Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Spencer Peterman

Hand-turned Wooden Bowls & Boards 

Based in Gill, MA, Spencer Peterman has been turning bowls for about 15 years. He began his career as a basket weaver making Nantucket baskets, and later became interested in learning how to turn bowls. After visiting wood bowl companies and practicing on a lathe, Peterman designed and made his own lathe that would produce a more natural and rugged shaped bowl. The bowls are made from maple, cherry or black walnut, almost entirely sources in Western Massachusetts from fallen trees.

Spencer Peterman is always on the lookout for fallen trees rotting in the woods. Hidden in those fallen trees — especially the ones covered by moss and dirt — is wood disfigured by the beginnings of decomposition. Turning that wood on a lathe produces strikingly unique bowls, salad servers and cutting boards. Peterman calls the maple bowls marked by decomposition and aging of the wood "ambrosia" or "spalted." He also looks for cherry burls, admiring the bowls they produce with quilted patterns and subtle cracks and crevices in the wood.

Functional and food-safe, Peterman’s bowls, salad servers and cutting boards are meant to be used. The wood has been kiln-dried and treated with beeswax and mineral oil to prevent cracking and checking. Care instructions for your Peterman products include hand washing with mild soap and water and towel drying. Mineral oil should be applied to maintain the natural beauty of the wood and to help prevent the wood from being stained. 

If you love what you see here or have any questions, please call Pinch at 413-586-4509 or email