Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Twas the Night Before Christmas Pop Up Shop

Well the Crimbo madness steps up a gear and baskets are in demand...foxies too? I am showing at Quay Street Studios in Cardigan from this Thursday through until 24th with a selction of other makers with some quality wares to tempt you into part with your folding monee mmm. Go on have a peek. You will be able to hold onto your conscience knowing your purchases are supporting local artisans....such a worthwhile breed of residents don't you think as well as owning or giving special, crafted thingies. Opening event with spicy mulled wine, nibbles? and meet the makers on Thursday evening from 5pm. See you there.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Borth Craft Fair Sunday 15th December

Just had a last minute offer to have a table at a craft fair in Borth. Starts at 10am and I will have a selection of log baskets, cheese baskets, reindeer, frame baskets, hearts and a foxy fox. I love Borth and the beautiful view out over the sea and Dovey estuary. Can't wait...spread the word.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Square Pegs Exhibition, Corn Exchange Gallery, Cardigan

This is the only show I have managed to do this Autumn / Winter. Lots of great work by the likes of Glen Ibbetson, Sheila Hickey, Zara Kuchi et all. go to www.thesquarepegs.co.uk for the full listing. The

show continues next week and finishes on the 7th December. Some new  sculptures and baskets by me which I am happy to share and show...drop in, for a browse, giggle and chat, whatever you will not be disappointed. I am fetching mince pies and mulled wine on Wednesday...come on down, I might be prepared to do a bit of haggling after a warm glass.

Monday, 7 October 2013

The Cove..My first post reposted...celebrating 17,000 plus views to this blog!

Mother and little one. Willow Sculpture for Cardigan Bay Enviromental Promo, situated in the Guildhall, Cardigan since 2006.
I am so excited about starting a blog and what will it begin with.
So began my first post on my blog three and a half years ago. This weekend I made a new friend who has just returned to these islands after living away for twenty eight years most recently in the Grenadines where she became friends with some of the people behind the making of the film The Cove. (We also attended a party where the hosts where collecting entrance money in a basket I had woven which seemed to add some significance to the evening) Anyway I got to thinking about how I had blogged about the Cove in my first post. Not many peeps probably read it but since I started this blog I have had over 17,000 views from  all over the world. Most of those views over  the last two years. Quite a significant amount of  people when you think about it  and my lifestyle weaving in the quiet valley where I make my home. All this made me want to  repost this first post as a kind of re view literally and to take stock and possibly attract more  people to the Cove and the politics/bollotix that allow such mindless atrocities to happen to defenceless trusting creatures at the hands of men and governments... The world gets smaller as  we get older and all the beauty left in it too is  reduced. So thank you for visiting this blog, this is where I began and hopefully it might inspire you to blog about your art, life, ideas and loves.

So many inspiring things and today some moving images. I sat down with my son and some pear cider to help tease out of him the reasons for his reluctance to continue with his college studies. After discussing the subject in as much depth as was necessary he started to tell me about a film called The Cove. He got it up on his computer screen and we watched it together. It's all about the brutal slaughter of dolphins in a beautiful but weird town called Taiji in Japan. The film follows Richard O'Barry and his compadres as they attempt to bring to light what happens there. Basically the capture of dolphins to sell to the sea aquarium trade and then the slaughter of the remainder of the catch in a little cove off the town. I don't know if you should watch it it is horrific but everybody should know about it. Richard O'Barry is the man who started the whole Sea world entertainment business training the original Flipper way back in 1962. He deeply regrets it now but he is finding ways and means of bringing the truth to us all and to the legislators. They have a website..takepart/thecove.com

Friday, 4 October 2013

Back to Baskets

With the ending of summer the rover returns. Home is in a little valley tucked up  close to some woods. The constant rain this week has seen me travel hardly outdoors and I have even stoked the Rayburn for the first time. I go from extreme to extreme. One day I am weaving giant arches under the flight path  from Heathrow with deafening roar of jets every 45 seconds to weaving baskets in my workroom with just the sound of birds outside and the rain. I am busy  completing orders that where put on the shelf for a while. log baskets and laundry. Preparing for a couple of Craft Fairs. Planning some workshops..if you are interested keep a look out.
Hoping  to work with a group of volunteers at the Wildlife Park in Cilgerran too. So it goes,
Big logs for Tom

Little cheese basket for Sustainability conference Raffle

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Royal Coronation Arches Installation Extended at Windsor Castle for Visit by HRH

Just had the news that the six willow arches we installed on the Long Walk outside the gates of Windsor Castle will remain onsite so that the  Queen...Elizabeth 2, can see them  when she gets home from Balmoral. Apparently Windsor is her "home" she says and Buck Palace is "the Office". So they will be there until 14th October. Hopefully all the added publicity will help to promote the RWRHS Legacy Fund which is to help educate local Windsor students of horticulture. The arches will now go up for auction from the 14th October along with the plants and lovely willow crowns created by Spencer Jenkins. .

