A blog about making and doing with reference to the outside world. Activities in this blog are suitable for all ages and abilities, using recycled and natural materials readily available in most homes and gardens.
I work as a textile and environmental artist in a wide variety of settings and communities. My work is made in conversation with people and places, for installations and exhibition as well as running workshops to suit the places and people involved.
I use found or adapted materials for works that are placed in the landscape, in galleries or in public venues.
I live in the fens of East Anglia in the UK, where willow is easily available for making baskets and sculpture. The landscape, light and dry weather encourage me to spend time outside as much as possible.
This time of year an important part of the preparation for workshops and future making is harvesting willow, it is always good to see the health of the trees, how they have grown aver the year and make plans for new planting where there is space.
I am also usually busy with workshops and meeting lots of new students but this year of course is different. It’s good that a few places and organisations have decided to host workshops and I am really pleased to teach at Hills Road Sixth Form for adult education, and at Holkham Hall in Norfolk as part of their Christmas celebrations
I love to make to commission, it is always as a result of meeting people and learning about their homes or work places. Sculptures and baskets become part of other peoples lives and their story for many years to come. I am currently working on several that will be given as gifts by the purchasers, among them a bee for a beekeeper.
One of the best places to source willow in the Fens is Holt Island, St Ives. Very close by is The Norris Museum where I will be teaching how to make plant supports for gardens in the area. This workshop is for both beginners and those who have made with willow previously.
There are a few places still available for the last workshop of the season on April 6th at WWT Welney. I hope students will be ambitious, making sculptures and items for the garden. Look out for next seasons dates very soon!
Sunday 16th September I will be taking part in Holt Island Heritage weekend, St Ives, Cambridgeshire. Hoping for good weather and lots of meetings with basketmakers and answering questions from potential basketmakers and maybe do some basketmaking. There will be workshop booking forms and items for sale.
The Greenhouse workshop in the Bishops Garden, Ely will be open on June 10th 2p.m. – 6p.m. as part of the NGA Open Garden Scheme, come and see what is made here, there will be items for sale or to commission and details of next seasons workshops. Click on the link for more information about the garden
Come and learn how to make random weave baskets as a spring container. They can be tricky to make, but are great containers in a variety of sizes. Good for collecting fruit or holding balls of wool, or maybe even Easter Eggs. In fact they can hold almost anything you can think of!
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