Cold raw skin… icky, slimy, smelly.
But warmed with careful hands and a heartfelt gratitude for the animals’ lives, and for the heritage and wisdom of our ancestors and those who shared their knowledge with us, that same flesh is both transformed, and transformative.
Thanks to Karen for providing us with the fish skins, waste from a commercial kitchen which turned out to be the perfect-sized project for a bunch of novice tanners on a cold February day.
And thanks to Nicole for generously and sensitively sharing with us the knowledge that she has been entrusted with.
Thanks to all who were part of our first Hide Tanning Circle; together we crossed a threshold that is particularly potent for us, living in an urban environment where cycles of life and decay, animal, vegetable and mineral are partitioned, or absent altogether.
I look forward to seeing you all again for our next Circle — sheep hide is soaking in the bark tan bath now!