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Growing willow for basketry
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judith



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 22789
Location: Montgomeryshire
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 07 5:38 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

sean wrote:
It's almost impossible to *not* grow willow.



I was going to say the same thing. I don't think a single one of our sticks failed.

Penny Outskirts



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 23385
Location: Planet, not on the....
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 07 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

gil wrote:
If you are going to grow willow for basketry, you really have to coppice it regularly (probably every year), otherwise the branches grow too large for weaving


That sounds good - OH wants a windbreak that doesn't get too tall, and I want to do some basketry. We were thinking about doing this: Planting the first row in the next few weeks, then another row next year about the same time. Coppicing the first row in Nov next year (or possibly this year, if it's grown enough) , and then the other row the following Nov and so on.... Would that work do you think? Could we plant the second row from cuttings from the first row?

Jamanda
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 34890
Location: Devon
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 07 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Is this of any interest? Look at 23rd March.

Penny Outskirts



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 23385
Location: Planet, not on the....
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 07 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

That looks brilliant Jamanda Is it near you?

sean
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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 41722
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 07 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Not far away.

Penny Outskirts



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 23385
Location: Planet, not on the....
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 07 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We've e-mailed them about it, thier Willow looks quite cheap too.

gil
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 18369

PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 07 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Penny wrote:
We were thinking about doing this: Planting the first row in the next few weeks, then another row next year about the same time. Coppicing the first row in Nov next year (or possibly this year, if it's grown enough) , and then the other row the following Nov and so on.... Would that work do you think? Could we plant the second row from cuttings from the first row?


Not sure the willow would be branchy enough to coppice within a year of planting - you could try cuttung the top off it (I'm assuming it will still basically be a single stem at that stage). It is very hard to kill willow.

If you did find you needed more cuttings for the second year, there are loads of potential ones here I found you could also plant them in the summer and they would take (that was the year I used willow cuttings as pea sticks).

Nanny



Joined: 17 Feb 2005
Posts: 4520
Location: carms in wales
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 07 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

wellington womble wrote:
I've got a destruction booklet which I bought from somerset levels (I'll get a link in a mo) for 2.50. It's based on willow, but it can't be that hard/different, surely?! If they don't do it anymore, I'm happy to lend by post - it's quite small.

I did some hazel weaving a few years ago, by pure guesswork and making it up as I went along. It worked, although it only lasted a few years (it was only a little border boundry). Also, round here, the foresty commision run little events in the wood, and often have demonstrations of this kind of thing. Worth going to anyway, I'd have thought.


if you can find the link and it discusses hurdle making it might give me a bit of a steer

don't want to do it professionally or anything but it does seem a waste of good hazel not to use it for something

thinking about willow though.........if it was planted as a windbreak, do you think you could cut it like a hedge to keep it the right height?

never tried that before....

and you are right, even when the goat took the top right off the one i planted in my old garden, it recovered and flourished

Cathryn



Joined: 16 Jul 2005
Posts: 19830
Location: Ceredigion
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 07 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I have a great book called Living willow sculpture - it has loads in from (growing ) woven hedges to chairs also growing and wigwams (which I made for the children in my previous home). It doesn't have hurdles as such (because it will grow if it is anywhere near the ground I imagine) but it does have beautiful living hedges with peepholes and the like in them.

Penny Outskirts



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 23385
Location: Planet, not on the....
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 07 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Just been trying to see how much prepared willow for making baskets costs, and I can't find any Anyone have any idea what I sould be searching for? I tried "willow for basketry" "Basket making" "craft supplies" and combinations of these, but only came up with people who sold naff kits, or who sold live willow ready for planting.

Anyone know of a supplier of ready to weave willow?

gil
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Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 18369

PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 07 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

What do you have to do to willow after cutting to prepare it for basketry ? Dry, but not too dry ? Or still green ?

Penny Outskirts



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 23385
Location: Planet, not on the....
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 07 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

From the Kew Gardens site:

The willow rods are firstly sorted for length and cleaned. In brown rods the bark is left on, but for white and buff rods it is stripped off. Machines are now used to "strip the willow", once done by hand. For buff rod production, bundles of willow rods are placed in a tank of water and boiled for up to ten hours. The softened rods are then stripped while they are still warm. The rods are dried, either in sheds or in the open, before storage. Finally, the rods are tied up for sale into bundles called "bolts".

It has to be soaked again before it gets made into baskets.

Still haven't found any - perhaps the basket makers of the UK all grow their own

Cathryn



Joined: 16 Jul 2005
Posts: 19830
Location: Ceredigion
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 07 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I think the opposite but i am sorry my book is no use on that. What it does say (and probably why I like it) is "There are no hard and fast rules aboput weaving techniques..." It also advises against hybrids such as Bowles as they can be too brittle for weaving.

Penny Outskirts



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 23385
Location: Planet, not on the....
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 07 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

ruby wrote:
I think the opposite but i am sorry my book is no use on that. What it does say (and probably why I like it) is "There are no hard and fast rules aboput weaving techniques..." It also advises against hybrids such as Bowles as they can be too brittle for weaving.


Think the opposite to what Ruby? what Kew Gardens say? This is all mighty confuseling, I must say

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14821
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 07 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Nanny and Penny, you both might find something useful here Susie Vaughn's handmade basket book has lots of info about all the soaking in the bath and abandoning under hedges stuff, and hurdle making, I reckon is a simple as it looks! You put the uprights in, and weave the horizontals between them, bashing them down with a chisel to keep it tight. I think its like plastering or cake decorating. The principles are very simple, there's just a knack to it that you develop with practice, so you might as well just have a go and make your own mistakes (it'll still make good kindling when it falls apart!) I had a go at some small fences and boder edgings, that lasted a few years, and it was very relaxing pleasant stuff to do, outside in the sunshine.

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