Birch bark craftsman on Baikal, Listvyanka
Today I've guided a wonderful couple from Switzerland and we were lucky to visit the house of local birch bark craftsman who lives in Bolshaya rechka village, which is on the way to Baikal. His wooden house stands on the shore of Angara river and has a view to it right from its yard. Clear, frosty air and steaming Siberian Angara river together with calm, quiet and peaceful nature around. His wife and he make cups and other utensils made of birch bark. Since ancient times birch bark (called “beresta” in Russian) was considered to have curative power. If is believed to remove negative energy from the body. Birch bark barrels were used to keep bread and milk products which can breath through birch bark, and not get spoiled for a long time. His masterpieced cups have no seals inside, they are made with one piece of birch, thus the tree has to be cut and then the inside hard part taken out, and then with the help of hot water it is softened and the bottom made of Siberian cedar tree is fixed to it, then the outside part and the holder are added. There are no glued parts and no glue at all, a special technology makes its way. Simple, but very practical, nothing leaks or falls off, pleasant to touch and the smell… brings you back into the woods. And then we went to Listvyanka itself, some pictures from there.