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Bark Intrusion Alder Bowl

Red Alder
Handmade, one-of-a-kind
excellent display piece, fruit bowl, or other
finished w/ food-grade Danish oil, varnish, and bees wax
made by Zach LaPerriere
Sitka, Alaska 2017
bowl measures 13 3/4" X 4 1/4"

The wood in this alder bowl is completely clear of knots, however a beautiful bark intrusion stretches from below the rim to the base of the bowl.  The gap is just wide enough to see light through a few small holes.  Dramatic grain lines one side of bark intrusion.

This bowl grew close to the base of the larger of the two largest alder I've ever harvested.  Because the bowl comes from the outer portion of the uphill side of a large leaning tree, the grain is fairly wide by old growth standards—though still much closer together than any other commercial alder you could buy.

I love the deep red of this bowl.  Alder is not normally this color, but advanced age and standing dead for years brought out natural tannins in the wood.

This bowl will make a fine display piece, an outstanding fruit bowl, yarn bowl, or potential salad bowl if you are happy to stick to large pieces and no dressing in the bowl.  I know what my wife would use it for: keeping warm rolls on the table for dinner company.


Story: Last February 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