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Elegant Little Bowl

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Red Alder
Handmade, one-of-a-kind
excellent cookie plate or jewelry bowl
finished w/ food-grade Danish oil, varnish, and bees wax
made by Zach LaPerriere
Sitka, Alaska 2017
bowl measures 7 3/4" X 1 1/4"

What most people don't know about woodturning is that us turners have an unlimited choice of how to orient a bowl in a tree.  This one is fun: if you imagine a tree with a heart in the center, this bowl has growth rings that start one one side of the bowl and stretch to the other.

What this does is it puts every growth ring facing out.  You could start at one side of this bowl and count every year of growth in it.  I'd guess 50 to 60, but you can count for yourself.

There are also subtle but beautiful medullary rays in this bowl that show as rings going perpendicular to the growth rings.  These rays transport materials from the deeper parts of the tree to the surface...but what really matters is that they look great and reflect light in such a way as to add depth to the wood.

This fun little bowl is almost a plate, so you can use it for a circular display of cookies, a half dozen medium biscuits, or even a jewelry bowl.


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: