Birchbark is a natural material with amazing properties, due to which it has been widely used not only in every household and handcraft in Russia, but also in construction and even medicine. Birchbark combines the qualities of leather, wood and paper: it is flexible, soft, water-repellent, breathable, antibacterial, strong and durable. Birchbark manufacturing requires years of experience and skills have been given from generation to generation. Nowadays the rich traditions of manufacturing are used only in the production of souvenirs, that just partially implement the capabilities of birchbark, doesn’t develop further and probably will be forgotten soon. The idea behind the project is to invigorate the traditional handcraft by showing new possibilities in a contemporary context.
The starting point of the project is the material with its unique potential. Through the exploration of its properties, processing, ways of using and the story, a plenty of ideas and notices have been developed. ‘From Siberia’ and ‘Sibirjak’ are the first result of the project, that show different kinds of birchbark applications. In contrast to the traditional craft, this line is produced from the velvety inner side of the birchbark, processed according to a technique developed by Anastasiya Koshcheeva. The deep material research allows to combine traditional skills with modern technologies and to make the conventional handcraft up-to-date.