Artist Uses Willow Woven Rods to Create Life-Size Carvings in the Woods

Anna & the Willow, a British sculptor has given this time-honored method a modern touch. She makes amazing nature-inspired artworks out of willow rods grown in England. The ancient skill of basket weaving is said to be one of the most widely practiced crafts in the history of mankind. Weaving malleable, natural products together to serve a variety of functional shapes and containers is one of the processes.

Anna began working with willow ten years ago when she enrolled in a weekend sculpting class. “Working with a natural material opened up a whole new world for me, and I went on to study all the other basketry techniques,” she adds. “I like to use traditional basketry abilities while adding my own flair to the process.” The gifted artist creates a wide range of willow baskets and little presents, but her remarkable sculptural work elevates the conventional method to new heights. Before being generated from handmade steel frames, each huge outdoor work is initially conceived using hand-drawn designs. Then Anna wraps them in layers of intertwined willow rods, exposing their magnificent shapes.

The Huntress of Skipton Castle Woods, a 9-foot figurative sculpture, portrays a lady firing a bow and arrow. Set in a wooded setting the stunning work appears to have sprung from the forest floor and may spring to life at any moment to launch her arrow. Anna has sculpted life-size animals, such as a stag and a horse that appear to be surveying their surroundings, frozen in time, in other pieces.

On Instagram, you can view more of Anna's work. If you're motivated to make your own willow sculptures, you may attend one of the artist's workshops in North Yorkshire, England.

Anna & the Willow, a British sculptor, produces stunning outdoor artworks out of English-grown willow rods.

Before being created from handmade steel frames, each major work is initially conceived with hand-drawn designs.

Then Anna wraps them in sheets of intertwined willow rods, exposing their amazing shapes.

It appears to have sprouted from the forest floor when placed in the natural environment.

Anna & the Willow: Website | Facebook | Instagram

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