After a generous post by Kepis, I was determined to have a go at making at least one of these. I have ended up beginning 3, and hope to have a nice clean and tidy example by the end of the thread.
On the train earlier today (and other days) I spotted a large pile of felled Ash, if memory serves me correctly these were chopped last year some time. So I jumped on my bike this afternoon and set to peeling the bark:
The log above yeilded some 5mm thick bark, which I thought sufficient for me to have a go:
The largest log was approx 14" diameter, and there were many from a few inches to over a foot.
As I started to peel the bark, my hands were getting a battering from the tough bark, so I fashioned a quick spud out of some conveniently felled sycamore. This made the de-barking alot easier, and almost a pleasure!:
I was on my bike, so couldn't cycle the few miles home with a long length of bark - no matter how much I wanted to! In heindsight, I wish I had found a way now. However, there will be a next time...
I collected all I could carry, and ended up with 6 nice chunks of bark to start with (cutting the long lengths up was torture!) :
After 'squaring off' the bark, I followed Kepis' example and scored an elipse for the base, but on folding as carefully as I could the pressure needed to form the shape edged the inner bark away from the outer bark, and my first attempt split all the way along one bottom edge - much to my dismay . I ended up trying to fill the split with some decent wood glue (after binding), but it looks very messy now. I put my first attempt down to experience, but hope to rescue it into a useable container.
Inside Container One:
The binding was just cheapo garden twine as I have no root-cordage, or any decent organic cordage of any description...but read on, I think I have found some cordage that I'm happy with.
Below is a Pic of Container One along side my second attempt; bigger, sturdier, and with no elipsed base this time.
You can't really see it in this pic, but on closer inspection I noticed on the bottom left of Container One what could be a badger claw mark which I thought pretty cool.
Both are now resting with round containers wedged into the opening ready to dry a bit in preperation for adding a rim over the next few days.
Inside of Container Two:
Again, I hope to replace the cheapo garden twine with some of my recycled cordage at a later date, and add a rim maybe even a carry handle.
So...onto my 3rd and final attempt for the day. I went with the no elipse base, and while I was having a break I caught sight of the huge mass of paracord inner hanging up which is being made into a gill net. As I supped my tea, I thought that the tea bags would make a nice stain to take the WHITE colour away from the inners, and after half an hour of soaking it had taken the brightness away and looking below, it kinda works quite nicely:
The stitching on the face of the container is there 'cos I failed to notice a flaw in the bark, and hastily glued and sewed it to stop any further splitting and blue air!:
I sewed the cheapo garden twine with an awl, but during my break, I also rummaged thru the sewing kit that used to be my grans, and found a small crochet hook, which works brillaintly - thanks Gran!
One thing I am quite concerned about is the scored and folded seam along the bottom of the container. Even though it held all the way through stitching, it is still quite fragile...:
I'm pretty sure I will be stitching the base with the paracord inner, and I'm not gonna use any wood glue this time - I think I will find some Pitch Pine Glue (Of which I have none) - So will have to get hunting for some!
I'm also gonna make a tidy rim for this (as for all) and update the thread with the results.
Thanks for the inspiration Kepis, I really enjoyed the process so far, and even had an older neighbour pop her head over the fence saying: "I haven't seen on of those in years!"
Comments, improvements/consideration welcome and appreciated!
BTW, having a search pre-construction I found this: $180 dollars for an 18" handled Ash Bark Container!!!??! Wow!