Working wood in the hills


making wood buttons

I traveled to the hills yesterday to visit family and do some work with wood.  Willow is a great source of wood as it is quick growing and managing through pollarding, pruning the upper branches to encourage new growth, increases it’s lifespan and encourages specialist wild life.  So I also collected some green wood from the family willow tree for a willow weaving project.  Once the branches were cut I trimmed the parts too old for weaving and stripped the leaves and then weaved them into circles.  It’s surprisingly hard work as the less flexible parts of the wood need a significant amount to pressure to bend them into shape.   So after finishing a couple I decided to finish the others later at home.

Having the larger parts of the branches left over gave me the idea to try and make some buttons from them.  This didn’t workout as the wood was too green and so was too full of sap to saw successfully.   Luckily wood that had previously been pollarded from the willow had been stored to allow it to season, that is dry out so it can be used for wood working.  The wood that had been stored for a couple of years worked really well and could be sawn into even round segments.  I kept the bark on because I think it adds to the look.  After being sawn the buttons are kept in a tub with olive oil to seal them, this also made the surface smooth enough that it didn’t need sanding.  I’m going to leave them to soak for a while before drilling the holes for the button threads.  It was really nice to catch up with my family and I’m thankful for all the help, entertaining conversation and great food that was on offer.

Pollarding Willow

Woven willow circle

Willow circle

Wood store

Sealing the wood buttons

cutting buttons

Wooden button drying in the sun

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Alasdair Stuart
    May 05, 2011 @ 06:58:43

    The shot of the wood in the rafters of the shed is beautiful:) Also, I’m really looking forward to seeing what you do with the wood circles:)

    Reply

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