A WILLOW trefoil Knot

Every spring I make objects from fresh willow. Willow provides flexible twigs which can be used for braiding and knotting. Knots are useful and decorative elements in wickerwork, but what if the knot itself becomes the object?

Last winter I came across the image of Escher’s woodcut ‘Knots’ (1965) [1] and I wondered if it would be possible to make this looped knot of willow. To be able to braid the knot, it must be translated into a smooth tubular shape. That would certainly be a challenge because normally the shapes of my objects are somewhat unpredictable. Wildly grown willow has its own will, and to make sure it looks like a tubed knot it is important to preserve the right shape.

One only knows the limitations of material when pushing the boundaries. I had to start again when the tube collapsed midway on a weak spot. For the next attempt I ensured that the diameter of the tube remained as constant as possible. And I had to make the bend from the first to the second loop more smooth. It is quite difficult not to lose orientation in space while braiding and controlling these aspects at the same time.