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Buttressed Rising Tide Bowl

Western Hemlock

Handmade, one-of-a-kind
excellent display piece or functional bowl
finished w/ food-grade Tung & citrus oil

made by Zach LaPerriere
Sitka, Alaska 2018
bowl measures 10” X 4 1/2”



“A rising tide lifts all boats.”  —Unknown, favorite quote of President John F. Kennedy

Out of storms come great things.  The tree this bowl came from lived and thrived for about 300 years in a small cove a mile from my studio.  Then a November storm rolled in from the Pacific Ocean, with giant gusts of wind from an unusual direction.  The hemlock and several other trees blew over on the beach.

In early Spring I salvaged the tree and waited for the incoming tide to lift the log, then towed it home to the beach below my studio.  After waiting for another tide to go out, I first cut the most intriguing pieces of the ancient tree for bowls.  The rest went to firewood—my family heats our historic little cabin exclusively with salvaged wood.

This piece shows the lower edge of a buttress the hemlock grew to resist centuries of storms.

Pay close attention to the intersection of live-edge, interior grain, and the cut rim.  You’ll see V shapes in the rim that oppose each other.  This is from the individual flutes of the tree that make the wood so resistant to winds.

You’ll also see my strong preference for cleanly cut edges in the form.  This requires extra time  in the shaping of the bowl and the sanding through sandpaper grits up to 1500.  It takes extra time, patience, and attention—but to me, the results speak for themselves.

You may have noticed the word Rising in my title for this bowl.  Because the live edge is up, the heart, or center, of the tree is oriented down.  Notice how in the first picture there’s a feeling of uplift, of rising.

It’s how I see the life and story of an ancient tree: growing, accepting, positive, resilient, and ever strong.

Your new bowl has a silky smooth finish, finished with multiple coats of food-grade tung and citrus oil.  This bowl just feels good in your hands.  It has a medium heft to it that you would expect from a tree that would cause you to stop and contemplate its life.

This vessel is designed for display on the mantel or table.  But it’s also fine for everyday use, and could hold anything from fruit, to salad, or even your favorite mittens.  Because it is crafted from a single piece of wood, it will last for generations with basic care.