Wow, what a moment.
Walking away from this creation was a proud moment for me and Tim. A moment where you think, "we really made that!" *Pats back*.
We were asked to weave a willow pod that would be used as a story den in the corner of a Cambridge garden under an apple tree. BLISS! Well, we were excited to give it a go and see what we could come up with.
We started with a 6ft wide circular base with saw and sanded timber, so little knees are safe from scratches. We bored out holes and inserted our uprights (thinner than normal!). We then started weaving, using a slightly different technique, and making sure we used 'wrap rounds' on the ends. A wrap round is when you hold willow rod very tightly and twist it until the fibres break and create a rope effect; a very strong way of fixing the willow in place without using screws. Think of it as sort of natural rope.
As we wove our way up we brought the uprights gently in, bending each one individually. This would create the pod shape, or egg if you like. This part of the job was very satisfying because we started to see what the structure would look like as it started to take shape.
We then come to the part of adding in doors and windows. This basically involved LOTS of wrap rounds, patience, and blisters!
Once the windows and doors were in, the next job was to bring the sides in and make the shape perfect. We didn't want the pod to have a pointy top, we wanted the curves of the walls to follow up to the top, like an egg.
The finishing touch was to crown the structure in thatch. We were over the moon with how this den turned out - and so were the two very lucky (and excited!) little girls who kept us company throughout the process. We visited the den a couple of days later to find it decorated with bunting, a sheep skin rug and fairy lights - complete with two little girls cuddled up reading a book.