Friday, 13 September 2013

Coronation Arches at Windsor Castle

Friday the 13th....quite an appropriate date to complete our willow arches since our lead artist Spencer Jenkins was responsible for the wicker number 13 on the latest Black Sabbath album. 
The sunny summer is behind us too, the rains came in today and seemed to hasten our finish. Certainly I have not been wetter than at any time because of rain.
All my lovely weaving buddies I will miss....feel like my eyes are going to wet me now.
Epic task....which I knew we could do but it was epic.
Windsor Castle looks beautiful and we have added to its stately charm for sure. Wow where will the weave head next?

Melanie Bastier is on top

                                                    Spencer Jenkins above the Long Walk

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Willow Badger Sculpture Completed

The badger at the Wildlife Park in Cilgerran is complete. We will be having an open day on 9th September to celebrate all the work that has been done on the reserve this year. Workshops and activities lots of food and  fun.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Coronation Arches for Windsor Castle

Since July  I have been living in hot, sunny Surrey. What for? A colab of weavers, artists and volunteers have been making 6 huge arches for the Queen's Coronation celebrations commissioned by the Royal Windsor Rose and Horticultural Society. Designed by gold medal winning garden designer John Warland they will be installed mid September on the Long Walk at Windsor Castle.
Spencer Jenkins lead artist weaves first section.
Designer John Warland visits the barn with Martin and Spencer

                                                     Melanie Bastier
                                                         Rachel Evans
                                                   Pete Zee and Tom Hare

                                                   Mel, Joe, Tom, Spencer, Pete and Beanie.
                                                       Kev and 400 year old London Plane Tree

Friday, 5 July 2013

Glastonbury Festival 2013 Willow Sculpture Installation in the Glade.

This year we installed five big willow sculptures in the Glade Area bang in the heart of the Glastonbury Festival Site. Set amongsta grove of shady poplars they looked just right just the wish we had more to go all the way around the space. The oil lamp effect projections at night worked a treat and the sound from the adjoining stages and monster that is Arcadia right next door added a different mood depending on when you ventured past that way. Exciting stuff. I was off in Greencrafts  giving workshops to any would be weaver who dared enter my tipi. And we erected Sirgourney Weaver next to it too. She now on her way to Cumbria to live the dream in the beautiful lakeland up there. So jealous and will miss her...give her a hug from me if you meet up.  My willow sistas and bruvs this year where superstars and I am very lucky to have had them so thank you Lizabeth Rooney, Johnking Rooney, Preselli Sam, Emma, Brightspark Dave, Princess Rosie, Kinkaris and Bear and to the ones who stayed at home

Shaun, Sarah and Rachel...oh and Beanie too. Love you all and always.xx

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Living Willow Maze at the Wildlife Park in Cilgerran, Pembrokeshire.

It is a stunningly beautiful June and temperatures are at a high not felt for some time. The park is quieter since the schools went back and the regulars are perhaps fewer now that their gardens are needing love and attention. I am working away on new sculptures for Glastonbury Festival in the workshop here for  the next two weeks and lapping up the unfolding of leaves on the oak and now ash. Hawthorns too like a pretty dress with their late blossoms. The last 6 months working here has been one of the most happy times of my life no question. Pembrokeshire could be a top  contender in any beauty competion.
My willow maze is bushing out too. I can honestly say that the 100% rate on each and every cutting growing is down to the guys who made each and every hole for each of them ....Thank you Izaac Cain, Aeron whatever your secnd name is, and Macs Holtom, happy eighteenth birthday to you too this weekend. You did us all proud. You over did it and that has definately made the difference. When we have the party to celebrate the completion of all the things done in July you better be there I want to soak you all in a beer or two.
 Livivng willow maze 5 months after planting.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Willow Badger Sculpture

Nearly there with this baby. Well I lie to myself probably but this is the final week. Next project awaits. The surface weave is black maul, steamed and kindly donated by Musgroves of Somerset who helped with the Otter sculpture ten years ago. Thank you Mr and Mrs Musgrove, very much it is such a pleasure to weave it...black maul was my intro to willows and is a kind  and wonderful bit of stuff to work. all the other willow  comes from local sources. Here are a few more recent piccies to show developments. Thanks to all the  helpers Martin, Martin, Nina, Jill, Claud, Shane, Layla, Meg and Marni, Nathon, Howard, Alpay and Jack.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Willow Badger Sculpture Progress

The Wildlife Park, CilgerranI love my badger...is it a he or a she? What is to be it's name.
The framework is  more or less there some tweaking is  to be done but we have begun the surface weave now which should be completed in  ten days or so. Volunteers always welcome.. arrive after 10 to give me a chance to organize. Busy steaming some longer thicker stuff to give  it a good color.
We stayed late each day this week and one night when the moon was up  and the air warm and still  it did look alive and magical and what

a beautiful location overlooking the reed beds  along the Teifi towards Cardigan town.  The Wildlife Park at Cilgeran is the place. The scale of the sculpture  is great it makes you feel small and child like..I think that is a good feeling. Hope you come and visit us soon...if you can not then here are some photos.