The bark of a tree is the outer protective layer. I usually remove the bark when carving wood, but bark can also be incorporated into the sculpture.

First Black Walnut Piece
This is a post that describes the beginning of a piece in black walnut wood. It starts at the point of splitting the log in half.
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I was laboriously removing the bark, "popping" it off in sections. Then my friend offered a better way and voila...no more bark. Yay!
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Section of cedar log
Okay, time to remove the bark. It's not as easy as it sounds -- does it even sound easy? Well I'm here to tell you that it's not!
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