To skin a tree.

At this rate it appears my blog will stand still forever, unless I start rolling now. This election has me frozen and watching, I'm looking forward to next week when perhaps I'll breathe again. Here's a short breath for now.
Erin Curry art- blur of spruce pine At Haystack we were given the chance to prepare bark strips for weaving. One of the maintence men procured a freshly cut spruce pine to use. Using a sharp pocket knife, we scored strips along the bark then pried sections up and running our hands down the moist crevice between the trunk and supple bark to peel it, gently tugging when reaching the base of a branch. The feeling of skinning something freshly dead nestled in my heart and kept my actions aware and careful. My hands were soon soaking wet and mildly sticky.

Erin Curry art- preparing bark to weave 1Erin Curry- preparing bark to weave 2Erin Curry- preparing bark to weave 3

The corky bark was carefully scraped off to make something very closely resembling soft leather. Then we scored the thickness halfway and peeled open the pages to reveal the text of growth embedded there.

Erin Curry- splitting bark stripsErin Curry- splitting bark strips
Erin Curry- splitting bark strips We rolled up excess for storing
Erin Curry- preparing bark to weave 7and wove with something precious.
Erin Curry- plaiting barkErin Curry- plaited bark, closed box


kirsten said...

i so love this.
thank you for sharing the process.
it is incredibly beautiful. and timeless.

Anonymous said...

I can only agree with Kirsten.

Time captured in that tree and you respecting it by working step by step and with care. What you made of it will continue to dry and move and settle.

I believe the body slows down in autumn, so it seems a weird time of year to elect, really. Spring goes well with new beginnings. I understand everyone is very nervous in your country and I wish you everyone all the best at taking your choice.

I follow your work, even if it seems "a near stop" to you!


debra said...

this is just lovely. i'm shocked to realize there are tears in my eyes.

Ritva said...

that´s what we do in finland too, a lot.

mansuetude said...

ohhh, i am in love.

did it open up just like that, in your hand, like a text book's pages... did you read it with your heart?

I want to do that.
Had an opportunity to open fresly cut wood on a spinning Lathe--the wood would almost peel away at the chizel like a living wet thing, though the wood itself was dying--within, the moisture would open and hit me, all those little wood curls...

Thanks for sharing this... nothing standing still about it, but your peace.

rivergardenstudio said...

What a wonderful sequence. I am so happy to find your blog. I love your awe for nature. I feel the same way. And your writing and photographs are awesome. Thank you for sharing, Roxanne

Anonymous said...

Whoa - that is beautiful. I would love to take a class on this.

I love the woven box, it's lovely.

Fingers crossed that we are all breathing a sigh of relief on Wednesday....

Anonymous said...

MMmmm...I can smell the wood!

PaMdora said...

it is wonderful.
know what you mean about the elections, work kind of came to standstill and now reentry is hard.
but don't you just feel good!

Erin said...

Thank you Kirsten. Timeless is an appropriate word. The process felt ancient and yet still right in this moment.

Jo, I guess we elect in the fall so by the time the new year rolls around we are ready to hand the reigns to the next leader, plus all those rallies might be sparsely attended in the dead of winter. But it's true we slow down in the fall waiting for the cold.
I'm glad you visit.

Debra and Roxanne, thank you.

Ritva, I'd love to see others work in this way to see how the processes differ.

it opens up to be read true and with the pungency of an old book but new.
Lathework is magic too.

Amy, I completely recommend a class should you find one.
Breathing again.

Cynjon, I forgot to mention the smell and that was one of the best parts. Warm, fresh. That bark and raw wool are among my favorites.

Pam, It feels good and now I can move again.

nicole said...

this is truly beautiful and inspiring.


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