I think it was a little too much Scandi Noir. One too many descriptions of people being chased or vanishing into the birch trees or of unspeakable crimes taking place under these lovely trees. I felt I had to rescue their reputation, point to their good features, speak up for the ones on my daily travels that just sheltered the playground and lined the path.
I needed to talk about these most optimistic of plants, that are the first to colonise any derelict land. Or how birch wood was once made into cradles to protect new born babies or used to beat out evil along village boundaries.
Without thinking about why, I saw I was making these pots in sets; flasks with cups, tea sets on a tray, perhaps because that’s how the trees grow – they like to be close together. No fighting for light and air here, just coexisting, these familiar gatherings of slender, pale trunks growing to be seen together, through and beyond.
They seemed like magical trees, silver magical trees.