Bim Willow -- Artist, Furniture Maker, Gardener, Author, Teacher . . .
By the age of seven, Bim's desire was to make people laugh and to create beautiful things. Quickly he became bored with conventional toys and could be found outside playing with sticks and stones.
At the age of 28, he decided to try and rediscover that simple, creative, and innocent past. Bim "Bimbo" was the result of that search. Through the art of mime and clowning, this playful character was released. His love for performing left him broke, so he supplemented his income by making willow furniture. Due to supply and demand, he can no longer perform professionally (although he has been known to break out in comic attacks from time to time).
Bent Willow Furniture (Wicker), an early American craft, was a familiar sight on the front porches of America until the late 1930's, when modern factory-built furniture took over. Much of the furniture was made and sold by Gypsy travelers, giving it the nickname, "Gypsy Twig Furniture."
Bim Willow started making Gypsy Willow Furniture in 1972 as a hobby. Before long, it was a full time occupation and now Bim is recognized around the country as one of the masters of the art. In 1998, he published his first 'how to' book, Making Gypsy Willow Furniture, and began teaching classes in this historical American craft. He's now authored 5 books.
Books written by Bim Willow
In January of 2008, Bim contracted with Schiffer Publishing for 5 NEW books, which are being added below as they are released. Many of Bim's customers are now including 'book signings' along with his classes.
Making Gypsy Willow Furniture. Published in 1998, this book is STILL selling strong. Complete step-by-step instructions with captioned pictures showing every step of completing an historical bent willow chair, an end table, or a whimsical tripod base for a hubcap birdbath.
Making Rustic Twig Furniture (February 2009 release) is the sequel to Bim's first 'project book'. As in the first edition, the projects are easily built by following the captioned pictures. Instructions are straightforward and meant for students who prefer the least amount of words. Directions for a baker's rack (or potting bench), a garden bench, and a free form 'sassy' chair are included.
Making Willow Furniture, Three Women Share Their Art. Each of three leading rustic furniture makers, Veronica Chenier or Ontario, Cassilda Brown of Alabama, and Jo Kilmer of North Carolina, share their work with step-by-step instructions, documented by dozens of captioned pictures. Learn to build a gothic backed chair, a ladder back chair using mortise and tenon construction, or a bark lampshade.
Naturally Furnished; Rustic Designs by Women Artisans. A step-by-step guide for creating home furnishings from resources found in nature. The beautiful “green” results are, at the same time, beautiful, functional, and sustainable. Taking the reader through the projects are an international trio of talented women, working artisans who share their enthusiasm and skill for rustic furniture. Anita Willis of Arizona shows how to build a bow-back arm chair. Mary Jane Sussko of Ontario, Canada, makes a a low chair with a side table. Stella Larkin of Michigan takes driftwood harvested from the shores of streams and lakes to make a beautiful round mirror frame. Every step is carefully described and accompanied by a clear, informative, color photograph. This book will inform, inspire, and delight.
Created from Nature. Bim features three women who share their special designs of rustic woodworking. Using the materials that nature provides, they create beautiful furniture and accessories for home and garden. New Yorker Jane Voorhees creates a picture frame using birch bark and twigs. Skye Gregson, who lives among the Adirondack Mountains, makes a diminutive three-legged table, with cherry burl top and apple legs. From a log, sculptor Marcia Perry, of Michigan, carves a cave-like child's chair with a delightful squirrel gracing the top. All three bring considerable talent and creativity to their work, which they freely share with readers. Each project is illustrated with step-by-step color photos, and detailed descriptions of the techniques employed, so readers have a clear guide to creating the furniture.
As the book website is currently being designed, you may place your wholesale order for the books below by calling or emailing me.
Way of the Willow. In November of 2014, the long awaited poetry book was published by BimaLin Publishing.
I Can't and I Can. A children's book about overcoming ridicule and gaining confidence.
The Grudge. A childen's book about holding on to a grudge.