As mentioned in a previous blog, my Jewel-Withy project is made up of five chapters and the first is willow. Withy pots are named after the willow tree branch known as a Withy.
A variety of willow commonly used by Withy pot makers, is called Salix Triandra or Black-Maul. It is very flexible, produces good rod lengths and is tough enough to withstand the sea. There are other varieties of willow also used which I plan to study also.
I purchased three little Black-Maul willow cuttings in the hope that they would survive in pots, as we haven't got a very large garden and I have heard horror stories about willow tree roots damaging houses! So far they seem to be thriving, so we are safe! Unless as stated in Wikipedia, “in English folklore, a willow tree is believed to be quite sinister, capable of uprooting itself....” !!
Photo taken by Anna of a Black Maul cutting.
Photo taken by Anna Pope of Black Maul trees outside her studio.
Black Maul tree leaves have beautiful serrated edges and also brightly coloured delicate catkins in the spring.
Photo taken by Anna Pope of a Black Maul willow catkin in the spring
Photo taken by Anna Pope of her pressed catkin studies
Photo taken by Anna Pope of dried Black Maul willow leaves
Photo taken by Anna Pope of layers of dried Black Maul leaves kindly donated by Withy pot maker David French
You may have noticed a few new willow inspired rings in my shop already :) I will be adding to this collection throughout the period of the project. I will also be sharing little sneak previews of show pieces which I will be launching at the exhibition next year! I plan for them all to derive from the willow tree and for each show piece to evolve as I research each chapter :)
Photo taken by Anna Pope of a sneak preview of show pieces I am working on
Thanks for reading my blog :)