Bryce's has an intimate understanding of the Birch tree. I am very pleased that he has agreed to run workshops at West Moss-side where the material can be harvested from the mature birch woodland on the edge of Flanders Moss National Nature Reserve. On the high moss we are actually trying to reduce the number of scrub birch trees so you are welcome to 'pull' the young birch trees to get the long slender roots. You will be helping to conserve the bog habitat! (Kate Sankey)
"I have for many years now been fascinated by the potential of using material from the birch tree . The birch is is the commonest tree of the Scottish Highlands. As a craft material I aim to reflect its versatility. This "Lady of the Woods" provides an enormous variety of materials from bark,roots,leaves and twigs without even considering the timber side of its uses. A herbal tea can be made from the leaves while wine from the rising sap is maturing!
All the items I make are made from Scottish birch in all its forms. Some ideas have been developed from crafts in other materials from across the world - from the Amazon rainforest, from New Zealand and from Scandinavia. Sometimes the designs have been devised by me from what the tree itself inspires and dictates. I am particularly interested in sourcing and harvesting my own supplies of materials and always in inspiring others. "
The branches and twigs are ideal for the coiling technique of basket making. This shape lends itself well for the development of a bee skep. I have experimented using marram grass also and will be using the very traditional Purple Moor Grass fdor the workshop at West Moss-side as Purple Moor Grass is abundant on Flanders Moss NNR.
" Apart from a Higher Art qualification (many years ago!) I am largely self taught with an interest in many spheres of craftwork. My working career, until I retired in 2004, was as a chartered forester with the Forestry Commission. This and years as a Scout and Scout leader gave me a strong interest in using trees as a craft material.
In 1998 I attended a basket making course at the Four Winds Inspiration Centre in Edinburgh taught by Liz Balfour . at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh and since then my work has been shown at many venues including the Burnside Gallery on Arran, Peebles Arts Festival, Ardfern and Craobh Haven Arts Festival. i particularly like to give demonstrations and workshops to pass on my knowledge. Over the past three years I have demonstrated widely, at events like Treefest throughout Scotland.
I am a past Chairman of the Scottish Basketmakers' Circle and have lived in Inverness for the last sixteen years."