An arborglyph is a carving in aspen tree bark done with a knifepoint. As the tree repairs these cuts, a black scar tissue heals around the incision and produces a black on white motif that grows with the tree and remains for the life of the tree. Historically most arborglyphs are carved by sheepherders and their messages, art, erotica, signatures and dates ere only intended for other sheepmen who might be guarding sheep on the same range sometime later. Allowing the life span of aspen trees to be about ninety years, regrettably this Folk Art is rapidly disappearing. We developed a paper clay medium to mimic the look and texture of living aspen bark in an effort to preserve these American Folk Art carvings.

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