I started working with birch after my daughters wedding. We used natural birch bark planters as table decor and after the wedding I couldn't just dispose of all that beautiful material. I started working with it, making planters, framing interesting pieces, and experimenting with jewelry. I love manipulating this medium and have continued to use it even after all the ‘wedding bark’ was used.
Bark is never harvested from a live tree. Once an acceptable piece is found, the process begins. It includes drying, cleaning, and flattening the birch. Next each piece is inspected and chosen for a specific use. I let nature dictate much of what you see in the designs. Some areas want to peel, some want to be torn, some are rough and beautiful with natural holes in the bark, others are carefully cut and sanded to produce a 'cleaner' look.
Birch is very durable, even so, once a piece is finished it is coated and sealed with a water based acrylic polymer. Clean with a moist cloth. Removing birch jewelry before bathing or swimming will help preserve the coating, and shape of any formed piece.