For his wooden bowls, Spencer
Peterman seeks out wood from fallen trees replete with character. Hidden
in the moss and dirt covered trees are special features that Spencer
will bring to life with the lathe in the wood shop. In particular, the
fungus behind the wood's transformation leaves its mark in a marbled appearance
and bold, black lines that form graphic patterns for the spaulted
The trick is to work the wood at just the right time, before decomposition
has gone too far.
The spaulted wood must be dried at high temperature to ensure the fungus
invading it is completely killed. Peterman uses the kiln of a nearby
lumber company where his wife works. The wooden bowls are finished with
a shellac that is fully FDA approved and may also be applied to food items
such as fruit and candy. This shellac has the effect of making the wood
The bowls are made from a variety of wood. Each is made from a single piece of wood. The natural edges on the
oval spaulted bowls are difficult to make but are especially popular.
Each bowl is one of a kind.