Tree-HEART Tattoo

In Creative By Nature Art Blog, Earth, Trees + Plants by Lisa LipsettLeave a Comment

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Sap coating a Douglas Fir trunk
Oozing out of the heart of trees (especially Broad Leaf Maples and Douglas Fir) this time of year, is a sweetness so pure, so ancient that when hardened reveals a timeless amber, when boiled yields the same thick golden coloured sweetness and when boiled down even further yields a tasty crystalline sugar that melts on the tongue.The lifeblood of a tree can be tapped but can also be seen running down the trunk on its own accord. Whether injured and gaping, or offered naturally, Douglas Fir pitch is a mineral-rich, sweet, sticky substance that has been used by Native Americans as a powerful topical remedy.  (Click here to learn more about Douglas Fir pitch and its many attributes and uses.)

On an impulse last week I wondered what would happen if I purposely placed some of this oozing on my skin. This is how I came to make a heart tattoo.

How to make a Douglas fir pitch tattoo:
Go for a forest walk. Find a tree that is sharing its goodness and adorn your own flesh with its lifeblood. Rub in dark rich loomy soil. Then you can wear your design as a glyph connecting you to the heart of the forest.
Coat the end of a stick in sap
Draw a sap design on your skin
Rub earth into the design


The sharp spicy pine scent of this heart tattoo took me back to the forest every time I raised my hand to my nose. I also found myself absentmindedly caressing its suede-like surfaces. Even so it was surprisingly resilient and traces remained  days after I first applied it. At one point I took my writing pen and emphasized two eyes and a nose making a fox face.

What sweetness nourishes you at this time of year? What sweet sap at the heart of your being can you offer the world? What beauty can you create with golden tree juice?

* To get sap off your hands use hand sanitizer (it is alcohol based). If you get some sap on your clothing click on this link for natural cleaning options.



Lisa LipsettTree-HEART Tattoo

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