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The plates, or platters as they are sometimes called, are perfect for appetizers such as cheese and crackers. Available in 4 different sizes, plus two larger "veggie" platters with divided areas carved into the platter.


6`` to 7`` Hand Carved Wood Plate
   
Small Plate / PLA-SM
6" to 7" Hand Carved Wood Plate

$ 14.95    

Our small root carved wood plates vary in shape but generally are longer than they are wide. It is the longest dimension that determines the size category for any particular piece. Small plates are approximately 1 to 2 inches in height, and 6 - 8 inches long.  more




9`` to 11`` Root Carved Wood Plate
   
Medium Plate / PLA-MD
9" to 11" Root Carved Wood Plate

$ 19.95    

Our medium plates make a nice size appetizer plate. Room enough for a small quantity of cheese and crackers, or whatever you prefer. Generally, the plates are about 2/3 as wide as they are long.  more




12`` to 14`` Root Carved Wood Plate
   
Large Plate / PLA-LG
12" to 14" Root Carved Wood Plate

$ 29.95    

The large plates are great for all types of appetizers. They have a smooth sanded inside with a semi-gloss finish, but the outside retains the character of the original wood. The plates are oblong in shape and about two thirds as wide as they are long. After use, wash with warm water, soap, and hand dry.  more




14`` to 18`` Root Carved Wood Plate
   
Extra Large Plate / PLA-XL
14" to 18" Root Carved Wood Plate

$ 39.95    

The extra large plates are great for all types of appetizers. They have a smooth sanded inside with a semi-gloss finish, but the outside retains the character of the original wood. The plates are oblong in shape and about two thirds as wide as they are long. After use, wash with warm water, soap, and hand dry.  more




16`` to 18`` Root Carved Veggie Plate
   
Large Veggie Plate / LRG-V-PLA
16" to 18" Root Carved Veggie Plate

$ 49.95    

The large "veggie" plates are great for serving appetizers. Each has a smooth sanded inside with a semi-gloss finish, while the outside retains the character of the original wood. Each individual piece has a random number of pockets carved to keep your different vegetables organized. The plates are about two thirds as wide as they are long. Wash with warm soap and water after use, and hand dry.  more




18`` to 20`` Root Carved Veggie Plate
   
Extra Large Veggie Plate / PLA-V-LRG
18" to 20" Root Carved Veggie Plate

$ 59.95    

The extra large "veggie" plates are great for serving appetizers. Each has a smooth sanded inside with a semi-gloss finish, while the outside retains the character of the original wood. Each individual piece has a random number of pockets carved to keep your different vegetables organized. The plates are about two thirds as wide as they are long. Wash with warm soap and water after use, and hand dry.  more


MORE INFORMATION ABOUT HAND CARVED PLATES AT WOLVERINEWOODART.COM


Each plate is hand carved and has a unique grain and color. They are sanded smooth on the inside and finished to a low lustre. Plates can be washed in warm soap and water without damaging the finish. Hand dry immediately after washing.

Shown below are some photos of hand carved plates from our "Idea Gallery". Click on the smaller photos to view larger, more detailed photos.

Mixed Size Plate Group 2 - Mixed Size Plate Group 2Medium Plate Group 2 - Medium Plate Group 2Medium Plate 002 - Medium Plate 002

Root carved plates, or platters as they are sometimes called, are mostly used for appetizers and are individually hand crafted. A nice cheese ball, or sliced cheese and crackers comes to mind. The smaller plates can be used for individual serving, or fit nicely on a small table. The medium and large sizes work well on a coffee table or dining table.

