Thursday, October 13, 2011

Willow birdhouse class - Part I

This week I took a class in Sebastopol to make a twined (woven) willow birdhouse. Another new technique to learn!

I had purchased this class at a silent auction to benefit Bouverie, a local environmental and wildlife non profit that I used to be on the board of.  The class was for three of us, so off I went with two French friends to Cheri's home.

Elisa concentrating hard

What a great day we all had! Cheri had been collecting willow and bark and leaves etc and had soaked them all the previous day in a big bathtub she has outside.


We began by selecting 8 long willow sticks and holding them in a cross.  Another willow stick was then twined around these to make the base of the birdhouse.  The stick was twisted and woven and when it got short, we had to figure out how to add another.

It was awkward at first - holding everything and getting the twist correct, but then you get into a rhythm and it goes fine for a while, until you stop and forget where you are! 

The next challenge was shaping from the base up to the sides. There is no real technique for this - you just have to think about it and gradually bend the willows upwards.

Then there needs to be a little door for the birdies to come in and out of, so that meant changing direction of the weaving.

We had a wonderful lunch half way through our class - which was much needed, as we were all concentrating hard!

The rain just poured down all day, so it was lovely to be busy inside.  I'll show you the finished houses tomorrow......

1 comment:

Patty Biermans said...

OOOO, you make me very curious!! hugzz...peebee