Phoenix From Rought Weeping Willow Branchs




About: I'm a french craftmanship enthousiast, Former graphic designer, i've graduated in a woodworking school in Canada in 2015. Since my first projects years ago, i've been using recycled materials and objects t...

I've made this tiny bird on a weekend during my summer hollidays in south of France, when the sun was way too hot for me! It took me about 2 days to finish it. It's simple assembly, no glue is requiered, just toothpicks and that will do the trick.

The only tools you need are a sharp knife and toothpicks, a needle or something to drill holes for them.

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Step 1: The Head

I started by the head,  from a curved branch, to have a natural neck. Cut the beack as long as you want, shape the head and the neck. You can drill 2 tiny holes for the eyes, then use a really tiny branch, force it in the hole and cut it, you will have the center white, and around will be brown. I added a "feather" on the top of the head. There was an old branche hole so i used it to fix the feather. Most of the time with weeping willows, you will find the exact same hole in the curve of a branch, take a look ;)

Once your head is done, you can use your knife to cut the wood slightly, to make somekind of feathering.

Then come the body.

Step 2: The Body

For the body, you must consider the size of your head+neck first. At the begining, i made a pretty long neck, but i shortened it while i was assambling parts. Take a pretty wide branche, make some rought marks to see what you will have to remove before starting to sculpt more carefully. You can follow the pictures if you don't know how to begin. I added 3 feathers for the tail, 3 holes in the "body tail start" to mount it.

The biggest part await you here, we will build wings! That's not as complicated as it look, once you have your 2 same curved branchs for the base of the wings, it's ok.

Step 3: The Wings

So here we go.

First, you need 2 curved branchs, with the main angle as similar as possible, execpt if you want to ad some motion, you can do as you want :). Remove the bark, make them smooth, and put aside.
Take several pieces of wood to prepare your feathers. I will describe the process for one, then you just have to proceed the same way for the others. It's important to begin with the top feather so you can sculpt and adjust your others as you proceed.
Start by shaping one side of your stick, as plan and regular as possible.
Then make the same thing on the opposite side, to make a flat piece of wood, making sure you keep as symetric as possible to keep the core of the branch in the flat piece of wood. It's softer so it will help you drilling for the toothpicks !
Now take your curved branch, and place it above your flat piece of wood, as shown in the picture.
Place marks where you want to drill your parts and proceed this way for both wings. I could explain with a longer and boring text but i guess pictures will speak for themself. Anyway if you have questions feel free to ask !!

Enjoy !

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    12 Discussions

    Brokk Hrafnsson

    1 year ago

    Wow, mind blown. Sadly, if I made one, it'd probably look like a chicken, but the cool thing with this project is that you can lit it on fire and make a real phoenix (don't do that unless you don't have a choice, though, it's truly remarkable)


    6 years ago

    Looks time consuming