|The Age of Light is upon Us|
Folk art and hand-crafted items were high-quality then, and in many cases, over time, became incredibly valuable treasures and keepsakes. The fact is, you can make your own --and pass them to YOUR grandchildren too!
In the world of hand crafting, it is always tremendously exciting to find materials that are different, something natural and usable that is a just a bit out of the ordinary. It is more exciting to find those fascinating materials close at hand and even better if they are free for the taking. Always make sure you ask permission to remove specimens from private property.
Handmade wooden crafts can be turned into unique treasures with exotic materials, but how many of us have Mahogany, Tigerwood, Purple Heartwood, a piece of bird's-eye Maple, or even a nicely-dried burl from a Jackpine tree?
Perhaps one of the fanciest materials available in northern climates is as close at hand as the nearest river-bottom or the edge of an old farm field.
Willow. Specifically, Diamond willow. Here's a photo of a diamond willow clump still standing out in the back 40 on my walking trail. Looks pretty drab, doesn't it?
What is interesting and strange though, is the erratic, unusual pattern that develops in the wood of the individual trunks of diamond willow trees as they mature.
Here's a picture of an older, more mature trunk with a highly advanced pattern.
These select pieces of diamond willow are unique diamonds in the rough. No two pieces are exactly the same.
|Older Diamond Willow with Unique, Characteristics|
Notice that the specific patterns in the diamond willow advance and develop substantially with age.
Is that surprising, since everything changes as it ages?
What is so special about Diamond willow? Every piece is absolutely unique and beautiful.
|Diamond Willow being Peeled|
Check out this new piece . It is in the process being very carefully peeled and cleaned off by careful scraping and sanding. Much care is taken not to remove the patterned darker wood --which contrasts nicely with the light, cream-coloured wood. As these diamonds -in-the-rough are cleaned, their natural beauty emerges.
Diamond willow can be used for any craft purpose, decorative applications , handles, or other objects. Younger saplings and pieces are strong and can be used for walking sticks, canes or similar purposes.
Check out the beautiful natural shapes shown in the wood of this walking stick and cane. They are not carved.
They are both almost ready to be varnished with Varathane or spar varnish. Rubber 'tips' will be added to prevent damage to the contact surface. The cane handle split is natural growth.
|Diamond Willow Cane and Walking Stick (c) rakukkee2012|
There you go, crafts-people! Isn't diamond willow beautiful? While we're at it, here's a picture of an old lamp made with diamond willow many years ago, but now sporting a modern, compact fluorescent light bulb.
The natural holes in this natural piece of diamond willow lamp go all the way through the body. This piece is unusual in that in the top cavity, there exists another small, wavy, almost independent trunk growing inside of the main trunk body.
At Incoming Bytes I enjoy natural beauty and encourage everyone to use it judiciously and carefully in handmade projects. Wait 'til my gardening zeitgeist -crafting Princess Glory Lennon sees this !
More natural beauty is on the way. Is it spring yet?
Is that Incoming I hear?