An experimental project in fashion and craft.
Recently, several Russian birch bark letters were discovered and found to be over 700 years old. The letters were still legible.
The fact that an analog photograph is expected to last for 100 years and that a CD or hard drive may have a life of 30 years raises many interesting questions about sustainability and how we value things and materials around us.
Artist Aia Jüdes has taken on these ideas – playfully engaging with questions of value through various status symbols and bringing disappearing birch bark handicraft into a new context.
In close co-operation with two older birch bark craftsmen from Dalarna, she has spent several years learning about the properties of birch bark and has commissioned a series of unique objects.
Classic birch bark objects flirt with French fashion and turn into coveted objects in a humorous fusion full of contrasts and meticulous detail. The Louboutin-inspired birch bark shoes get hand carved stilettos and gilded soles in 23 carat gold. The birch bark briefcase is embellished with luxuriant tufts of vegetable tanned leather and hand-painted logos with shadows and outlines in true graffiti-style.
It is ruggedly home-grown and luxuriously decadent at the same time, but above all a tribute to quality and durability.
With a twinkle in her eye Aia Jüdes has blinged birch bark and is campaigning to secure a clear place for handicrafts in the future.
The project was made in collaboration with:
John Lindholm, birch bark woodworker
Rauno Uusitalo, birch bark woodworker
Dennis Sehlin & SK82, drawings
Agneta Ekblad, saddle maker
Susanna Haverinen, graphic designer
Dr A Kumlin, Kerstin Wickman, Bertil Wöllner, Tärnsjö Tannery
The project has been supported by Nämnden för Hemslöjdsfrågor (spjutspets projekt)
and Ulf K Nordensons Stiftelse för Hantverk I Trä