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twig handles

updated sun 3 feb 02

 

Lesley Alexander on wed 30 jan 02


Can any Clayarters offer advice on using fruit tree (plum) trimmings as
handles? Although fresh, they are not ready to bend 180. I know you
have to soak them in water, probably warm water would be best, but would
there be an advantage to adding anything else? Lesley with a garbage can
lined with semi-rounded plum twigs.

claybair on thu 31 jan 02


Lesley,

Instead of bending twigs/trimming I often use wire.
It offers a unique look and support to the wood.
Look in your hardware store for a variety of sizes and types.

Gayle Bair
Bainbridge Island, WA
http://claybair.com

Lesley wrote>>

Can any Clayarters offer advice on using fruit tree (plum) trimmings as
handles? Although fresh, they are not ready to bend 180. I know you
have to soak them in water, probably warm water would be best, but would
there be an advantage to adding anything else? Lesley with a garbage can
lined with semi-rounded plum twigs.

John and Dorothy Weber on thu 31 jan 02


Leslie

I saw a special on public TV a while back that showed a 3rd generation
furniture maker from the mountains of North Carolina and how he and his son
made furniture with "reed"or wood of some sort. It's been a while since the
show so I am scarce on the details. But to bend the wood he steamed them for
may be 6 to 7 hours then pulled from their steamer, bent and secured with a
vise grip until set.

I have used grape vine of up to 1/2 diameter by boiling water and letting it
soak for several hours. It does not always work. But we have had some good
success.
Gayle Blair had a good suggestion to use wire, it does offer a unique look.

Dorothy Weber
Manakin-Sabot, Va.

JoDo96@mediaone.net

Working Potter on thu 31 jan 02


This is the time of year many areas in the country that the orchards are
pruned, so just which tree twigs are candidates for handles for pots?
Anyone know how to proscess those funky bamboo roots for handles?what is the
best way to secure the ends so they don't suddenly giveway during a pour
with a pot of hot tea? I think raffia was used on one that disintegrated in
that manner once of another's work I'd bought.
Misty

LOGAN OPLINGER on fri 1 feb 02


Hi Lesley,

The following sites have a fair amount of information on wood bending, which may be adaptable to bending twig handles for teapots. One has info. on using a microwave to heat the wood.

http://www.megspace.com/lifestyles/njmarine/Steam.html

http://www.florilegium.org/files/CRAFTS/wood-bending-msg.html

http://home.fuse.net/Windwood/bending.html

http://www.ilovewood.com/alburnam5.htm

When i was building kites that required curved spars, I would bend bamboo branches (1/4 - 1/2 in. diam.) directly over the flame on the small burner of my gas stove to make spars with 4 - 6 in. radius curves. A quick hand and feel for the softening of the bamboo were necessary. Some practice bends and avoiding holding the branches too close to the flame were necessary.

Logan Oplinger
--

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Tom Howard on sat 2 feb 02


Dear Lesley,
Of course keep the bark if you like it, it just might make a =
difference to the soaking time, being rather water repellent.
Are you sure a 1/4 inch twig can hold the weight of a full teapot? =
Maybe bind several together? The Chinese, and others, sometimes use =
unpeeled pussy willow, also known as crack willow, guess why, but more =
for decorative than functional pieces.
It might be helpful to check out your library and also a basket =
shop to see how handles are attached - always a weak point actually.
Some serious basket makers will select parts of trees/bushes etc. =
and bind them in a loose circle in spring, tightening them as the =
seasons progress, so the wood actually grows into the shape it is =
supposed to be.
Wood varies enormously in springiness, but it is fun checking out =
trees and you learn a lot. I'm sure your teapots are going to look =
lovely. You have got me thinking about wood again, I think I am going =
to change some of my owl wall plaques so that I can insert a twig under =
their talons, well maybe!
Frances Howard.