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Willow Star

Extract from Willow • By Jenny Crisp • Published by Jacqui Small


$ $ $ $ $
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THE STAR IS A SIMPLE PROJECT to start with, as the template is made from dry willow sticks and so can be used straight away. The weaving introduces you to the principles of how to build a pattern into a space that starts off small and opens out into a larger space. In doing this you will also become aware of the importance of using the different lengths and thicknesses of willow that you will find in one bundle.

A willow star makes a lovely, simple gift, particularly at Christmas. Hung on a wall or in a window, a star symbolizes that classic festive imagery, the star of Bethlehem, and so is a traditional welcoming sign for visitors. Willow stars also lend themselves to being a flat centrepiece on a table, with a candle holder in the middle, or dressed with seasonal vegetation, such as ivy or mistletoe.

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© 2022 Jenny Crisp / Jacqui Small · Reproduced with permission. · Willow by Jenny Crisp, photographs by Sarah Weal, published by Jacqui Small at £20
  • How to sculpt a wood model. Willow Star - Step 1
    Step 1

    Cut the 5 sticks to 30cm (1ft) long, making sure they are all exactly the same length. Take 4 sticks, separate them into pairs and tape the pairs together at one end. Weave these 2 pairs together, under and over, making 3 of the 5 points of the star. When in place the frame will become locked together.

  • How to sculpt a wood model. Willow Star - Step 2
    Step 2

    To make the remaining points of the star, add your fifth
    stick, weaving under and over the frame. Before you tape the remaining 3 points together make sure they sit in an opposite position to the way they have crossed in the centre. This makes your star frame very secure. If you find your fifth stick kinks when you insert it, it may mean that the sticks chosen for this size frame are too thick. If so, try choosing a thinner set. Take into account where the back and the belly lie on each stick – you may have to roll some of the rods to sit more comfortably within the star frame. You are now ready to weave.

  • How to sculpt a wood model. Willow Star - Step 3
    Step 3

    Choose the shortest and finest rod to start your weave. Weave 1 rod into each of the 5 points. This helps to keep an even tension. If you were to weave a whole point of the star before the others, you would find it hard to achieve a balanced shape.

  • How to sculpt a wood model. Willow Star - Step 4
    Step 4

    The number of rods used to fill the space depends on how large your star is. Increase the length and thickness of the rod you weave with as the gap gets wider. Continue until the 5 points are filled. Use secateurs to trim all the ends close to the frame. You could you also fill the centre of the star if you wanted.

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