This used to be my grandmother’s salt bowl. She kept sea salt and a stone to crush it with in that bowl. It was in my parent’s cellar for decades, until my brother found it and asked if I wanted it. Of course I wanted it! It was in bad shape, dry and dirty, but it stirred a memory: I knew I’d seen that bowl long ago.

My brother also found the stone.


I think it’s from the Gulf of Bothnia. The people from my grandparents village used to go fishing Baltic Herring in the autumns, when the fish has the best quality. They then salted it in big barrels. You can see one in the right upper corner of this photo showing a fishing boat that was typical for the coast of Ostrobothnia. There’s a fantastic museum in Malax: Kvarkens Båtmuseum.


Fishing boat, Kvarkens båtmuseum.

I didn’t do anything to improve the bowl for many years. One evening when I was feeling bored and didn’t want to knit, crochet, or spin, I took linen oil and thought I’d fix the bowl. Was it thirsty! Oh my, it drank half the bottle of oil in a blink, and then I hadn’t even started with the bottom. I left it to dry for a couple of weeks, and then tried bees wax and canola oil. The bowl loved it, and all of a sudden there was a shine to the wood, and you could see wonderful details that had been hidden.


I love this bowl! It sits on a small table next to my chair. I keep small things and my big note book in it. I love the note book cover just as much – my brother made it for me.


The beauty of everyday things! My caffe latte mug is from Iittala, the café au lait cup is handmade and a gift from a spinning friend.


  1. Elaine

    We just love our Special Stuff. Every time we pass by it there is the fleeting memory of the past or a special friend. We are quite lucky to have our Little Treasures!

  2. Marilyn F.

    If your bowl could only talk,what stories it could tell. I would think the carved details on its exterior shows it is made by hand and not machine. How nice for you to have such an historical piece of your family history sitting with you to appreciate every time you look at it. Your leather book cover is also quite beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

      • Marilyn F.

        Ahhhh, that’s wonderful for you to know your grandpa or great uncle may have made the bowl!!! If we could only communicate with our ancestors and ask them about the history they leave behind. But perhaps wondering about it is just a part of how things are meant to be . . . hahahaha.

  3. Susan

    I was surprised at how big it was. The colour is amazing and I love it that we have beautiful things surrounding us and and they are so useful!

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