Why aren't all bowls round?
As long as the wood still has its natural moisture, my bowls are made to a wall thickness of 3-6 mm, depending on the size. The drying process gives the shell a new, unique character, depending on its individual growth form. The thin wall thickness favors this process. The result is an unmistakable one-off piece, elegant and filigree, far removed from the clumsy bowl-like shape that is common to many poorly designed bowls. As a result, the dimensions of the bowls may vary slightly. Each bowl is photographed individually in order to take this individuality into account.