birch bark

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My husband Bruce has been doing physical therapy at our local hospital that has a magical wellness garden including a slew of birch trees.  Floor to ceiling windows in the therapy room look out on the garden and my attention often wanders to those trees and their beautiful bark.

Birch bark pieces are flying together in the studio. I stitch parchment paper that was used in botanical print making into folded, bark-like segments, adding bits of botanically dyed silk, rice paper, and wool to the mix. I coat them with cold wax both for their protection and for the translucence it adds. I love these little pieces.

For me, they are filled with memories of walking in birch woods and of the physical therapists who with loving kindness are helping Bruce.

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On my walk yesterday, I looked more carefully at the bark of trees. Wow! There’s a whole world of bark to capture.  Living in the Pacific Northwest, many of our trees have mosses and lichens growing on their bark.  Imagine that in thread. 

I guess I can leave my fields for a while and think about tree bark.

The real thing.

The real thing.