Principles of Root Carving

The most important principle to follow in root carving is to make use of the natural root. This principle usually goes like this: "three-tenths (of the work) is done by man, seven-tenths is determined by nature," attaching great importance to making use of the traits of the natural root, such as the fibers, holes, knurs, veins, color and luster. With a motif in mind, the creator should employ different carving techniques on roots of different shapes the ultimate purpose is to integrate the unique beauty of the natural root with the cunning beauty attained by carving. Since root carving is largely done by making use of the natural beauty, the opus is of an integrated style. The second principle is highlighting the composition. There are quite many modes of composition in root carving, and the one most common is the "triangle setup", which is usually employed in sculpture. Other geometrical shapes, such as circles, ellipses and lozenges, are also used to further composition. Next comes the principle of expressing the mentality and sentiment of the creator. Root carving derives from real life, and it surpasses and regresses to it. However, it is by no means a replication of real life rather, the creator reveals his inner feelings by making use of the characteristics of the natural root.

A plate is a type of dishware, being a broad, concave but mainly flat vessel on which food is served. They can also be used for ceremonial value.

Plates are commonly made from ceramic materials such as bone china, porcelain and stoneware as well as other materials like plastic or glass occasionally, wood or carved stone is used. Disposable plates are often made from paper. Plates for serving food come in a variety of sizes, from small saucers, to bread and butter platters, to dinner platters, to large platters from which food for several people may be distributed at table. Some platters are made as decorative items for display rather than used for food.

The practice of collecting "souvenir" plates was popularised in the 1800s by Patrick Palmer-Thomas, a Dutch-English nobleman who wowed Victorian audiences with his public plate displays. These featured transfer designs commemorating special events or picturesque locales - mainly in blue and white. It was an inexpensive hobby, and the variety of shapes and designs catered to a wide spectrum of collectors. The first limited edition collector's plate 'Behind the Frozen Window' is credited to the Danish company Bing and Grondahl in 1895. Christmas platters became very popular with many European companies producing them most notably Royal Copenhagen in 1910, and the famous Rosenthal series which began in 1910.

In the mid-1900s, European collector's plates arrived in the US. There was immediate interest form gift shops and department stores and the from the public. The growth of plate collecting and the number of companies producing them is very much down to the strength of interest in the US. In 1973 The Bradford Exchange was founded by J. Roderick MacArthur. The company helped organise the collector's market and they even opened a trading floor for the buying and selling of collector's plates.


A Brief History of Wooden Plates

Many people share the idea that we all used to eat from wooden plates in “the olden days” whether the setting be Saxon, Medieval, Tudor, or poor Victorian. Like most common ideas there is an element of truth in it, but there is always more than meets the eye.

The vessels that people eat from tell us much about their way of life. In almost every culture, mealtimes are extremely important and can range from a group of friends and family sharing food from a common large vessel to the sad solitary consumption of microwave dinners. Vessels can tell us about how people ate in the past, for instance round bottomed bowls from Anglo Scandinavian 10th century York almost certainly were held in the hand or on the knee for eating. Plates are not good vessels for this use and work best when people are eating from tables.

Possibly one of the earliest wooden vessels that I know which could be described as a platter or perhaps a dish is from Stanwick, Yorkshire and is dated to the first century AD. This is a large serving vessel, finely carved from oak, and its elaborate shape copies earlier Bronze dishes. It is similar in size and proportions to turned wooden dishes used as communal serving vessels in Pakistan and Afghanistan. I would imagine that diners sat around the dish and helped themselves to its contents, though we shall never know.

The Romans had very fine, large silver and pewter platters turned on the lathe and carved with elaborate decoration, several of which are on show in the British Museum. They are clearly rare, high status objects and normal people of the period would probably have eaten from bowls of wood or imported "samian" ware pottery. Wooden vessels of this period are rare finds, probably due to the amount of pottery which was imported, though it is also perhaps also due to fewer waterlogged Roman domestic sites being excavated.

The Angles, Saxons and Vikings all ate exclusively from turned wooden bowls. While some shallow bowls could perhaps be called a dish, I have not seen anything from this period that I would call a plate. Most bowls seem to be 7"-8", ideal for holding in the hand and holding an individual meal. After the Norman conquest things seem to have changed a little. The commonest archaeological finds are still a scene from the Bayeaux tapestry he standard one person bowl, though dish forms become more common. We also see in illustrations of wealthy households of the period a type of formalized fine dining at tables. Sometimes in these illustrations there is neither plate nor bowl, but a small rectangular flat object called a trencher set before each diner. Some of these thin trenchers may have been of wood, some were of a specially baked wholemeal bread which records tell us was kept for four days then trimmed to shape with a special trencher knife, after use they would be fed to dogs. The trencher acted as a small cutting board, diners eating with knife and fingers. Large platters or chargers were used to bring food to table and diners were served from these.

