Who hasn’t considered the phrase ‘if these trees could talk’…?
The very thought that trees could speak is so compelling.
Imagine the tales of storms and high winds, or learning what the transformation each season brings, or the joy it has of providing shade and home to many a feathered and furry creature and so much more. I love trees. As a child we had several maple trees in our back yard. There was nothing more enjoyable than lying on my back on a summer’s day, watching and listening to the wind ripple through the leaves. I tried to climb the trees however they had been there a long time and didn’t provide much of a toe hold for a chubby six year old. In the fall my mother would collect a few leaves as they were turning their colours and press them with an iron between two layers of waxed paper, providing a simple yet effective thanksgiving table decoration.
I have spent so many years of my life as an artist working with organic materials. I find myself drawn to the shapes, surface and colours of leaves, rocks and tree bark. One day I picked up a few pieces of paper birch bark which had fallen. Taking a closer look I found claw marks, most likely from a raccoon scooting up the tree at some point, cutting into the bark as it climbed higher. Looking at other pieces I found more evidence of what or who had visited the tree through the years as it stood in this small grove. There were a few holes courtesy of a bird or insect as well as small knots where a branch or bruise had occurred. Scars you could call them, proof of its participation in the living world.
That day I began working in my metal studio, figuring out how to transfer the textural stories I found in the bark into silver, copper and bronze for earrings, pendants and earrings. The last two years I have been working with branches and creating one of a kind jewellery pieces. It seems I am now part of the story the trees speak.