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How To Make your own Willow Chair

Make your own willow chair - instructional manual

An online manual for beginners. Colored photographs are included. Creating your own willow furniture pieces of patio furniture is a rewarding experience. We have in the past taught classes in building willow furniture. Many of our former students continue to make their own willow pieces and go on to teach others.

History of willow

Stick furniture has been around since man has wanted to sit down. China paintings from 1000 years ago show rustic stick chairs being used as furniture. There are many types of pieces, including stick, log, and bentwood. The bentwood chair can be traced back primarily to Europe. Settlers brought this design with them when they immigrated to North America.

This type of rustic furniture was very popular in the late 1800's and up to the early 1930's. Willow furniture has made a very strong comeback in the past 15 year period. Hand-crafted rustic willow furniture adds beauty to your landscaping, home, garden, or cottage.

There are approximately 170 different kinds of willow in this continent and many species have become hybrid over the years.

Bent willow furniture and rustic willow furniture pieces can also be crafted from hardwood trees. If you live in an area that has an abundance of this type of tree, do not hesitate to use hardwood material for your framing and support pieces for wood furniture.

Traditionally for the office people use antique furniture and antique effect furniture. Office furniture has changed from modern back to old and I am sure it is only a matter of time before we see willow furniture used in an increasingly diverse application.

Customized Teaching - Willow Furniture

Saskatchewan maker Al Mierau also taught rustic willow furniture workshops as well as online photography classes. For groups of two to three these were done right at his Saskatoon residence. For larger groups, these were generally done on site. Most of the workshops were generally planned by someone in the community where the workshops are to be held. If you have a local hotel or similar community building that can be used, this is a great way to go. This becomes important if it happens to rain that day, or it is too hot to work outside. If you have sturdy work tables in this building these also come in handy. Please note--do not build this type of chair on a good community hall table used for eating. The surfaces will be marred.

Workshops are slated for a two day run. If need be, the framing stock can be supplied. The benders must be available and obtained at your location. A. Mierau will supply all the nails. Each student should have a regular sized hammer and a mini hammer. Loppers are also handy for cutting material. (see our equipment list of tools recommended)

A minimum of eight students to a maximum of 12 students, paid in advance to the local community chair person is required. Student fees are $200.00 per person. This includes a copy of our electronic book. At the end of day two, student will have completed their chairs and can take these home. Students will also have learned enough technique to build chairs on their own.

For a community to be able to put on a workshop you should allow yourself a lead time of between one to three months--this will of course depend how fast you can sign up students. A fixed date has to be established.

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