Friday, February 11, 2011

I am entering the Philadelphia flower show and want to make my container out of vines .. i was wondering if you could advise me on willow or grapevine... should i boil these also?
Thank you, James

Neil Says:

No! Don't boil them. If you are picking grapevine this time of year, and using them fresh, they probably don't even need soaking. What you should consider is shrinkage, because the vines will lose the sap they contain. You could weave extra tight, to allow for drying, or let it dry and weave a little more in later.

It's best to dry willow before using it, and then hydrate it enough to make it pliable with hot wet towels or a short soaking. I never actually did this, I always wove fresh willow, let it dry, and weaved more in later. The willow may bloom out with its pussy willow type might be a nice accent. Again, willow shrinks when it dries, and can be the growth of the catkins can be halted by a quick oven dry, or in the attic. Coax the willow around your thumb, back and forth, before making tight bends with it.

Good luck and let me know how it goes!


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