Willow is a versatile material that has been used throughout history as a locally-sourced, renewable resource. Along with materials such as hazel and straw, it has been used for building, for making baskets and containers, for medicinal purposes, for decorations and as part of traditional cultural and spiritual festivals. Working with a minimum of tools, it is possible to take these natural materials and create objects that are both beautiful and functional.
In recent times, there has been an increasing interest in willow for its ecological and conservation benefits. Grown as biomass, it provides a cheap source of renewable energy, as well as benefiting insects and other wildlife. Living willow structures provide interesting landscaping features and playhouses for children.
Green willow - freshly cut willow that will root again if pushed into the earth. Often used in sculpture. Can be any colour!! Shrinks as it dries.
Brown willow - willow with its bark on that has been dried (so is ‘dead’). Re-soaked before use to make it pliable. Needs to be soaked for roughly a day a foot.
Buff willow - produced by boiling willow for a few hours and then removing its bark and letting it dry. Also needs to be soaked before using but takes less time to soak.