Peterman's Board And Bowls

Spencer Peterman is always on the lookout for fallen trees rotting in the woods. He gets excited about this kind of stuff. So do his customers. 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,

Spencer has been turning bowls for about 15 years. He actually started out as a basket weaver making Nantucket baskets. While doing craft shows he became interested in the idea of learning how to turn bowls.

He visited a few of the wood bowl companies in Vermont and started practicing on a lathe. Eventually he designed and made his own lathe that would produce a more natural and rugged shaped bowl.

Spencer saw that there were a lot of trees locally that were being chipped up or cut for firewood. He thought he could turn all these discarded logs into something much more useful, and beautiful as well.

Almost all the wood we get is from locally fallen trees in Western Massachusetts, such as maple, cherry or black walnut. The maple bowls are figured by the decomposition and aging of the wood, which we call “ambrosia” or “spalted.”

Spencer and Michele met in the early 1990s when Michele started working in the bowl and basket shop. Having already developed and run her own successful pottery business, Michele lent her business acumen to Spencer’s creative journey, and the rest is history. When not running the business of making bowls, they enjoy spending time with their friends and family, and their dog, Gracie.