Friday, April 03, 2015

Following a thread

One of my favourite activities is to do research, and thence to follow loose threads which float across my view.  This morning I was looking online for small trees with beautiful bark that might be suitable for our garden.  That led to a closer examination of birch bark, which itself brought this picture:
Just a click took me to the work of an artist, Cathy Stocker, and specifically to her pieces on and of birches. I particularly like these Birch Tatoo series: pyrographic drawings on silver birch bark panels.
The piece above is Birch Tatoo No.4, and at the top is Birch Tatoo No.1.
And now I have more of Cathy Stocker's work to explore, should I desire to be further distracted / delighted.

15 comments:

  1. So many interesting things about this work. Stocker went to Finland to see the silver birches and was inspired by them, and then drew/tattooed (by burning ie. pyrographic) directly on birch bark. Silver birch is almost a national symbol in Finland. Lovely work! Thanks for sharing this find.

    Oh, and she lives in Muswell Hill in London, a place that became rather familiar when we visited our family in 2009, then living there. My photos that became the London Underfoot series was photographed in that neighbourhood!

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    1. Marja-Leena, I'm so pleased that so many elements of this random discovery chimed with you! There is something elementally as well as artistically appealing about birch forests, I find.

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  2. "Were" not "was" photographed.

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    1. It's so annoying when one cannot recall after 'publish', just as one catches one's error!

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  3. These are exquisite. I would love to see them properly rather than photographs.

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    1. Eirene, I think that seeing them for real would present a substantially different effect. I love the two dimensionality of these - but can imagine how beautiful they must be in 3D.

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  4. Olga, Cathy Stocker! I can not thank you enough.

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    1. Hi - glad I could pass on my own delight.

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  5. These are so beautifully delicate - and so unexpected. I wonder what side of the bark she works on - the inside or the outside? Also, birch bark is very brittle. I wonder and how she prevents everything from breaking up as she works. I must look further and find out the answers.

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    1. Margaret, the website is, I found, worth exploring. As for the technicalities - I have not worked at all with wood, but know that many wondrous works have been achieved one way or another.

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    2. From what little I know from my own collecting of birch bark, I would say these were worked on the outside. With weighting when fresh, pieces of bark can be flattened. But there is also some delicacy as you note, Margaret. It would be interesting to know more about her process.

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  6. No surprise that these would be of interest to me - and dang you, Olga, was what I thought when you first posted this. I was in the midst of several things not allowing distractions and diversions such as this! But today at last I've had time to follow the links and look more closely at her work with birches. The use of the actual birch bark as background is so well done. Sigh...I could be in love!

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    1. Ah, Sheila, so many things are sent to tempt us!

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  7. Thanks so much for sharing my work. I will have new Silver Birch Bark pieces ready to share soon. Cathy Stocker

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  8. Hello, I now have new Silver Birch Bark panels available. The new work is inspired by a trip to Japan in the Autumn of 2015: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stocker/203646742990707?ref=hl

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