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July/Aug -Working in WOOD

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Wood has carved deep roots through generations of my Swedish family. I have always been a 'stick' person...collecting special ones and finding ways to integrate them into my daily life. An interesting branch connects me to the delight and wonder I felt as an explorer in my childhood...grounding me like nothing else does. 

WOOD working is also an opportunity to use some of the same problem-solving skills as we use in sewing...I've been pruning alot this summer and just made my first chair and table! There are many videos on YouTube about making willow furniture. Here is the LINK to the one I found helpful. I watched it afew times before I started. Here are some of the construction basics about my table & chair projects.

I mostly used willow for the curved pieces and Crabapple for the frame. Other woods can be used too...I am eyeing a maple  to prune for my next chair project! The basic tools for working with twigs and branches are a good hand saw, pruning clippers, hammer, sanding block, drill, screw driver, screws, ring-neck nails and panel tacks. 

    The frame is made first (pre-drilled and screwed together for added strength). Then the curved pieces are bent in place and nailed. The 2 side pieces are made back-to back (as above) then the cross pieces added. 

Once the frame is complete, The longer pieces that will curve to make the arms, seat and back need to be pre-bent. Since they are green and pliable, it is easier than you might think to stretch the fibers in the branch...I like stepping on it along the curve and pulling up as in the photo. 

The chair really starts to take on more character as you work the sides and back! I loved bending and weaving the green willow into the shapes I wanted and tacking all the layers together.  Once the sides and back are in place, 7' lengths are needed to curve from the bottom of one side, across the top and down to tuck in on the other side. The finished chair is on the right.


The table project started with a process I really enjoy: I collaged a board for the top with brown paper (grocery) bags. I love the look! tear and wrinkle some bags and soak in water. Bruch white glue and water onto the board, then lay and brush pieces of the soaked paper onto the glue. Continue to add more paper pieces (in a pattern or randomly), brushing generously with glue and water. You can do nice corners too...and cover onto the back and I did with this top piece. As it dries, it shrinks tight and gives a great fit. If there are any bubbles, slit with a razor and add more glue and water and let it dry again.  Once dry, lightly sand any rough spots or corners. Next, I rubbed my top with a bit of Lumiere Metallic Paint in green and pewter mixed with water. Once that dried, I waxed the top with carnuba car wax for a lovely, waterproof surface. Trust me, you'll start looking for other things to cover and hoarding bags...this technique is addicting!!! 

I made a lightweight frame, cutting all the legs first and making 2 sides flat then attaching then with cross pieces. Adding more interesting shaped pieces for cross- bracing adds lots of character to these natural twig pieces! 


  • Emiko Tom: September 13, 2020

    When we were in Ashland a few years ago, I looked up your studio. Is that the location that you lost? That is right in town! I am so sorry to hear. But hoping that you are well and safe.

  • Carrie McDade: September 13, 2020

    I have just learned from Marcy Tilton that you lost everything in the fire. I am so saddened and sick about it. If your shop was remote and still taking orders, I’d like to order some of your patterns and stencils to support your business. I am so very sorry 😩

  • Martha: August 04, 2020

    You are so inspiring to me, too. Thanks!

  • Gayle Ortiz: August 02, 2020

    You can do ANYTHING and with great style and beauty! Congrats, Diane, on always stretching yourself and finally getting to something you’ve wanted to do for so long!

  • trish sande: August 02, 2020

    Oh WOW, I am impressed. The chair and table are beautiful, just so beautiful. I am amazed at your prowess. I have lots of pieces of small twigs from the ocean there and just use them in many ways. Must think about something else to do with them. Trish Sande

  • Joanna Price: August 01, 2020

    Diane, I also love sticks and rocks, and have long admired twig furniture. I think it’s great that you’re including some of your other artistic and expressive endeavors in this space, in addition to your sewing and textile creations. It’s a good way to live, being creative every day, and is an uplifting way to heal our hearts. Thank you!

  • Mary Helen: August 01, 2020

    I am amazed at the depth and breadth of your creativity. Can you tell us about the table you used as a workbench? The colors on the top are intriguing.

  • Nancy Hailey: August 01, 2020

    I have watched your work for many years always so fascinating.
    I do have an occasional pattern and try to make the patterns.

  • Deb Warren: July 31, 2020

    I have recently joined the newsletter, and am amazed at the wonderful creativity your designs initiate for me.
    I am also interested in textiles, and I found that my mother used Ericson patterns when she sewed many years ago. A couple of years ago I found in some of her sewing stash some patterns that say Ericson on them. One pattern envelope in particular was really interesting for me, and for several years I have been looking for that pattern. It is for a top she wore and one looks a lot like your style. It was called “301 First Class Shirt.” She has the envelope for the pattern, but I have no idea what she did with the pattern itself. Is there any way I could possibly get a copy of the pattern in a PDF?

  • Linda: July 31, 2020

    I suppose our heritage matters to a degree. It may mostly be nostalgia from memories of our youth.

    We all want to identify with something but that doesn’t make one better than the other.
    Recognizing the talent from one heritage is wonderful.

    Integrating it and sharing it, as Diane does so willingly and helpfully, is what matters most.

    And, well, her talent and creative spark – that’s what she’s really about, don’t you think? (I do, anyway.)

    I appreciate that.
    That chair is “off-the-charts” innovative, creative, and courageous to tackle!

    I so appreciate your ‘creative spark’, Ms. Diane.
    Keep it going!!
    - Linda

  • Judy Wolinski: July 31, 2020

    I’m very impressed with the table and chair! Especially since they are both “firsts”. And fun to see all of us Swedes joining in the conversation, LOL, maiden name Anderson!

  • Inger Seitz: July 31, 2020

    wow, your chair is so well done for being your first one! I am so impressed. Just discovered you really are a Swede. I am a Swedish speaking Finn. No wonder I always have felt so connected to your weaving. Wish I could meet you in person one day. Thanks for sharing your weaving talent!

  • Collins: July 31, 2020

    Love your work. Isn’t it fun trying new things? Especially when the results are this fantastic.

  • Andrea Steell: July 31, 2020

    I look forward to your blog, so inspiring. I lo
    I’ve in Mexico now, however used to have furniture just like your beautiful creations.
    Thanks for bringing your giftsbto us all

  • Maureen K Brubaker: July 31, 2020

    Absolutely beautiful work. Thanks for sharing. You are an inspiration. I anxiously await seeing your finished shirt from your MT fabric (as shown in her blog). I bought the same linen fabric some time ago.

  • Ruth Dohack: July 31, 2020

    I admire your reaching out in many directions with your artistry. Your furniture is beautiful. I am in sync with your Scandinavian heritage – I was a Johnson before marriage.
    So nice to receive your e-mail again.

  • Ida Mae Couch: July 31, 2020

    So impressive! Your creative courage amazes me.

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