Willow knot in bronze

For years I have been making outdoor objects and installations of willow and other natural material, and I know, that after two or three years, at the most, a willow object has been reduced to a poor palisade of broken and half-decayed sticks. Last year I came across the idea to ‘consolidate’ a wicker artwork. But why and how should I save a willow object from decaying?

Decay of a tree trunk at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Engeland, 2017.

As humans we have the urge to preserve or immortalize our deeds and works. For two decades I am enjoying building natural artworks in nature which gives me a great feeling of freedom just because one day they will be reclaimed, reabsorbed by Mother Nature. Decay is a natural fact, then, why should I prevent the decay of my willow trefoil knot? In the first place, the making of the willow trefoil knot took me to a next level of willow wickerwork; it confronted me with the properties and limits of the material. While working I experienced the balance between strength, tension and form. That energy is reflected in this knot. Secondly, the casting of a large willow object was an interesting technical challenge because the bronze caster had never done that before. The chance that the knot would be perfectly casted was very small but the caster was willing to take the risk. There are two spots where the bronze did not fill up the stucture. Did the experiment fail? No, at least not for me, those gaps are adding an extra dimension to the object. They symbolize the decay, that I initially wanted to prevent by consolidating the willow knot!

Willow Trefoil Knot in Bronze, casted in 2021.