A function of having a bunch of 'bones' or trinkets is that a person can take one with when they take a napkin, and use it to keep their individual napkin from  blowing away, or just to identify whose is whose. The ‘bones’ supplied with the piece would ideally be gradually replaced with things that are meaningful to the  owner. So that they can serve as reminders of important times, and even as talking points at events where the surviette holder is used. Even without napkins  on the platter, the piece is an interesting assortment of meaningful items. And perhaps a place to keep useful little items like a cork-screw, so that they’re at  hand yet not just ‘laying around’.       However the finish on the wooden platter draws its own attention. The grain and structure of the wood drawn out which serves to produce micro- ridges that  grip the inlaid napkins. This was invented for the Sangoma’s Sideplate to ensure that imprecise hands (such as comes with young excitement) don’t pull the  entire stack of napkins from the platter. And it’s an example of finding a way to use the core material to address design elements instead of automatically  looking to the addition of industrial products. A rubbery chemical finish would have performed the same function. Instead we expose the character of the wood,  bring more life to the piece, and turn ‘Sangoma’s Sideplate’ into a study of the wood itself. This is assisted by the shape of the underside of the platter. Here  the grain of the wood is transected from all angles, giving an intimate insight into the true construction of the wood, exactly as the top surface does but in  another way. All characteristics of the wood are invited to show themselves, and what details might be hidden within the usual block shape of furniture is  discovered.       However ‘Sangoma’s Sideplate’ needn’t necessarily be used as a napkin holder or a point of interest, but has also been designed with a generally useful  shape, to hold or present a wide range of possible things. The coating is even food safe (also important since surviettes are high contact items). Though at the  same time as being generally useful, the size and shape of ‘Sangoma’s Sideplate’ is specifically designed to work with the surviette. With a length that  matches the tip-to-tip length of the standard large surviette, and a width which presents the corners of the napkins outside of the platter for easy grabbing.  ‘Sangoma’s Sideplate’ also has the capacity to accommodate other shapes and sizes which all compliment the shape of the bowl.
‘Sangoma’s Sideplate’ is a dish or platter with an associated collection  of little meaningful items, like the collection of 'bones' in a sangoma's  bag. Every time a napkin is taken from the stack the bones are  thrown, and the user becomes a diviner, is given a little inspiration,  and is brought to contemplation in the time it takes to use the surviette  in the process of wiping away the superfluous or the troublesome or  messy in life. In this way, and through this piece, the whispers of the  world can be heard and may be allowed to have influence in one’s life.  Whether these are whispers of ancestors, or the subconscious we’re  so often too busy to pay attention to.      The ‘bones’ hold the pile of napkins in place, yet slide off easily  when the top surviette is taken, moving into place to continue holding  down the rest. The surviette is mostly visible and retains its position as  the showpiece, and the Sangoma’s Sideplate therefore celebrates the  little beauties in life, the kind that might otherwise pass us by, such as  the detail that goes into even a consumable item like a surviette. The  ‘bones’ are also interesting in their own right and help to bring this  attention to the beauty of the surviette. A beauty that’s enhanced  slightly by giving the stack a gentle arc and 3D form as it nestles in the  platter and under the weight of the ‘bones’. This imparted shape also  aids in the function of the piece, as it lifts the corners of the napkins  and offers them to the user for more easy access especially with  messy fingers.
In this version the platter is low to the table, and the rings of the wood are offset from any of the cartesian co-ordinates.
  Sangoma’s Sideplate divination in a napkin holder