Below are some common questions. If you have a question that isn't answered on this page, please contact us here.
GUARANTEE (please scroll down)
RETURNS (please scroll down)
SHIPPING: Please click here to view our shipping policy.
If you ask, we will do our best! We only make one-of-a-kind bowls, and each bowl Zach shapes is a response to that individual piece of wood, so he can’t make an identical bowl. But he can often make a similar bowl, often from the same tree, which has many of the same characteristics of the bowl you are admiring.
“Do you take special commissions?”
Yes. Zach always has a number of commissions on the go. Weddings and anniversaries make up the majority, but Zach's done everything from tiny bowls that had to come from a certain island to a graduated set of 10 soup bowls. Most of our commissions are for large bowls, and we must warn you that larger bowls often have a longer lead time, because of drying times.
On the other hand, sometimes Zach has dry stock on hand, and in some cases, he's been able to complete special commissions in under a week.
If you have a special request, just let us know.
“I have a special tree that came down. Can you make me a bowl or bowls from this tree?”
Absolutely. These are some of Zach's favorite projects, because the bowl has so much meaning for the customer. What Zach usually does is visit the customer on-site, and after a conversation, he selects what he thinks will be the most interesting part of the tree to harvest for bowl stock.
Turn around time for a completed bowl is a minimum of three months from the time Zach begins, because of the long drying for the wood to go from outside moisture content to a stable moisture content.
Zach generally turns more bowls than my customer requests, because of the possibility of cracking during the drying process, and because he wants you to have the bowl or bowls you are most happy with. We sell the other bowls to the public with no commitment to you.
If you are not in the Sitka area, there is always the possibility of shipping a piece of wood here, though we have to warn you in advance that shipping to Sitka is often a little expensive.
As for extra charges on special commissions, it just depends. If we end up with some extra wood to compensate Zach's extra time, there’s a good chance there will be no extra charge beyond what we normally charge for the bowls.
“I have a tree in my yard that fell over/was removed by an arborist. Do you want it?”
First, thanks for thinking of Zach! The answer is maybe. It depends on what species, size, if the tree is mostly sound, and how the tree grew. Tree species he's always on the look-out for: mountain ash, large alder, fruit trees, and other interesting exotics.
Ideally, Zach would get to a tree before it has been bucked into firewood because he cuts for bowls based upon what he sees on the outside of the tree…not just a tape measure as we mostly do for firewood.
Also, Zach probably won’t want all the tree, so you’ll still have a lot of firewood—which Zach might be happy to help you with in trade for the bowl stock.
Zach usually gives a complimentary bowl to those who give him a significant amount of bowl wood.
“Where you get the wood for your bowls?”
As my arborist friend, Jay would say, “It grew in a tree!”
Zach salvages all of the wood he uses for his designs. Much of the bowl stock comes from the Tongass National Forest through a special use permit to salvage dead & down ancient alder. Zach's also taken a lot of wood off of private islands where trees fell over in storms or were cut to near homes.
In the case of mountain ash, all of our bowls have come from historic downtown Sitka homes, including one tree that was given to Zach by the granddaughter of the man who planted the tree.
Zach has never cut a living tree down for bowl stock, or in the fifteen years, we’ve been heating our home exclusively with wood. The simple answer why: We don’t need to cut living trees.
We like that the forest makes the first decision on what becomes a bowl, not us.
“Will you make me a set of bowls?”
Again the answer is maybe. Partly because Zach is very selective about what wood he salvages (and partly because he has a short attention span!) he only turns one-of-a-kind bowls. Every bowl for Zach is a discovery. He shapes a bowl in response to the story that a tree shows him in each unique piece of wood.
So he doesn’t make matched sets of identically shaped bowls. It’s just not Zach.
Zach does make sets upon request, they just aren’t all the same. One set of bowls he made came from the same tree, and another was two different species, by request.
If you have a concept, let us know. Zach enjoys the challenge.
“Can I customize the bottom of my bowl with a special message.”
Jenn signs the bottom of every sculptural wood vessel using a pyrography pen. For a small fee, she will also write a custom inscription.
Properly taken care of, a wood bowl should last for generations. We’ve never had a bowl returned, but know this: Zach stands behind his bowls. If there is a problem with your bowl and it was taken care of properly, Zach will either repair or most likely replace your bowl with a bowl of similar value.
Please see below for proper care instructions. We can’t guarantee a bowl that was put away wet and which molded (like my ten year old once did before we went on a two week vacation.) Dropped bowls, stolen bowls, etc. can also not be guaranteed!
If you have a question about your bowl, please ask. If there is a problem, we might ask you to send it to us postpaid for a free evaluation.
We want you to be happy with your bowl. We're privileged to regularly have customers tell us they are thrilled with their bowls. If you aren’t, please contact us and return the bowl before you use it. No one ever has, but we are fine with you being the first. As we said, we want you to be happy.
We have to put a few conditions on possible returns:
As we said before, please don’t return a bowl without first contacting us.