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Wild Elderberry Burl Bowl

Red Elderberry burl

Handmade, one-of-a-kind

excellent display piece

made by Zach LaPerriere

Sitka, Alaska 2018

bowl measures 7 1/2 to 10” wide X 2 1/2” high



“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson


In today’s world, adopting the pace of nature can seem insurmountable.  But surrounding yourself with a piece of natural art in every room—that is considerably easier.


This elderberry bush grew on the edge of a windy hill above Sitka, Alaska where early Russian settlers had an orchard and kept their livestock.  Of course the Tlingit people had already called Sitka home since time immemorial.


This bowl tells the story of a twisting unconventional bush that grows in exact correspondence to its surroundings.  The broad rim of this bowl shows the growth of individual buds winding outward until reaching the natural edge of the burl.


It is rare to see this much texture on the outside of a tree or bush, even with red elderberry.  Each tiny hole grew a single bud that sprouted each year into a small set of leaves.  The bush did this because circumstances aligned for a lot of sunlight on the trunk of the bush where no branches grew.


In the small interior of the bowl you can see the heart of the bush, which has a natural rosin so excellent for small mechanical parts that watch and clock makers used it to lubricate inner parts for centuries.


Please note this that vessel deliberately has very little finish.  I delicately applied a single thin coat of tung & citrus oil to the cut surfaces only.  There is an earthiness to this vessel that would be lost with multiple coats of finish.


This vessel is designed for display on the mantel or table.  It could also be used with a small glass for a votive candle, or an antique Japanese glass fishing float.  Because it is crafted from a single piece of wood, it will last for generations with minimal care.