In the early days of the huge lodges built for escaping from city life in the late 1800’s, twig crafts were built by itinerant artisans who gathered wild things and crafted them into unique and treasured (and these days, valuable) furnishings.
Using natural (and free) materials in unusual ways was essential - these traveling artists worked for a meal, or a place to stay for a few days before moving on, carrying little more than a bedroll and a folding knife.
Twig furniture such as twig chairs and rustic benches, highly decorated armoires and tables, as well as light fixtures and lamps decorated the guest accommodations of western hunting cabins.
At the beginning of the 20th century in the early 1900's, it was a long lived fad to have your picture taken with a twig chair or other twig craft as a backdrop, and many wedding pictures and other family portraits from the time show this trend.
In the intervening decades, twig crafts became passé, and faded from popular fashion.
Today, the interest in producing art from nature’s bounty is growing in leaps and bounds.
There are farms which grow willows, or Salix twigs and other shrubs that thrive on coppicing for use in baskets and fencing.
Artisans are everywhere, even in and around major centers and cities.
Craft fairs and farmers markets usually have a few people making unique and different twig crafts.
Native aboriginal people have re-learned some of the old ways, and produce incredible native art - this link opens in a new window - enjoy!
Some of the twig crafts you can make yourself with only a few simple twig craft techniques are twig obelisks, twig balls and twig tuteurs as well as many other simple and useful crafts such as willow baskets.
Fruit wood twigs can be made into fruit wood tool handles and hair sticks, Amelanchier twigs into spectacular and unique twig walking sticks - keep your eyes open for twigs to use in your next twig craft.
Want some more inspiration? Check out the video;
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