Therese Begin is keeping tradition alive with bark chewing artwork. Begin
is thought to be the last person in Canada to create designs using this
ancient method of folding and using her teeth to chew raised and depressed
Late June and early July are the best times to harvest the birch bark
because that is when it is the most supple. She likes to make the designs
on-the-spot in the woods because she enjoys working in tranquility. Begin
said each design takes approximately an hour to complete and she might do
about 90 a year.
She learned the technique from her grandmother and she is the fourth
generation of her family to chew the bark. Begin works as a museum guide
and supplements her income with her artwork.