When I was out walking last weekend I noticed several downed trees in our woods. It had been really windy and we lost a few, which is often the case. We have a lot of Poplars (or Popples as we call them) in our woods which are notorious for falling down in high winds, but one of the trees that fell was a Birch . While I was a little sad that it fell, there was little question that it would be put to good use.
I set out today with my little gatherers to harvest some bark from the tree. The smaller limbs will be hauled back and cut for buttons and brooches, and the leftover wood will be put in our pile for firewood. The bark however is destined for other purposes.
Random fact- did you know that birch bark is an excellent firestarter? It will catch a flame even when wet.
I've chosen a branch from which to cut my bark piece. I'm using a carpet cutter set shallow, less than .25", and am making a circular cut around the branch. I make another parallel cut a few inches away from the first cut. The distance between the two cuts will dictate how tall the resulting bark "tube" is. Sometimes small branches or knots dictate this for you.
I then cut a line connecting the first two cuts.
By sliding my thumb under the bark, I can just ease the bark off of the branch. Just like loosening a cake out of pan. (but don't do that with your thumb. Yuck)
And there you go! Bark tube, ready for crafting.
I still have a lot of de-barking to do, but for now I have enough bark to keep me busy for a bit. Expect to see some birch bark items in the shop soon.
My helpers are thrilled.
Happy Saturday, all!