Birch Bark

Repousse & Chasing
Birch Bark

Birch Bark

In 1960s rural central Pennsylvania the bark from the smallest twigs of a Birch tree were my most reliable source of anything resembling candy. I’ve read it has aspirin in it.

Birch Bark is made from, 18ga, half hard, copper scraps from other projects. With no general direction or project in mind I tin snip cut the general shape, edge smoothed, hammered and polished the largest leaf. Coming in at about 6 inches long, I was very pleased with the results, especially the polished finish. I am not sure if it is the result of not annealing the copper or polishing it with BlueMagic 400 Metal Polish Cream or both, but the results where a new best for me. Next I made the second largest leaf, with similar pleasing results. At that point I knew I’d need a couple increasingly smaller leaves to balance out some type of radiant orientation.

After the Quercus Rubra/Red Oak project, that is somewhere here about, I swore off anything resembling stems, twigs or tree limbs, requiring intricate soldering, but here I was again. The main branch is common household ground wire that I spun with an electric drill and gradually stepped down in size with a file and sand paper as each leaf stem connected to it. The plot sickens. Since this is a novice hobby there is no jeweler’s torch simply a mini propane torch. As I added more and more solder joints I would lay it in a pile of ice cubes to keep existing joints from heat popping, but then it gets hard to get to your next solder joint location up to the proper solder temperature. It didn’t go to bad, but the solder is pretty obvious in a few spots and I was to chicken to file/grind it off in fear of stress popping the solder joints.
Good stuff.

Any soldering tips or low buck brazing/welding suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I’ll be clear coating it soon and I always seem to lose some luster in the process. I am using un-thinned gilders acrylic. Again any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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