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Straw Finials / Straw Animals / Straw Ornaments 

         If you are thinking of buying a straw animal or bird and would like to know the prices, please contact the straw store         http://www.thestrawstore.com/                  
           Tel  01223 892861

                                                                                              NEW  Straw Vulture

                                                                                                      NEW Straw anchor


                                                                                                                               Straw Labrador


                                                                                             Straw fox and cubs


                                                                                                         Straw fox stalking a hare

                                                                   img 166                                  
                                                                                                                 Straw swallow                          
                                                Straw running hare                                                       Straw barn owl

                                                        Sitting straw cat             

                                                                                                     Straw kangaroo                 



                                                                                           Straw elephant family



                                                                                                 Straw Aeroplane ( Stirling bomber )             

                                                                                                                                 Straw Redshank                                          

                                                                                                                Straw Armadillo


                                                                                                  Straw Rat


                                                                                                                    Straw Chicken


                                                                                                                   Straw Badgers



                                            Fox and cub chasing rabbit




                                                                                                It is many a year since hayricks and straw stacks were thatched. Rick ornaments took various forms - a cockerel or a bird,
                                                                                                a cross or a crown, a boat, an apple or a turnip, a "churn", a "mell" or a "kirn". 
                                                                                                These were usually secured by an ash-pole to the apex or the gable end of the corn rick.


                                                                                                                         Straw hares


                                                                       Straw golden eagle

Tel:-   01223 892861  or email  brian.mizon@hotmail.co.uk
          for thatching and straw animal enquiries.


                                                   Straw Goose
                                                                                                                                 Straw Dragon


                                                                                                              Straw heron

                                                              A thatch covering on a rick or stack was only a temporary form of covering,
                                                                                  unlike the thatch on a dwelling which could be expected to last for many years.



                                                          Old country beliefs were that the stack and rick ornaments would keep away both birds and witches.
                                                          The designs were originally of a religious nature, thus intended to scare away witches, but a countryman always hedges his bet,
                                                           and would say the ornaments also gave a witch something to play with, thus diverting her attention from making mischief elsewhere. 



                                                                                                                                 Straw boxing hares

                                                                            Straw ornaments on the thatch of houses have been recorded as far back as 1689 .
                                                                            The skill of the thatcher has moved into new dimensions, and modern ornaments such as aeroplanes, fishes, pigs, dragons, and even a "millennium bug"
                                                                            can now be seen and enjoyed, though the traditional pheasants and foxes still remain firm favourites.



                                                          Straw pig


Although the term "dolly" is used at times to describe a stack ornament, it should not be confused with the corn dolly.
The thatcher's dolly is constructed very differently: the simpler designs such as a perched bird or fish uses straw that is bunched and tied firmly into shape;
with the more complicated designs such as a fox, lamb or peacock, the straw is wired onto an armature.
Some birds are constructed and set into the roof to serve as a weather vane, and very fine they look, too, spinning in the breeze. 


                                Straw dog ( schnauzer terrier )


                                       Straw dog ( Welsh terrier )



                                Straw partridge

     Straw cat                    img85

C. H. Warren (Corn Country, 1940) mentions the lamb finials of the limestone belt, and also dispels the myth that the patterns cut in the straw just under the ridge were of special significance or a particular thatcher's "trademark", explaining that the double thickness was necessary where it bore the brunt of the weather. Similarly, the herringbone or diamond pattern of withies worked along the eaves served a practical rather than purely decorative purpose, tethering the straw more securely on an exposed area of the roof.



                                                      Straw horse                                                                                           

The craft of thatching often runs in families, and the creative skills are passed down. Several families are well-known for their distinctive designs of ornaments. One Somerset thatcher who had the misfortune to suffer a serious accident which ended his thatching career then went on to  specialise in making straw roof finials. He is known to have been able to make over twenty different designs of birds, leaping salmon, peacocks, squirrels, etc. many of which can now be seen in places such as Glastonbury Museum, and Perry's Cider Mills Museum in Dowlish Wake, Somerset.

           Straw Squirrel


                                                          img82   Straw pheasant                                


                                                                                                              Straw Ravens                                                    
                                                                                       img 143                                                                              


                                                                                                       Straw  owl



                                                                                         Straw swans



                                                                                                            Straw Teddybear                                                                                         

                Straw horse                       img84


                                                       img142  Straw hare on porch

For references, see The Guild Of Straw Craftsmen                         
                         For a link to the Guild click here


I would like to thank Gillian Nott (archivist of the Guild of Straw Craftsmen) for her help with this and other pages on my site.

                                                           Straw ducks


                                                                      Straw ducks


                                                                                              Straw indian running duck


                                                                                     A straw wren


                                                img 100)                                        
                                                                                                      Straw dog ( collie )

                                                                       img121Fighting kangaroos
                                                                                                            Straw teapot


                                                                                                                   Straw terrier

                                                                                                 Straw jumping fish

                                                                                                   Straw angel


                                                                                           Straw peacock

                                                                                                                                         Straw parrot

                                                       img149Fighting kangaroos

                                                                                                                        Straw lion


   Straw witch on a broomstick

      Straw elephant



Fighting kangaroos       

                                                                                                                  Straw Bulldog
                                                                   BACK TO TOP  http://brianmizonthatching.co.uk/page10.html