Mike Kaplan, born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1954, is a designer, woodturner and photographer. In 1976 he left South Africa to study graphic and industrial design in London and returned to Cape Town in 1979 where he began his career in advertising, as an art director and designer. He is a self-taught woodturner who made his first explorations in 1990. One year later, he began selling his work at the Blue Shed Craft Market in the V&A Waterfront. In 1995 he moved to Knysna where he continued working from his workshop/gallery. During 1995 and 1996 he was part of a joint exhibition in Lindau, Germany as well as one in Vienna and exhibited at Head Interiors, the largest design consultancy in South Africa. He has since exhibited at Knysna Fine Art and the Knysna Art Gallery. In 1999, Mike and three fellow woodturners founded "The Natural Edge", a woodturning gallery in Knysna. Later that year his work was featured in an article in Country Life magazine. In 2003, Mike was asked to submit work for display at the Instant Gallery at the AAW Symposium in Pasadena, California. He demonstrated at the 25th Anniversary of the Utah Woodturning Symposium in Provo, in the USA during June 2004. In 2006, he was part of a joint exhibition at the Knysna Art Gallery and his work featured in an article in “Garden Route Living”. He is a founder member of the Western Cape Woodturners Association as well as the Knysna Woodturners Guild and has given several talks on design at the South African Woodturning seminars, as well as being a regular demonstrator. In 2008 he stopped woodturning returning his attentions to graphic design and seascape photography - exhibiting at Decorex in Johannesburg. In June 2018 Mike decided to start woodturning again, focussing on smaller, carved and decorated vessels.
I have recently begun turning bowls from a variety of “garden trees” - trees that have been felled because they have become too large, or have had branches cut off or because they are invasive aliens such as Australian Myrtle found in Sedgefield. This wood would either get dumped at a garden refuse site or used as firewood. It’s a great feeling being able to give this “scrap wood” a second life - transforming it into the bowls that I create and giving people a chance to experience the inner beauty and tactile sensation of wood.
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My turned wooden bowls ranges in size from 100mm(d) x 90mm(h) to 250mm(d) x 160mm(h) and are available at the following shops: The Natural Edge Gallery, Scarab Craft Market, Sedgefield Knysna Tourism, 40 Main Road, Knysna You can also contact me directly at: info@mikekaplandesign.com
Mike Kaplan, born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1954, is a designer, woodturner and photographer. In 1976 he left South Africa to study graphic and industrial design in London and returned to Cape Town in 1979 where he began his career in advertising, as an art director and designer. He is a self-taught woodturner who made his first explorations in 1990. One year later, he began selling his work at the Blue Shed Craft Market in the V&A Waterfront. In 1995 he moved to Knysna where he continued working from his workshop/gallery. During 1995 and 1996 he was part of a joint exhibition in Lindau, Germany as well as one in Vienna and exhibited at Head Interiors, the largest design consultancy in South Africa. He has since exhibited at Knysna Fine Art and the Knysna Art Gallery. In 1999, Mike and three fellow woodturners founded "The Natural Edge", a woodturning gallery in Knysna. Later that year his work was featured in an article in Country Life magazine. In 2003, Mike was asked to submit work for display at the Instant Gallery at the AAW Symposium in Pasadena, California. He demonstrated at the 25th Anniversary of the Utah Woodturning Symposium in Provo, in the USA during June 2004. In 2006, he was part of a joint exhibition at the Knysna Art Gallery and his work featured in an article in “Garden Route Living”. He is a founder member of the Western Cape Woodturners Association as well as the Knysna Woodturners Guild and has given several talks on design at the South African Woodturning seminars, as well as being a regular demonstrator. In 2008 he stopped woodturning returning his attentions to graphic design and seascape photography - exhibiting at Decorex in Johannesburg. In June 2018 Mike decided to start woodturning again, focussing on smaller, carved and decorated vessels.
My turned wooden bowls ranges in size from 100mm(d) x 90mm(h) to 250mm(d) x 160mm(h) and are available at the following shops: The Natural Edge Gallery, Scarab Craft Market, Sedgefield Knysna Tourism, 40 Main Road, Knysna You can also contact me directly at: info@mikekaplandesign.com
I have recently begun turning bowls from a variety of “garden trees” - trees that have been felled because they have become too large, or have had branches cut off or because they are invasive aliens such as Australian Myrtle found in Sedgefield. This wood would either get dumped at a garden refuse site or used as firewood. It’s a great feeling being able to give this “scrap wood” a second life - transforming it into the bowls that I create and giving people a chance to experience the inner beauty and tactile sensation of wood.
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Unique wooden bowls hand-turned in the Garden Route

Unique wooden bowls hand-turned in the Garden Route