- Some Curious Finds
materials and techniques
- Blog latest news
working with willow
See also: Lanterns
I work with natural materials wherever and whenever possible – and work outside as much as I can. I’m really interested in the uses, histories and traditions associated with native UK flora
and fauna; working with willow sits within this and is an incredibly inspiring material.
For many years I’ve used willow withies (cut and dried willow wands) to make structures such as lanterns, large puppets and many other things. In the last five years I’ve also been creating several living willow structures in schools as well as in my own wildlife-friendly
I love willow – it’s beautiful to look out and to work with. When growing it provides home and food to many species; it gives shelter
and warmth and spaces to hide for small creatures as well as for humans. It can be planted up to screen things and to filter things (it’s used around compost toilets for example). There are many varieties of willow – some grow faster than others and the branches can be a wonderful range of colours – which look stunning in winter against the
When cut and dried, willow can be re-soaked to bend and weave into everything from baskets to theatrical puppets. It creates a framework that is beautiful in itself – and also can be covered with tissue, fabric and threads for many wonderful effects. It’s so versatile and being natural it has a life of it’s own – which means it “speaks” to you as you use it!