birch bark ring
birch bark ring
A couple of year ago, maybe three now, I started on this hiking journey of mine. After one of my first long hikes I found a piece of birch bark on the trail, picked it up and brought it to my studio. It served as a nice backdrop for photos and soon became an inspiration for jewelry. The texture, how it curls and its irregular patterns of dots and dashes captivated me. The sheet of white bark reminded me of silver and I soon came to wonder if I could recreate the form and texture I so loved about birch bark in my favorite metal.
I started with a paper mock-up. The procrastinator in me let it sit on my drawing table for a few years. About a month ago I was hiking along amongst birches and remembered the idea I had when I started this hiking journey. As I am nearing my goal of hiking all 48 4000’ mountains in NH I was thinking of what inspired me when I started all of this and knew I needed to make my idea into something tangible. As soon as I could I settled into my seat at my bench and started cutting a strip of silver into a suitable height for a ring.
This design got me back to what I love most, texture and forming. Finding the right hammer for the job, I set out to create the smooth lines that caress the bark. Hearing the sound of the hammer strike a sheet of silver against my anvil was music to my ears. Then came the gentle curve of the ring, and the tighter curls of the ends of the bark. This process was fluid and natural, just as hiking is.
I left this ring open. It allows your finger to flex comfortably considering the height of the ring. It also gives the feeling of finding a piece of bark on trail, wrapping it around your finger to take home as a way to remember your adventure.
Each ring will be a one of a kind in a way, but aren’t all artifacts in nature? It is about a half inch tall and has been approved for everyday wear. The inside of the ring is sanded smooth and the edges are beveled. While it pushes the limits of practicality it is comfortable and hasn’t gotten caught in my jeans pocket.
I hope you love this as much as I do!