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Alaska Map in the Bowl

Western Hemlock


Handmade, one-of-a-kind


excellent display piece, salad or fruit bowl


finished w/ food-grade tung oil


made by Zach LaPerriere


Sitka, Alaska 2018

bowl measures 15” X 3”




It’s not often you see what looks something like a map of Alaska right in the middle of a bowl!

In fairness, I only saw this pattern after a final finish cut with a fresh sharp bowl gouge.  I carefully sanded carefully and the shape stuck.

In addition to the spectacular grain patterns, this bowl has a beautiful darker color because I deliberately left it facing outward in a window with indirect sunlight.  The indirect UV of a whole summer in the window brought out a richer tone that hemlock normally doesn’t have.  In normal display I’d estimate this to be more than a decade advanced in color. 

As you’ll see in the photos, this bowl has a sweeping exterior profile rising to the rim.  What you probably can’t surmise from the photos is that the interior of the bowl is quite steep.  This means the rim flares in thickness.

The benefits are several fold: aesthetics, broad visible crisp rim, and a traditional interior that rises vertically for ergonomics in scooping small items from the inside of the bowl.  A vertical interior is a bowl invention that has been around for at least a thousand years in Europe, and likely much longer in Northwest Coast bowls and art.

I always think that if we’re going to admire beautiful wood grain, the rim is a great place to display it prominently. This is why I maintained a broad rim and also shaped a crisp line so the you see the immediate transition in growth rings from vertical rising on the interior to dead flat horizontal.

If I have a signature to my bowls: this is one of the main ones.

Take a look at the second photo to admire the growth rings.  Is it more than obvious this is old growth wood or what!

This was a magnficent tree that grew on the shore of a small cove a mile or so away from my studio.  The tree thrived for a few hundred years until a fluke Northeasterly wind rolled in toward the end of November 2016.  I salvage the tree from the beach the following Spring after a season of high tides lapped at the tree.

This is a great example of bowl that could be solely for display or very functional.  If you use it for a salad or fruit bowl, just know that your guests will enjoy getting to the bottom of the bowl.  :)

H32