Bread trenchers were sometimes placed on top of, or replaced by, wooden trenchers. It has been suggested that these wooden trenchers gradually evolved into plates by first having a hollow turned in them and then the square profile being removed to leave the plate as we know it. There are a very small number of early square trenchers with a hollow turned in them, some also have a second small hollow in one corner for salt. These attract very high prices and are seen as something of a treen collectors "missing link". The evidence does not support this accepted theory. The trenchers of the medieval illustrations are all small, very thin rectangles or occasionally circles and a long way from the thick squares of wood which have the depression turned in them. It seems to me that the during the sixteenth century the use of the trencher in high class dining died out to be replaced by individual plates of pewter or silver.

The words trencher and trencher plate were also used further down the social scale to describe individual wooden plates whether round or square. Looking at the archaeological record it seems to me that these flat plates gradually became more popular during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. There are a small number of plates in the treen collection found with the Mary Rose (1545), though the commonest form is a slightly deeper dish. Perhaps woodturners were led by following the fashion of pewter and silver the Mary Rose pewter dishes are deep and later pewter flattened out to a plate form.

Soon after the plate had reached its present form, wood began to be used less. At the top of the social scale rapidly rising living standards in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries meant that more people could afford pewter. The bulk of people still ate from wood though until the start of the eighteenth century when European pottery factories discovered how to make porcelain. Up until then the soft earthenware pottery had not been ideal for bowls and plates, being used primarily for jugs and cooking pots. The newly imported porcelain was fashionable and could be mass produced at a competitive price. With increasing mechanization and cheap fuel for firing, porcelain became very cheap. Today you can afford to break ten porcelain plates for the price of one wooden one.

Wood still has many advantages. It is durable Wood is a natural insulator as well so it keeps the food warm without having to warm the plate. It also seems somehow to be in harmony with natural food in a way that hard porcelain can never be. It is a sensual experience eating from a wooden plate, there is none of the scratchy, clattery noise of metal on pot which, once you have lived without it, tends to grate. Perhaps this is why wooden plates were still in use in the college dining hall at Winchester in the 1930s or perhaps, as with many places, it was just the sense of a link with the past.


Wood Carving as an Art Form

Wood carving as an art form, includes any kind of sculpture in wood, from the decorative bas-relief on small objects to life-size figures in the round, furniture, and architectural decorations.

The woods used vary greatly in hardness and grain. The most commonly employed woods include boxwood, pine, pear, walnut, willow, oak, and ebony. The tools are simple gouges, chisels, wooden mallets, and pointed instruments. Although they were universally one of the earliest art media, wood carvings have withstood poorly the vicissitudes of time and climate. A few ancient examples have been preserved in the dry climate of Egypt, e.g., the wooden statue of Sheik-el-Beled (Cairo) from the Old Kingdom.

The carving of wooden masks and statuettes was common to the African tribes, and totem poles were used for the basic religious rites of the tribes of the Northwest Coast of America. The wooden objects of Oceania include animated designs, incised and in relief, on canoes and large standing figures. In Japan, wooden carvings have long been used to decorate temples and private dwellings. The Muslim countries of North Africa abound in intricate architectural carvings.

In Europe wood carving was highly developed in Scandinavia, and examples have been preserved of 10th- and 11th-century work. In England the Gothic period produced extremely fine carving, especially on choir stalls and rood screens. Although the Puritans destroyed much of this, enough has been preserved to show its beautiful workmanship. In France wood carving was also a part of religious art, and there the carved altarpieces were especially notable. Italian wood carving flourished during the Gothic period in Pisa, Siena, and Florence, as well as in the southern monasteries during the Renaissance it remained an adjunct of Italian artistic development.


