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Alder Bark Intrusion Bowl

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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 12 1/4" X 3"

Ancient red alder gives amazing variation in color after it has stood for over a century.  This tree reached an age past official records, died, and stood for another 5 or 10 years before I salvaged it.

The color variations in this wood tell that story.  Some of the darker colors come from tannins in the wood and the lighter colors come from the very early stages of spalting, which is caused by the earliest stages of fungi entering the wood before significant decay sets in.

There's also a bark intrusion in the bow that probably is from a scar the tree healed from toward the end of its life...but we'll never quite know for sure.  Because this bark is more porous that the rest of the wood, this bowl is best to use only for dry salad, if you choose to use this as a salad bowl.  It will also serve handsomely as a fruit or other bowl.


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: