Ok, I had to look up "spalted hackberry". Not the spalted part, long ago Adam explained to me (as only Adam could) that if the material being described was a toenail, the spalting would be the green fungus you would see a doctor about removing (like I said "Adam"). Hackberry is actually quite close to the American elm and exceptionally well suited to urban areas. The spalting does add a remarkably vitality to the wood's natural striations and, at least in my opinion, is a welcome addition to accessory materials.
A quick peek from the top vantage shows how well spalted hackberry complements the stain Armentrout chose for the smooth rim. The bowl execution is something of a Danish/American hybrid; with the heel cupping and lower equatorial emphasis of the former, and the additional under-travel of the shank from the latter. This is one suave bent Billiard. If I was a bent Billiard, this would be me. Ok, If I was a bent Billiard, I would be in our pipe science collection; but this is the one I'd want to be.
--R. 'Bear' Graves