A few weeks ago our old woven basket that was used for holding our peat briquettes,( and we had actually rescued from a skip!),fell apart and couldn’t take being mended for an umpteenth time! LJ (hubby) decided on the spur of the moment,¬†he would have a go at making another. We had some willow left over from our fedge-making last week and so, without further ado and absolutely no idea or previous experience of basket weaving, the task took place…..

I was pretty shocked to see that already the base was taking shape from a small idea he had.

And within a couple of hours already it was standing up.

Looking down into the base.

He was so engrossed in his work that even the rain couldn’t stop him and I had to clear the kitchen to enable continuation!

Look at the weft-work on that!

This wasn’t easy because the willow is supposed to be soaked for a couple of weeks prior to weaving to make it supple.

Because we have such interest in willow,( hence the house name and blog site!), it’s amazing the¬†information that you find out such as willow is the traditional material used in basket-making and is also known as ‘osier’. It seems to grow best in an area that has a high content of water, which suits our land just fine! Each year the osiers are cut as coppice shoots that grow up as permanent ‘stools’. They are then cut by hand usually during winter months. We also found out that there are three types of rod, white, buff and brown.White rods have their bark removed manually with a V shaped tool. Buff rods are boiled so that the tannin in the bark stains the rods a buff colour and then they are peeled. Brown rods have the bark left on as in the case of what we used.

Taa Daa!! Not bad as a first attempt eh?

December 2022

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