I’ll be leading this workshop in August, please contact Plumpton College to book:
Had a great day at the ‘Cranbrook Goes Nuts in May’ event this May bank holiday. Taught some brave students a ‘fitching’ weave, using bundles of brown willow around a hazel frame to create these hard-wearing, strong plant supports, which should last for years despite their rustic appearance!
A couple more willow workshops in the pipeline for August… watch this space…
Had a great day at Wilderness Wood (East Sussex) last week, teaching a great bunch of children how to persuade willow into a functional vessel. It called for lots of perseverance and patience but we got there in the end and everyone ended up with a unique handmade basket! Brilliant!
Five brave students faced an intensive weekend of making on 11th and 12th March. From beginner to experienced, there were plenty of challenges in this two-day workshop, with lots of techniques covered (borders, French randing, waling, chasing, binding), and a difficult shape to master with some very fiddly gaps to weave between. They all did fantastically well and produced some very pleasing work. Well done all!
In process photos below, hopefully with some in-situ finished work shots to follow:
It’s been a ‘quietly busy’ month, willow-wise. A little break from making post-new year but plenty to do with harvesting last year’s willow, planting 17 different varieties of willow cuttings on a new site, and teaching a workshop at the lovely Lewes Seedy Saturday. Lots of planning for the next few months as well… Winter is therefore a jolly helpful pause in the frenetic momentum of life.
Click on the link above to download details of this willow birdtables workshop that will be taking place in Robertsbridge, East Sussex, next March. Contact me to book your place!
This week I’ve really enjoyed working on some commissions and getting into the flow with the ‘rope coil’ technique, playing with asymmetry and more sculptural forms. I love the juxtaposition of the smooth reddish brown of the buff willow against the variation in texture and colour that the bark of the ‘brown’ willow (which is often shades of olive green to deep purples) gives.
Its been a productive month since France… beginning my ‘6 of each’ homework for AC (first pea-picker and peck pictured); two encouraging weeks at open studios; enjoying making hurdles in sunshine and rain; practicing underfoot walk-around slewed bottoms; recycling hazel and willow excess into Forest School projects; seeing what my bike basket looks like on Tanya’s bike. Generally feeling excited and motivated by it all. Oh and some new commissions to work on over the summer. Jolly good.
Learning basketry is not always an upwards trajectory, or a smooth and predictable continuum, but rather a zig zagging, to-ing and fro-ing, an endless set of puzzles. Hence these two rather wonky things. Hopefully not utterly lacking in charm, but rather far from symmetrical perfection.