Monday, 17 December 2012

Living Willow Butterfly Maze, Teifi Marshes, Cilgerran.

I have just begun a living willow installation at The Wildlife Park, Teifi Marshes, in Cilgerran, Cardigan, West Wales.www.welshwildlife.org
Designed as an area for children to run around it measures approx 26m x 30m.  It takes the shape of a butterfly and will include domes, tunnels and spiralling fences to encourage play.
The perimeter measures approx 110m and will be  planted with a willow podge fence...this week. Each willow is planted to a depth of about 30cm which will  keep the rod in the ground and also allow enough moisture to feed it and get established. The space between each plant is 25cm...so lots to do before Solstice.
Come along and see it progress... always happy to stop and chat.
We will have some fast growing super willows arriving tomorrow so could do with a bit of muscle power.
You are all just so wellcome. Volunteer days Tuesday and Thursday.

Monday, 10 December 2012

"Crackers" Square Pegs Show


Just to let you know I am exhibiting with Square Pegs at the Corn Exchange Gallery in the Guildhall in Cardigan all week until 15th December.  Square Pegs are a group of artists and craftspeople living and working in West Wales. If you are unfamiliar with their shows then I do recomend you give them a visit. This one is called "Crackers" and is full of quirky and beautiful creations suitably seasonal.  Lots of affordable items too, from gift ideas for your someone special, to  decorations  for your tree. It's a little treasure box. Promise.
 

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Willow Weaving Workshop Wildlife Centre Cilgerran

I will be running a Willow Weaving Workshop at the Wildlife Park in Cilgerran at 11am to 4pm on the 9th august 2012.
More dragonflies, leaves and who knows what. Contact the Centre on 01239 621212 to book or enquire.

Craft In The Bay Cardiff, Guest Maker Exhibition




Craft In The Bay, Cardiff is the new venue for the Basketry Exhibition which was at St Clears Craft Centre in June. It showcases the work of five Wales based makers Prue Thimbleby,  Mandy Coates, Ruth Phybus, Mel Bastier and myself. My first selected exhibition as a basket maker/ willow sculptor. Hope you get to see it or share with anyone who may have a chance to. The show continues through August and September.

Cambridge Folk Festival 2012

This years Cambridge Folk Festivalwww.cambridgefolkfestival.co.uk was quite a breeze. The workshop pitch had a new neighbour ...the Sky Arts Stage which was a huge temporary structure built over the duck pond, imposing though it was the ducks seemed to go about their business as usual and my workshops where rammed and and and I met up with a person from my faraway Sheffield past which was quite special. I love doing  the workshops you meet lots of people and make little connections and the last one we should've done a rain dance in as we had thunder and lightening and a bit of a splash in the tipi which did stay fairly dry and hailstone free.
Music wise Joan Armatrading was whoopee and loads of others Juju, June Tabor and the Oysterband oh etc etc.
The drawing workshop, the trees, the Den, Corima Francis, the bad joke song. Too bad if you missed out.




Next year some new sculptures I think tho this years where new they where repeats....but on request so ....forgive.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Willow sculpture for Hobbledown Epsom Surrey

Just installed a 10m long willow sculpture at Hobbledown,www.hobbledown.com Epsom, Surrey. We completed a living willow maze for  the same centre this spring, which is looking lovely.
The dried willow sculpture is of one of the characters from the Hobbledown book namely Rumple Tump the dragon thingy.



Half the fun was in the leaving of Ynys Marine, my temporary workshop, in Cardigan getting him thru the doors and loading him onto his carriage for the journey. I am sure the assembled helpers where a bit relieved to have the assistance of a telescopic  lifting majig....thank you Mark Jukes....quite an unexpected offer...he got RT flying thru the air...and as you can see he landed safely.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Mabinogion Storytelling Forest at Narberth Museum

If you go down to Narberth today you  should pay Narberth Museum a visit. The Bonded (the Bond) Stores is the new home for it's collections and staff.

I was invited to create a Mabinogion inspired forest for the storytelling area. What a pleasure on so many levels. The building is fantastic.  Since first visiting the site in March I have watched the builders, plasterers, painters, chippys, sparks and friends work like crazy  to transform what was a delapidated old shell into an ultra  tradmod venue that any wizard would be proud to have conjured up. The project I made as labour intensive as possible of course but I know I can rely on some weaving wizards of my own James, Rachel, Layla, Danni,  Sally, Karen, Zed, Chris and Dai Williams for the spaceshop! Phew thanks I owe you big time.



I don't have any photos of the finished project as I was busy working up to the last minute on the last day  and then rushed out to avoid being locked in and  on the morning of the opening my van  developed a very serious water pipe malfunction so did not make it! So you will have to go there yourselves for the completed picture. Can't wait myself.

Willow Boar / Twrch Helyg National Botanic Gardens of Wales


One of the events we created since the last post was a three day build over the summer Solstice  at the National Botanic Gardens of Wales of a large Willow Boar.

Run as a workshop for Welsh Basketmakers and other weavers as part of Basketmakers Associations Annual Summer Meeting, we were able to complete a very solid sculpture that the photos of various makers sitting on his back prove.


We even had two and half days of sunny weather so well done to all, especially South Wales Basketmakers who are  wonderful and a pleasure to work with, thank you so so much. What a  stunning venue to work in too! So often the case somehow,  very grateful for the opportunity. Summer Solstice too was a one to remember we had a life size Stone Henge bouncy castle appear c/o the artist Jeremy Deller and the Cultural Olympiad...and Boris Johnson...surreal.

Thanks to all the other contributors the Horti team, the NBGW, Prue, Helen and thank you to the volunteers who cut the willow at the gardens, West Wales Willows who provided lots of the willow we used and to Basketmakers Association.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

The Big Basketry Gathering, 23rd June 2012 at the National Botanic Gardens of Wales

The Big Basketry Gathering at the National Botanic Gardens of Wales has it's own blog site. There you will find what workshops and events  we have planned for Basket Makers Association members and garden visitors alike.  http://bigbasketrygathering2012.wordpress.com/?blogsub=confirmed Please share this info. The Big Willow Sculpture Workshop is open to all too 20th to 23rd June...so students of art or whoever, it is going to be big so we want as many people there to help and learn at the same time. There will be some limited camping too please contact Prue Thimbleby on 01792 521289 to book.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Willow Weaving Workshop 11th April, 2012

I am running a Willow Weaving Workshop tomorrow 11th April at one of my favourite places...The Wildlife Centre at Teifi Marshes the Wildlife Trust's site in Cilgerran. It will be an informal day and  you can drop in and have a go or just watch what we do. Last year was busy and about 55 giant dragonflies were made by adults and children alike. You may need to book or get there early...11am. There is a fabulous cafe too and lots of meandering walks throught the reeds and woods. See you there.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Living Willow Maze

Just returned from Epsom, Surrey where I have been installing a living willow maze labyrinth at Horton Children's Farm.
Well I say I but it was such a big one that I had a team. So thanks to Sophie, Zoley, Casper, Uldis, Bear and Daz and thanks to Steve and John of the Willow Bank who kept us with lots of rods.
Five domes, six tunnels, lots of fedge and podge too, plus a whale den and three archways. It took two weeks to build so we did work long hours.  
But we stayed in a lovely hotel in Purley...the Aerodrome Hotel or Hallmark Hotel dating from the original London airport where Amy Johnson stayed before flying the Gypsy Moth etc. A bit of character. And fully refurbished.