52 Week Photo Challenge, Drew Charlton, Tension, willow fencing, willow hurdles, willow weaving, www.norfolkbaskets.co.uk
This week the photo challenge set by Sandra at https://daffodilwild.wordpress.com/photo-challenge is ‘Tension‘
Craftsman Drew Charlton is halfway through the creation of a willow fence for me. Drew harvests his willow from Norfolk and uses it to create, amongst other things, beautiful fences.
The process is to first set two timber round posts into concrete at either end of the fence to be created. Between these two posts, steel posts one meter apart are hammered into the ground then between the steel a further four willow posts are hammered in.
Once the posts are all in place the weaving can begin.
The whips of willow are then woven in and out between the posts, and with a rubber mallet firmly tapped down. The tension of the weave around the posts is I guess what gives the fence its strength.
The process of creating the fence is knee numbing and back breaking, but to my eye the beauty of fence is undeniable. I am delighted with the results so far and my deliberating about whether to chose a willow fence as opposed to anything else, the stress and tension that caused has evaporated.
It truly is a thing of beauty. I’m glad you withstood the tension!
Oh this is going to be wonderful, Dorris – and Drew is clearly a real craftsmen. Is it a labour of love for him, or does he find it all tedious when he has a long run of it to do? How long does it take for a ‘panel’ – approximately, as it is clear that it is not created a panel at a time? AND please reassure us that the mediaeval looking ‘thing’ hanging from the tree is not an instrument of torture but something to do with bending or stretching the willow… 😉 Oh, and I am sorry for the tension YOU experienced during your deliberations – that’s always the hardest part
Well Cathy, Drew finished the fence today. It has taken him about seven days to complete about 32m at between 5 and 6 ft. I should think he is aching now. It is very hard going on the the hands and knees. He has seen all weathers the last few days and I have to say his work rate did not diminish. It is a labour of love and I know he is proud of what he creates. He weaves it as a continuous run from the ground up rather than in sections or panels. It is a real craft starting with him harvesting his own willow to the finished product.
I think the hanging item you are suspicious about is a rubber tyre horse swing.lol.
It must have been wonderful observing him at work and seeing his progress – would you feel you could tackle anything like this now?