I stumbled upon birch bark biting while at the Eiteljorg Museum in 2010. I met Kelly Church at her booth, and asked her about a small bitten dragonfly she had done. She generously introduced me to the art. I consider her a mentor, having showed me ‘tricks of the trade.’ Birch bark biting is a precontact art, having been used as pattern for quillwork, later beadwork designs. Through research I’ve found bitings were also used as maps. I gather birch in spring when sap is flowing and the bark harvests easily. After a ceremony, I carefully peel the bark from a selected tree. The tree is left unharmed. I like to sit on my deck on warm summer days and carefully peel the bark onion skin thin. Birch bark has a natural oil and peels easier when warm. I then take the bark and fold it in many different ways, biting down with my eye tooth. Carefully and slowly unfolding the biting, I can hold it up to the light to see the gorgeous flowers, dragonfly or turtles I love doing.
I do workshops, feel free to contact me!