The World of Willow on Inis Oírr
Our Cleas willow is mainly rusty coloured, visible in all its glory when its woven into items of many shapes and sizes including traditional ciseáin baskets.
The willow we use is organically grown in Inis Oírr, some can be seen in fields close to our workshop. It is cut when the leaves have fallen, and when the branches, or Sally Rods/Sallys as they are known locally, are still young and soft enough to bend. It is then they are taken to be made into a vast array of baskets and crosses. We also make to order.
By creating items of willow in our workshop in our Inis Oírr premises we are able to keep alive this traditional skill passed down to us through generations. We also enjoy the challenge of creating new and modern items of willow .
With its multitude of uses the traditional Inis Oírr willow creel was custom made to suit its carrier whether man, woman, child, horse or donkey. Thankfully the creel is no longer needed by man or beast to carry such heavy loads but has its niche as a log, pellet or turf box by the fireside in our modern homes, or as a basket on bicycles. We still custom make our creels, using organic Inis Oírr willow. Members of IBA www.irishbasketmakers.ie