Brich Bark


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Mar 26, 2003
Alberta CANADA
The Framing Nook
Customer came in with Bitten Birch Bark (white - very thin) and said she wanted to mount it so it's breathable so it can "stay alive".

Sounds like she should have been a framer. We've done these before using conservation techniques by hinge mounting to rag board - but the breathing bit? I searched the past - but nothing I can find on that. We usually tape the edges of our framing package with 811 - not good for this?

Any help would be appreciated - thanks
Dead organic material such as paper, hide, wood,
bone, teeth, etc. do not have lungs and can not
respire. If anything is breathing in the fame it
will be an insect, mold, or mildew and their presense in not welcome. If the client would like
to discuss this further, I can be reached at

Thanks Hugh, I needed a good laugh to finish the week.

I didn't know that one of my ex-roomates had made it into canada... I apologize HB, is she still blonde, and about as tall as stupid gets? She insisted on buying a couple of geese while we lived in her condo. Backyard was 10x15.. . . .
The "still living" idea about wood products comes from cabinetry. Wood reacts to changes in humidity and air pressure and temperature. Woodworkers describe this by saying the wood is "still alive" in that it responds to its environment. (and these changes have to be taken into account)

If the environment is sealed, so that it does not change, then there will be no "aliveness".

One concern with some green wood items is that they will outgas for awhile, sap, resin, lac, etc. Wood that has been aged and dried is fine. I suspect the birch bark dried out long ago.
Hanna, if the "woodworker" is knowledgable, then they won't use that term... I did hear Norm say it ONCE.

The term is Hydrophilatic, if not sealed, it will take up moisture (to a point) and swell the soft pulp between the hard rings or grain.

If that makes my table "alive" then I'm going up there now to smoother it. :D

PS: the same term applies to mats and such. They ain't alive either.