Thursday, December 27, 2012

Happy New Year!

Willow Christmas tree by Marian Medlyn, photo from Poppy Hatinger
With the daylight hours starting to lengthen, now is a great time for making plans. Here are a couple of things you might want to consider.
Jo Campbell-Amsler and Lee Zieke Lee will host their second Willow Gathering in Decorah, Iowa June 27-July 2, 2013. The 2012 event was amazing, and this year's line-up of instructors is all you need to start feeling inspired: Allison Fitzgerald from Ireland, Margaret Matthewson from Oregon, and Joanna Schanz from the Amana Colonies in Iowa. The conference brochure is here. Don't wait to register!
There's also an opportunity to study with Jo Campbell-Amsler and Joanna Schanz in the Amana Colonies March 9-10, 2013. This is a new date for Willow Weekend, a long-running event where each instructor takes no more than five students and tailors the event to each student's needs and desires. Details are here
Thank you to Poppy Hatinger for the holiday photo at the top of this post. She writes: "I have had Marion help me several times with Willow in the Garden presentations and willow garden towers workshops but she didn't need a tower in her garden. I kept saying it could be a christmas tree. So after harvest this year she gave herself a big project and attached are the results. I had to laugh since she intended for something somewhat smaller  but the willow just seemed to grow!  To finish it she was up on a ladder."
Wishing you all a wonderful 2013 with thriving ideas and willow that grows the the way you need it!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Willow Squarework Video

I stumbled across this via someone who subscribed to my own YouTube channel. My college French is pretty rusty, so I forwarded through some of the weaving of the base (lots of good visuals again starting around 8:50). If your French is better, please please use the comments section below to share!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Wonderful Willow

If you haven't already discovered it, Wonderful Willow is an open group on Facebook hosted by Lucienne Kramer from the Netherlands. Here you will find links to posts from willow makers from all over the world. Whether your interests are traditional or contemporary, you're sure to find like minds and lots of inspiration. For example:
  • One link led me to Piletossen, a Danish-language blog. Read her post on soaking willow in cold water, hot water and steam here. With Google Translate you can paste text copied from the Danish blog and instantly get a translation. You may have to infer some vocabulary from context, but that's more fun than Sudoku.
  • Another led me to Joan B. Kaar's Willow Bark String Calf (in English).
  • Lucienne posted this link to an interview with Joe Hogan.
You do have to be a member of Facebook to see this group and send a request to join. If you've been resisting Facebook, this one is worth giving in and joining up.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Whatever Floats Your Boat

The willow coracle project we've been following had a successful launch party in July. 

Organizer Poppy Hatinger reports that 12 paddlers test-paddled the boats, and then they were off to the races -- three heats, semi-finals and a nail-biter of a finish.

Did intimate familiarity with the construction of these vessels provide an edge in the competition? Pshaw! The victor was Karen Tembreull's teenage daughter Abby, who competed with a cast on her broken wrist and a smile on her face.

By all reports, the event was a blast, the boats were a gas, and the builders are planning their next vessels.

You can read more about their project here and here.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Willow Gathering 2012 Info Is Out

Here's a link to the PDF brochure for the 2012 Willow Gathering in Decorah, Iowa. For more info please contact Jo Campbell-Amsler. Don't just mark your calendar for June 21-26: Workshop registration is first come, first served, so claim your spot!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Coracle Project Update

Here's an update on the Upper Michigan coracle-building project we first reported on last fall. Poppy Hatinger says their first version, made by sticking the stakes directly into the ground and woven with French randing, dried just enough under the snow over the winter that some zip ties had to be tightened. It should dry more now that (we hope) warmer weather is on the way.

The group worked on a second coracle over the winter. Instead of sticking stakes directly into soil, this one was built on a wooden jig.

The seat is enclosed in the weaving on this version.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spring Fever

With 16 inches of new snow here last week, my own thoughts of spring have been put on ice for a while. Not so for Poppy Hatinger, who lives even farther north than I do. Last week she sent in two pictures of recently completed garden projects woven from her wild willow harvest before it gets too dry.

This way, she says, at least "something will be blooming" in her garden.