austeja platukyte
austeja platukyte
austeja platukyte
austeja platukyte

birch tar

during a TUO TUO art residency I tried a birch tar making process, because my current material research is about making things in a primitive way with as fewer resources and energy as possible. the TUO TUO residency was a perfect place for my technological material experiments because, the dominant tree species in finnish forests are downy birch (betula pubescens), and silver birch (betula pendula) together with spruce and pine

 

in this research, I upgraded my black matter material which I created a few years ago during a "softbab" residency and scholarship program at sliperiet umeå university, sweden. at this time I tried to change the cellulose-based bioplastic with a more organic material extracted straight from nature and processed in a more primitive and more environmentally friendly way than industrial bioplastic

 

the birch tar was made from the dry distillation of the bark of birch trees. this process is really old. there is evidence that people were dry distilling birch tar in what is now germany 40,000 years ago to make the glue necessary to create weapons for hunting. the material has very similar properties to bioplastic and could be used as a binder for composite materials or as a waterproof agent that is organic and biodegradable