MiVT: Sanderson’s Wooden Bowls

Published: Dec. 6, 2021 at 4:23 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 6, 2021 at 7:41 PM EST
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EAST BURKE, Vt. (WCAX) - At Sanderson Farm in East Burke, they’ve got goats and lots of wood.

Weeza and Sam Sanderson used to run a logging business until something caught Sam’s eye about 20 years ago.

“I was delivering lumber to a furniture-maker and they would turn it. I watched them (for) a few minutes... we can do that. Not quite,” Sam said.

The couple, married for more than 35 years, dove headfirst into making wooden bowls. They bought cheap tools at a yard sale and decided to figure it out.

“Didn’t know what we were doing, did everything about as bass akwards as we could,” Sam said.

“Literally-- wood flying, tools flying,” Weeza continued.

They started making them for personal use until they smoothed things out and people started asking to buy their products. That’s when Sanderson’s Wooden Bowls was born, and they turned their living room into a showroom.

“I have to say, overall, people are really impressed,” Weeza said.

“Because they like to see the process,” Sam said. “We try to keep something going so they can see the actual work and it’s worked out pretty well.”

They get a lot of foot traffic from tourists visiting the area, not to mention people from across the country send these two chunks of wood for custom pieces.

With customers across the country, I asked them to show me how it’s done. Weeza demonstrated the shaping process.

“What I’m working on now is bringing it, the sides down so it’s more rounded,” she explained.

Sam showed me what’s called coring.

Though knots, maple taps and imperfections make all wooden bowls slightly different, I asked Sam what makes a good wooden bowl. He had a simple response: “Us.”

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