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Live Edged Hemlock Stump

Western Hemlock
Handmade, one-of-a-kind
excellent display piece for the mantel, table or counter
finished w/ food-grade Danish oil, varnish, and bees wax
made by Zach LaPerriere
Sitka, Alaska 2017
bowl measures 10 1/2" X 4 3/4"

"If it presents a challenge, do it."  --Bob Ellis, founder of Alaska Airlines.
I've always loved that quote, and it came to mind when I decided it was time to finish this bowl.

When people see this bowl they ask me how on Earth I turned this on a lathe without it flying apart.  The first part of the answer is that I thought it might, so I worked slowly and stood to the side of the bowl in case anything came loose.  The second part of that answer is that wood is amazingly strong.  Especially stump wood...just consider  the forces working on stump through centuries of storms.  It boggles my mind!

I just love uncovering the unusual shapes of stumps.  The grain and color is so rich in this bowl.  Until now I've never seen this deep red hue in hemlock.  I suspect that it came from either stress during the tree's life or from prolonged exposure to both saltwater and sunshine.

The edges are also the natural color that came with this stump.

Honestly, I don't expect this bowl to sell on my website, but I'm offering it for how much time I have in it and the complexity of the shape and grain.  Assuming this bowl doesn't sell here, it will go to a gallery for its full market value.

This bowl will almost certainly be a stand alone piece, though I could also see holding a special Japanese glass ball found on a wild Alaskan beach.


Story: This bowl comes from a stump that had sat on a breakwater near Sitka for a number of years.  Our sailboat is moored in the harbor and I'd looked at that stump for some time.  It took me a while to gather up the nerve to rough turn the stump.  It took a year of slow drying to stabilize the bowl.  Once I put the bowl back on the lathe and had trued and shaped the bowl it took at least 20 individual passes with a freshly sharpened gouge to get a clean surface on the interior.  Sanding took several hours, beginning at 80 grit on the wildest of grain and progressing through all the sandpaper grits to 800 before finishing with steel wool.