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Healed Scar Ancient Alder Wall Dome

Red Alder
Handmade, one-of-a-kind
excellent display piece for the wall
finished w/ food-grade Danish oil
made by Zach LaPerriere
Sitka, Alaska 2018
bowl measures 8 1/2" wide X 2 1/2" deep

When considering to make a wall dome, I often look for wood that tells a story.

Looking at the featured image, you see the growth rings as circles on the left.  This is the side closest the heart (center) of the tree.  You can tell this tree initially grew quite fast in the part of the tree—which was reasonably close to the base.

Take a look at the scar toward the bottom.  Of course we don't know what exactly caused this scar, but we have some clues.  It's actually two scars in the same area several years apart.  That makes me think it was caused by the branch of a nearby tree in a storm, or it could have been another tree leaning near the alder.

Whatever it was, the way this alder healed (twice) is remarkable.  It's all visible there.  Because alder is not resistant to rot, the tree put a priority on healing the wound quickly.  And as I've pointed out before, the adversity of a wound often leaves beautiful grain.  When our grandparents told us "Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger" you can see here that there is something truth in the old saying!  Adversity often does make us more interesting and beautiful, and I like seeing that in a tree.

This wall dome will go well anywhere you want to bring a little attention and add some art.  As always: I think eye level or slightly below is best.  It seems perfect for a bedroom or bathroom, but could go just about anywhere.

 

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Story: In February of 2017 I cut two massive standing-dead alder about a mile up a wild river valley about five miles from my home and shop.  The official oldest alder in the world is recorded in Washington at 100 years old.  The two alder I cut were at least 120 and 130 years old.  Alaska is full of secrets!

After cutting and prepping the bowl stock, my family and I took three days to sled-out material in 2-3 feet of snow.  We followed frozen creeks and bear trails in a magical winter wonderland.  It was our best snow in seven years, and I'm still grateful everything worked out just right, from getting my USFS permit to the weather so graciously cooperating with our effort.

You can watch a video of our alder salvage effort here:
From Tree to Bowl: Alaska Style