Birch is one of the most widespread and short-lived tree on the planet. That is why plywood and other materials out of birch are so available and cheap. Nevertheless, during the timber manufacturing process the bark is thrown away. It was a challenge for me as a designer to create a product, that would allow to transfer a birch bark from the material that only craft people use, into the robust manufacturing material. Series of experiments showed an amazing potential of the birch bark. It is water resistant, flexible, insulating, slip-proof, antibacterial, durable and, at the same time, very soft and pleasant to touch.
Birchware is a ceramic collection of tableware wrapped with treated molded bark part. The bark protects hands from heat; volume dimples don't allow the cup to slip out. Besides, the dimples form the pattern of Braille alphabet, thus providing particular message on the surface. As a result, blind people could get their own item with peculiar information, therefore becoming equal participants of design world. The lock of birchbark part is made in accordance with the traditional methods of weaving birch bark objects in the Far East Russia. These methods along with special treatment of the bark provide the particular durability to the collection. That is why all the items could be used and washed as a common ceramic ware.
The collection was created in order to give new life to the traditional material and celebrate inclusive design.