Weaving willow sculptures
The cold winter months won’t stop us from weaving willow sculptures. We just wrap up in extra warm clothing and drink hot tea as most of our work is done outside or in spaces with minimal heating. This year Sylvan Skills had to face additional challenges when storms Arwen and Malik damaged the roof of our workshop.
One of the sculptures Sylvan Skills was working on over the last weeks is a Torus. With a diameter of two metres Torus was installed in a large private garden overlooking a lake. As the clients already own several large sculptures the Torus had to fit in aesthetically whilst creating its own atmosphere, enhancing the surrounding environment. The owners of the garden got the inspiration for the sculpture from a magazine and suggested the basic shape of the frame to Sylvan Skills. Ruth Thompson then set to work sketching various options for the pattern of the surface rods and willow weaving. Exchanging sketches helped the clients to decide on a simple shape which draws the eye.
Sturdy metal frame…
Putting the idea into practice involved drawing a detailed plan of a sturdy metal frame to be covered in willow. The ‘simple’ Torus shape consists of over 70 accurately curved pieces of metal. To ensure a perfect fit Sylvan Skills collaborated with Patterson Ryan Wireworkers. The harmoniously rounded structure carefully came to life (with help in the form of welding tuition from Derek Anderson): After welding together the ground structure the curved metal rods were added to the frame. Once the sculpture was mounted coloured willow and dogwood were woven onto the metal frame.
After the detailed planning and careful construction phase it was very rewarding to see the Torus take its shape, andbe installed in its beautiful new home.