News

News, updates and information

This spring is proving to be a really special time. I have been having remote, but really valuable conversations with other makers, artists and practitioners. We have all had time to think when we would often be planning the next project or event, rushing round just trying to get life and creativity into some sort of equilibrium.

Before being isolated, physically, I shared some baskets with a wonderful photographer, Ella Nurse, her blog and instagram are here. She has been making use of them for work and for fun.

In view of current situation and the risk of virus spreading through events in pubic places workshops are cancelled or postponed until further notice. We will review and update the website when there is more information available.

I hope everyone is able to spend time making and enjoying a slower pace of life and maybe some time reading or learning something new at home.

Some reviews and comments by workshop participants, might help you decide about selecting which workshop to come take part in.

I will be running workshops in Thetford Forest this August, working alongside The Studio who have put a lot of hard work into this venture and a series of workshops.
The lovely setting is The Dower House touring park. I intend to camp if the weather is good and spend some time getting to know the area and Thetford Forest.
The Studio is part of a young  company changing ideas of what happens in the forest and what people do there!
The Little White Lamb Company is finalist in the Countryside Alliance awards and has been put forward for The Clarissa Dickson Wright Award. This is a huge achievement and I am very proud to be linked with them as a company.

The Library Presents spring season of workshops has been published.I will be teaching small scale willow sculpture to a wide range of ages and abilities.  Children under 12 years need to work with an adult on collaborative projects. It’s a great opportunity to spend time together learning something new.

For details of all workshops  times, dates and venues Go here

Be ready for a Celebration Day in the Fens, June 20th 2020 
Fascinating Fens are coordinating community events, see https://fascinatingfens.com/blog/
If you are interested contact them here https://fascinatingfens.com/contact/

The Fens and Ouse Washes Story Quilt is available for storytelling events by community groups. To find details about hiring, links to people and organisations involved and suggestions for how to make good use of it the link is here for Story Quilt details

Please note change of date for the Easter baskets and bird sculptures workshop at WWT Welney, now happening on March 28th

Preparing materials

2019 has been a busy year of workshop activities. Some new techniques shared and discovered both by students and by me. I am looking forward to more if the same in 2020, maybe with longer courses or more one to one teaching sessions, so students have opportunity to learn more about both maintaining and growing willow, to make their own work. If you are interested in this, go to the workshop selection page.

This season I have been making frame baskets, they are less structured and traditional round baskets with potential for a lot of uses. Some workshop participants have really enjoyed making them too.

The willow workshop season at WWT Welney has been busy, lots of new makers learning the amazing potential of working with willow.

Workshop dates at WWT Welney are currently available on the events page

Make a choice from the survey for the workshop selection I look forward to working with you very soon.

Hosting workshops – if you or your organisation would like to host workshops please go to Host page

If you have any queries or there are problems with your bookings please contact me

Commission and workshops October 2019

I worked with Artillery Arts for Grandad’s Island events. There were a series of installations and workshops in various venues round the E17 area of Waltham Forest which is London’s first Borough of Culture.

Grandad’s Island is a beautiful book by Benji Davies and it provides the theme for all the activities, so we shared lots of journeys and memories with all ages.

I have also been working with The National Trust at Anglesey Abbey. I was asked to make a piece to display their amazing dazzling Dahlias

There is a rumour it will also be on show for the Winter Lights event.

willow installations
For Dazzling Dahlias event

The Fenland and Ouse Washes Story Quilt was in use in the summer, it’s great to hear how people are making use of this resource. It was made in a series of workshops as part of the OuseLife exhibition Secret Life of Ely Cathedral’ in 2016. To find details about hiring, links to people and organisations involved and suggestions for how to make good use of it the link is here for Story Quilt details

Workshops in 2019

Workshop details

One of the best places to source willow in the Fens is Holt Island in St Ives. Very close by is The Norris Museum where I will be teaching on March 21st how to make plant supports for gardens in the area. This workshop is for both beginners and those who have made with willow previously. For booking go to museum face book page

Plans for this year’s willow workshops are happening very fast.  Workshops at WWT Welney are booking up so the last three of the season will be busy. Brakehill Lodge in Carbrook, Norfolk have 2 more workshops fully booked with students so it is very likely we will have more there, it’s a lovely place to work so gets booked very quickly. The Norris Museum, St Ives is hosting workshops as well, so plenty of places to choose from.

New venue

I am excited to run my Basket Making and Sculpture willow workshop at Brakehill Lodge Farm, near Thetford on November 17th, booking is already filling up so there are bound to be lots of interesting projects to hear about.

New Shapes for the new season

Random weave baskets can be tricky to make, but are great for all sorts of uses, to hold balls of wool, fruit, and even Easter eggs.

Come and learn how to make them at the workshop on March 3rd at WWT Welney

Art Science Event at Telefonica, Madrid

A different sort of workshop audience and opportunity, I was part of the team presenting work as part of SRUK at Telefonica, Madrid. 3 scientists, 3 artists presenting work as part of Madrid Science week.
Jonathan Heras, Juan Gonzalea-Varo, Ana Lopez-Ramirez, Tomas Di Domenico and Marta Fuster Barutell

This was a really interesting event to take part in, the next presentation will be in Cambridge, UK. look out for updates

 

Christmas decorations workshops at WWT Welney this month, combining natural and recycled materials. What’s your Christmas Style this year?

People always add their own character to the willow shapes, balls, stars, hearts, trees they make.

The workshop at Isle of Ely Primary has resulted in a wonderful Giant Apple for Ely’s Apple Day on Saturday 21st October

The whole school took part, everyone learned how to manipulate willow. We are all very proud of the result! The idea of how much apple crumble you could make with this was a good one!

Preparations for an exciting commissioned workshop are taking place on October 10th with children from Isle of Ely Primary School to make a Giant Apple for Ely’s Apple Day on Saturday 21st October

Regular monthly Willow workshops start on September 23rd at WWT Welney, see the calendar for dates and topics.

miniature baskets

This term is a busy one with several workshops and projects already in place and some more in the pipeline. Come back soon to find out more.

If you want to book workshops for a private event, a group or organisation please contact me

Bottle tops and colours
Colour Theory and recycliing
Materials and recycling
Recycling workshop