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Spalted Fire Pattern Wall Dome

Red Alder—Spalted
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 9 1/2" wide X 2 1/2" deep

This is the first in a series of five spalted wall domes that show the interaction between wild forces of nature and me as a wood artist shaping amazing wood to show what I find most outstanding.

The center of the piece is unaltered wood, and the edges shows spalting action that reminds me of the shapes and patterns made my flames in a fire.

This is a very unusual spalting pattern and I can safely say I'll never seen anything quite like this again.

The piece will hang well and contrast with most wall colors.  Nature is the best artist, and Wow what paintbrushes the tree and spalting used.


Story: In the Fall of 2016 a monsoon dumped many inches of rain on Sitka in a period of a few hours.  In addition to numerous landslides, local rivers flooded and a number of mature red alder trees were washed down rivers.

I suspect this alder came from Kaasda Heen, also know as Indian River, that cuts through Sitka National Historical Park—known locally as Totem Park.  If you know this river, it's impressive to think about an 80 foot tall tree washing down over the rocks and sandbars.

A few days after the big rain another storm and high tide rolled through Sitka and I looked out to see this tree floating by my house, complete with branches and a rootward still holding rocks and bushes.

It took me a couple hours to tow and wrestle the log to the beach in our family's skiff.  Once tied up to the beach, with the tide out I cut the log into rounds and left a number of these round on the beach just above the winter high tide storm line.  After sitting for six months, the green wood had turned into what you see here.

These spalting lines are fascinating: it's almost like a battle of the fungus.  The black lines you see are transition zones, almost like a fence, that competing fungal species put up when they run into another species.

Rounds that I removed earlier were less spalted, and some that I left longer ended up so rotten that they went into the woodshed.

To say that no two pieces of spalted wood are alike is...well...a serious understatement!