turning and furnishings

Its light wood is enjoyed by wood turners who make the usual bowls, plates, lampstands and so forth, but the gem for the turner is to create ornate whistles.

Willow whistles are popular for meditation by water.

However, willow's narrow flexible branches are much more famous for its use in basketry for bowls, baskets, trays, seats and for making dreamcatcher frames too, also wreaths for Yule and other celebration times.

construction carpentry

In ancient times, willows were used to weave frames for houses and plastered with cob, which is usually a mix of clay, sand and straw though lime and hemp can be added too. It can also be just lime, hemp, or straw, and sand too. Hemp is much more insulating than straw.

other crafts

Some folks make boat frames with willow wicker too and cover them with animal skins, or these days with pitched canvas or hemp cloth. Some folks fill in the gaps with hemp straw and cover with pine or birch pitch to seal and make watertight. These boat are better known as "currachs" in Ireland and "coracles" in Wales.

A common craft, that is becoming more popular by the year, is growing live willow furniture and structures. The willow is planted according to the design of the item and as it grows is woven to form the furnishings, structures and art, which are all very appealing. People love to enter live willow archways.

Ancient harps had their soundboxes made from willow, wide trunks hollowed out to which the strung frame, often rowan or alder, was attached.

The Book Of Psalms that made it to the Bible were very much words for harp accompaniment. Though a lot is lots in multiple translations King James Bible quotes in Psalm 137:2 ... "we hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof" and I wonder if what was lost in translation is the harp maker's art of attaching the harp frame to the Willow.

Of course, not long after this the Psalm weaves into "by the rivers of Babylon etc.", thinking of the willow association with the flow and blessings of water.

to read about Willow as a fuel in the hearth, please click here