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Tuohi Design

Tuohi Design makes jewelry and accessories of Finnish birch bark. All products are handcrafted.
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The designer Anni Koskeli-Ratamaa discovered the beauty of birch bark as she wanted to create something unique and special for a party with the dress code something woody. This gave her imagination a kick in the right direction and the first theme party accessory led her to the birth of Tuohi Design. The first accessory was a bowtie for her husband. While whittling the bowtie, she fell in love with the shiny surface of birch bark.

All Tuohi Design products are handmade in their own workshop in Joensuu, Eastern Finland. Handling bark requires craftsmanship and an eye for details. Koskeli-Ratamaa begins her crafting with a bark sheet, that she gets delivered from the forest industry. Every tree is different from another, and so is the bark. Some trees are darker, some whiter, some trees have much lichen on them and some are very uneven. This is one of Koskeli-Ratamaas favorite things about birch bark, you never know what kind of bark sheet you get. This also affects the final products, which is why every single bark product differs from another.

Birch bark is a lightweight material and consists of thin layers. The layers are carefully ripped off, depending on how thick or thin the material should be in the final product. Koskeli-Ratamaa finds this part of the process particularly exciting. Every layer hides another layer, that can have a whole new color or shade. “It’s interesting to handle bark, as the bark is always different in every tree and it also acts differently. The qualities differ and depend on various things, such as when and in what weather conditions the bark has been cut off.”, says the designer. The final color tone appears in the end, when the surface has been finalized with the oil treatment. The vegetable oil treatment gives the bark surface elasticity and a pretty sheen.

 

Beside bowties Tuohi Design also makes unique earrings out of birch bark.

Love for nature lies in the heart of Tuohi Design. Now as the designer has got the word, she would like to remind us all about the importance of bark for the tree. Bark can only be collected from trees, that are going to be choped down. Bark should never be cut or ripped off from any random birch, not even for a camping fire.

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