History of Wood Carving

Woodcarving has always had a very important position in old popular art, because the methods are simple and diverse tree species have always been available. In museums, churches and old houses we can see examples of decorated furniture and objects. Woodcarvings show men‘s skills in designing and using chisels and other tools.

Our ancestors did woodcarving even in the ancient times. Woodcarving flourished in the Middle Ages. In Germany and in the Netherlands it was church art of a high level. The decorative altar screens, choir stalls and pictures of saints are evidence of this.

In Latvia the woodcarving art was connected with making cult articles, tools for agriculture, fishing, bee keeping and hunting as well as craft tools and buildings. Wood is an easily processed material and a weak heat conductor therefore it is widely used in making plates and dishes as well as kitchen accessories. The woodcarving art has developed since the 1920’s-1930’s because of an increasing demand for wood carved furniture and room decorations.

Woodcarving in Greece is more connected with church and urban woodcraft, furniture and small objects. Church woodcraft revived during the years between the two world wars, chiefly under the influence of a team of architects and other intellectuals, at head of whom was architect Zahos. The so called “Byzantine style” trend and the use of calligraphy created a tradition of plain pieces that ignored the wonderful achievements of the masters who had lived under the Turkish domination.

In Finland the strongest impulses came from the west. These impulses were used unchanged or adapted from many other cultural styles. The West of Finland and especially the western coastal areas have been known for skillful carvers and decorative articles. The motifs are innumerable. The most popular motifs were different heart-shapes, stars, circles and arch figures (in Finland). Herald figures and pentagons were used as magic marks. Arches of leaves and arabesques have been affected by different styles. Animal and plant motifs were popular e.g. on sticks and furniture. Human beings were depicted on ecclesiastical objects and distaffs. The most typical styles used in woodcarving are rococo and baroque.

In Hungary woodcraft traditions are connected with the large Bekes region. In this southeastern area in Alfold we can attach an outstandingly important role to timber, despite the fact that nature was not lavish in wood here. In the 18-19th centuries people in the Bekes region mostly carved their furniture themselves. The making of the carved furniture found in the Bekes region was presumably introduced by German joiners working at church construction sites. Millers were first to learn this activity. In popular woodcarving men were always responsible for making decorative shaver holders, cutlery, distaffs, mangles, washing weights etc.

From the beginning of the 19th century in all Hungarian and minority settlements in the Bekes region the woodcraft was characteristic for house building. The house building masters dreamt of stable, wooden houses. Usually there were not skilled, trained carpenters in towns, only “clever” people. In the country towns and richer villages of the Bekes region the most beautiful peasant houses were built in 1850-60, when popular construction lived its golden age.

The decorations and form treasures of the Hungarian woodcarving can be differentiated: simple decorations (chisel traps, carving in and lines), geometrical decorations, carved, chiseled texts, shells, figurative decorations (it occurs seldom in the region of Oroshaza, except for ornamental long whips, shepherds’ crooks).

In the Estonian national culture the furnishing theme has been a separate issue. The nation’s economical situation and cultural level are reflected through it. By studying furnishing the development of woodwork and its techniques can be observed. In the course of time more and more complicated implements and methods have come into use. First all pieces of furniture were made quite plain, without any special decorations. With living conditions becoming better more beautiful furniture was needed. Elements of the national character were used in order to give the furniture a unique look. Village carpenters made everything needed in households for everyday life. More complicated objects were made by master cabinetmakers. They also decorated utensils and furniture. At the end of the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th centuries more attention was paid to the decorating that cabinet-makers made in furniture by using wood carving.

