I have just finished a project that has been on the go for many months. Making replica tumbler covers for a 100 year picnic set.
The covers provide protection for the glasses whilst they are being transported. They are made from very fine white willow skeins. The skeins start as 7ft willow rods. These are split into 3 pieces using a cleave. Then each piece is passed by hand through 2 shaves. One gives you the correct thickness and the other the correct width.
It’s a time consuming process but one that can be meditative in its repetition. The skeins alone took many hours to prepare. Even though I lock the shaves in place with a clamp, I found I could only shave the willow for 2-3 hours at a time before the tension required to pull the willow through started to produce warnings pains and numbness in my hands.
Each cover took 5-6 hours to weave. There were three different types. The difference coming from either the size, the start or the finish or a combination of these. So it’s all taken some deciphering and a lot of patience.
Today they are winging their way back home to America and I really hope their owner will be pleased with the final pieces. 😊