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These 'bitten' patterns are beautiful when held up to the light and were probably used in developing beadwork patterns. 1. Carefully split moistened birch into the thin layers that make up the papery bark. There doesn't seem to be any easy way to do this except slowly and gradually. 2. Fold the thinnest possible layer of birch paper, in halfs, quarters, or on a diagonal. 3. When holding the bark, place fingers in positions that will help guide where you want to bite. 4. Bite along the folded edges with eye and side teeth making indentations without cutting through the bark. Unfold and discover your pattern. Hold up to a bright light for another surprise.

Black & white images adapted from Densmore 1974

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© 1994 - Tara Prindle
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