SOUTH PARIS — The Maine Foothills Artisan Co-op has announced Spencer Belanger as July’s Artisan of the Month.

Belanger discovered his love of woodworking at the age of 16 while in high school. He tried many different methods of woodworking until he discovered the process of wood turning. This process differs from most other forms of woodworking in that the wood is moving while a stationary tool is used to cut and shape it.

Belanger turns bowls using many different types of wood including cherry, maple, mahogany, padauk, walnut, cocobolo and burls. The bowls are finished with a food-safe finish. He also turns unique wood pens and bottle stoppers.

He is very knowledgeable of the different types of wood and what gives them their appearances. In one bowl on display at the MFAC store there are little holes in the wood. He explained that the holes were formed in the wood from a small insect that bored its way inside and introduced a bacteria that deteriorated the surrounding wood, causing graining and changes in the color. Once the wood is turned into a bowl these changes create a beautiful pattern in the wood.

In addition to his wood turning, Belanger works full-time at Maine Machine Products in South Paris. He recently purchased a home and is remodeling it.

Those interested can view a sample of Belanger’s turned bowls, pens and bottle stoppers at the Maine Foothills Artisan Co-op at 6 Western Ave. Store hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday through Saturday and 12 to 4 p.m. on Sunday.


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