Monday, January 5, 2009

Cork bark is my favorite mounting material

About ten years ago I started doing more and more mounts. I tried a number of materials but have settled on cork bark as my favorite. It is easy to work with, never breaks down and has a pleasing textured surface.

This morning I took one of the large pieces I have and broke it up in to usable sizes. I broke the pieces off rather than sawing because I think it makes for a better look. I added the wire hooks and hung them up on a frame so I can choose from them next time I have a plant to mount. They are the seven pieces on the left side of the picture.

Early on I started looking for alternate sources of cork bark. At a retail price of $5-$10 for a small piece, I could see that the budget for plants was being eaten up by the cost of the bark. This was not a good long-term solution now that I needed more and more cork bark for mounting.

I looked for more information about cork bark on the Internet. I figured there must be someone selling it in larger amounts for a more reasonable price. I was thinking 20 pounds would be about right.

The only quantities I could find was in pallets, about 10 times as much as I wanted. I don't remember the price, but it seemed like a real bargain. I bought a pallet and I bet I never have to buy cork bark again.

Last but not least is the mailing box test. I could potentially sell or trade the mounted orchid and I hate to go searching for boxes that fit the plant while I am trying to pack for shipping. I have found out the hard way that it is much easier to adjust the cork before there is a plant, so I slip each one into a box I keep handy for just such testing.

My favorite shipping box is the USPS Priority Mail shoebox and I keep a stock of them handy. They are a great size for many plants, they are free, and the USPS delivers them right to my house. Check out USPS.gov for a great source of other shipping supplies.

2 comments:

  1. Do you have anything mounted on drift wood? I think that may be my favorite for mounting, at least asthetically.

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  2. I do have two plants now on driftwood and I have tried it on several others. I agree that it makes a very nice presentation with the right plant.

    There are two reasons I don't use it. The first is that it needs to be de-salted. I am close enough to the ocean that collecting nice pieces is possible.

    The second is space. Each one takes more space than I want to allot for a single plant.

    I have a lot of hanging space.

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