Thing-a-Day – January 23 – weaving a birch bark basket/vessel
Day 23 of the Thing-a-Day Challenge
Materials: Birch bark, water, wifi
I have had some sheets of flattened birch bark sitting in my studio for a couple of years. I have used birch bark, years ago, but only in little bits enclosed in jewelry. Maybe I made something out of it in summer camp when I was a kid, but I don’t really remember. I brought some of the bark along with me in hopes that I would get the time to experiment with it here on this retreat.
I didn’t get terribly far into trying something new, instead falling back on an old fairly familiar form – a simple woven basket. It was a bit of a challenge, since the bark strips were quite thin, but I enjoyed myself and I think the end result is beautiful, if only a preliminary foray into figuring out this material.
I soaked the bark to soften it a bit.
Then I made strips (noting that the inner and outer colors are strikingly different and deciding to showcase that).
I wove a simple basket structure, but had forgotten how to finish the ends. Thank goodness for wifi! I looked up a few possibilities online and then made up a technique that could accommodate the shorter pieces I was working with (due to my lack of advance planning – typical me in experiment mode).
Enough of that. An OK piece, but not something I feel I need to get into much more deeply here. Done!