The willow coffins are like boats, vessels of story and resilience, protection and beauty. Weaving is an ancient work of the hands, and the weaving of willow coffins a cultural tradition that was left on the shores of some of my more recent ancestors.
How do these vessels want to be woven into these times? How can these woven coffins be vessels of healing and stitch us and our communities into relationship with our dying, our death, and the rhythms and cycles of the earth?
The willow, grown and gathered from cultivated or wild patches, the wood from coastal driftwood or hand-rived and planed boards from a forest that was suddenly cleared - the transformation of wood into bases and spine for the coffins creating a final resting place for these tree beings.
" What can one do in the face of destruction, the face of loss? In the grounds of logging, bodies of trees piled high: not fit for the needs of commerce. To stand next to these staggering piles of the neglected dead, the scope too big for my heart to take in at once…" Cynthia Main
The coffins will continue to change shape and form to the needs of individuals and communities and the shifting relationship to our dying times. We can work together to create a vessel that has a story woven within through dyed fabrics, wood carvings, etc. We can also work together to bring you and/or your community into the weaving process, co-creating the vessel.
The dream to have a stock of coffins ready for our extended communities is also connected to creating a small scale, collaborative weaving project that includes sustainable, nourishing work with our hands, connecting weavers in collaboration over competition, continuing to listen and learn from the earth, create a bridge from land ownership in isolation to a woven ‘commons’, collaborate with conservation burial lands, death doulas and midwives, and connecting folks with their choices around death and dying.
The coffins are currently offered at sliding scale from $900 - $2600
If the coffin is to be shipped or delivered, both of which are available, there will be an additional fee anywhere from $250 - $600 depending on how far it travels from Washington.
Sliding scale is offered on a foundation of honesty and transparency. You and/or you and your community reflect on what you feel you are able to offer in exchange for the weaving rather than solely being based on brackets of income level. The willow is a teacher of abundance and I see supporting this work as supporting a network of abundance rather than scarcity. If $900 feels out of your range and you are feeling drawn to have one of these vessels in your life, please reach out, I would love to hear from you.
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in a coffin or if you want to talk more about the process of acquiring a coffin. I would love to hear from you.
Interested in weaving your own coffin? You are not alone. Reach out. I would love to hear from you.