Nothing can exceed the skill with which the Moslem wood-carvers of Persia, Syria, Egypt and Spain designed and executed the richest paneling and other decorations for wall linings, ceilings, pulpits and all kinds of fittings and furniture. The mosques and private houses of Cairo, Damascus and other Oriental cities are full of the most elaborate and minutely delicate woodwork. A favorite style of ornament was to cover the surface with very intricate interlacing patterns, formed by finely molded ribs the various geometrical spaces between the ribs were then filled in with small pieces of wood carved with foliage in slight relief. The use of different woods such as ebony or box, inlaid so as to emphasize the design, combined with the ingenious richness of the patterns, give this class of woodwork an almost unrivaled splendor of effect. Carved ivory is also often used for the filling in of the spaces. The Arabs are past masters in the art of carving flat surfaces in this way. A gate in the mosque of the sultan Bargoug (Cairo, 14th century) well illustrates this appreciation of lines and surfaces. The pulpit or mimbar (15th century) from a Cairo mosque, now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, is also a good example in the same style, the small spaces in this case being filled in with ivory carved in flat relief.

Persian carvers closely followed Arab design. Boxes, spoons and other small articles were often fretted with interlacing lines of Saracenic character, the delicacy and minuteness of the work requiring the utmost patience and skill. Many of the patterns remind one of the sandalwood work of Madras, with the difference that the Persians were satisfied with a much lower relief. Sometimes a very beautiful result was obtained by the sparing use of fretted lattice pattern among foliage.

Throughout the great Indian peninsula woodcarving of the most luxurious kind has been continuously produced for many centuries. The ancient Hindu temples were decorated with doors, ceilings and various fittings carved in teak and other woods with patterns of extreme richness and minute elaboration. We have architectural remains from Kashmir Smats (Punjab) dating from the 3rd or 4th century, the patterns employed being of a bold and decorative character strongly resembling the best Elizabethan design. The doors of the temple of Somnath, on the north-west coast, were famed for their magnificence and were highly valued as sacred relics. In 1024 they were carried off to Ghazni by the Moslem conqueror, Sultan Mahmud, and are now lying at the fort at Agra. The gates which now exist are very fine specimens of ancient woodcarving, but are probably only copies of the original very early doors. The Asiatic carver, like certain of his European brethren, is apt to be carried away by his own enthusiasm and to overcrowd his surfaces. Many a door, column, gallery or even a whole house-front is covered with the most intricate design bewildering to behold (Bhera, Shahpur).


Wood Carving Tools and Materials

The aim of woodcarving is to make figures and ornaments with appropriate tools. The main tools are chisels. About 600 various woodcarving chisels are made in this industry. At present the numeration of chisels by profile and design is from 1 to 58. Each chisel has a different width in the range from 0.5 mm to 40 mm. Chisels made of English steel have the best reputation. The chisels have to be kept very sharp and most blades are sharpened from outside. Also the whet stone has to be of a special shape. The blades are first sharpened with a so called water stone and in the end with an oil stone.

Beside ordinary joiner tools (axes, crosscut saws, planes, etc.), there should be other tools and a work bench. The work bench is necessary to keep the wood in place when carving it. The wood used in woodcraft is felled in wintertime, before the saps rise from the roots up. Beside conifers (pine, fir, juniper, larch) and deciduous trees (oak, ash, birch, black alder, maple, elm, lime, chestnut, rowan, nut tree, asp) such fruit trees as apple tree, pear tree, plum tree and cherry tree are very suitable for woodcarving. We can also use trees from other countries to increase the variety of the natural tones, texture and technical qualities of the objects. Such trees are the following: stone pine, white fir, yew, Amur cork tree, Caucasus beech, and box tree, walnut tree. Mahogany and ebony are very high quality materials for woodcarving, and they are also used in making luxurious furniture and music instruments. Walnut wood was mainly used to craft church objects. For household articles woodcarvers used light white woods.

In order to get a hand-made article of high quality, it is necessary to use well dried material. The material must absolutely be dry so that the object will keep its form and shape. Wood is chosen according to the intended work function, object and form. If you want to make fine carving, then you cannot use rough fiber wood because it only creates dissonance between the ornamentation and the texture of the wood. Also the technological features of wood should be taken into consideration. It is not always possible to find one suitable piece of wood for the object. Therefore it is necessary to glue it from several pieces. There are different kinds of glues for this purpose.

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