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!
Had a marvellous time with Joe Hogan in the west of Ireland. Learnt how to make a skib, a non-functional pod from a ‘tree hole’, and practiced my fitching on a small log basket. Also made several underfoot bases which I am still less confident about. It’s all about repetition…
This time next week I’ll be in County Galway staying with Joe Hogan, master basketmaker and artist. I’ve admired Joe’s work for years and am thrilled to be able to learn from him. This visit has been made possible by the generous HCA* and NADFAS** bursary, the first part of which went towards learning traditional work with Adrian Charlton. With Joe however, I’m hoping to explore techniques used in more contemporary, sculptural work (such as his pods, one pictured above).
(*The Heritage Craft Association and ** The National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies)
I’ve been enjoying a few unusual commissions this summer, which has been fun and challenging. Now starting to make stock for the upcoming local winter fairs and events, namely:
- Tunbridge Wells Farmers Markets: 12th November; 10th and 22nd December (9am-2pm, outside Town Hall)
- Great Dixter Winter Fair: 26th & 27th November (details to follow)
- Wilderness Wood Winter Fair: 3rd and 4th December (10am-4pm), Hadlow Down, East Sussex.
Looking forward to meeting old and new customers!
Busy in the workshop again today on another commission for someone’s garden. They wanted an asymmetric, rope-coil pod-like form. Really enjoying making these, although its very physical using all that material… I need a massage now!
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.
Checking out the handiwork… less than impressed
Day One of Weaving new stock for the Cuckoo Fair, to be held at the Bell in Ticehurst on Sunday 15th May. Thought I’d start small with these two bread/fruit baskets to get my eye in again… having fun combining different willows (the red/black/yellow tones I’ve grown myself), and a plaited border for a change, in white willow.
Still working on the perfect design for the strap bag…
Having to work with buff today as this cold weather means my brown willow isn’t ready yet… frustrating initially but pleased with the results.