Red Alder Handmade, one-of-a-kind excellent display piece, fruit bowl, or other finished w/ food-grade tung oil made by Zach LaPerriere Sitka, Alaska 2018 bowl measures 10" X 2 1/2"
If you've ever watched a potter at the wheel, you probably marveled at how a lump of clay can be shaped by hands into a pot or bowl. I certainly have!
Wood is different—it's solely a medium of subtraction. That's why I say that the process of shaping a bowl for me is a process of discovery. As much as 98% of the wood will be removed.
So rather than try to exert my interests on a bowl, I come to the piece of wood to look. If I were to stretch a metaphor—to listen.
If you look in the third picture on the lower left of the rim you'll see a beautiful circle of grain, and if you follow it back to the first picture, you'll see where the tree had a little branch that grew over.
I wanted to show that in this bowl. A mature tree has many of these hidden and grown over, and this one was especially pretty. The grain also got my attention for it's broad arcs, which come from close to the base of a huge alder.
It's always a discovery, and you'll find more in this bowl to contemplate, to run your fingers over. How crazy is it to know that this tree stood for 150 years in a wild valley with bears, deer, and salmon running up the river every Autumn?!
This will make a fantastic display bowl that if you're inclined, can also hold a medium amount of fruit or special items. That part is up to you!
Please note that the alder spoon is just for display purposes. If you'd like a custom soon, send me a message and I can get you in touch with my talented friend Mike who carved the spoon.
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: