Sunday, 27 December 2015

Strip the Willow

On the far side of my willow beds grow the tall Viminalis  hybrids that are really useful for making frames for large sculptures. I grow them for two years and  then cut but decided last year to let some of them go on growing for another season..the object being that I could strip them of their bark.
Well there was plenty of "stuff" and with the help of my festi crew we stripped sticks a plenty and carefully rolled the soft leather like ribbons ready for drying and whatever future uses we could find for it.
The workshop soon had a stack of thick strong rods too, all blushing pink before they dried white lol. What use for them. A giant jenga?
It was prep time for festis...the calls from Glasto, Boom and Beatherder all competing for attention and what to do ..anything new? The constant dilemma and so little time, budget's limited, where best to put the energy. could we make an Archway for the Glade's Spike Area.?
So we set about it stripped more stuff collecting sticks and bark until we had done as much as we could and had hopefully enough to build what we desired.
The dream of a high roofed workshop is the space to think big think  and outside of your usual box and also to work with some privacy and play with your ideas and make mistakes and develop the what you only ever imagine into an actual reality.
I am so limited on the joinery side of things but somehow with the help of my inspirational crew we did pull something together and which we all felt a bit wow about and at night with the lights it was a really beautiful invitation into the twisted hedge at the heart of Worthy Farm.
So the stripping of all that wonderful willow gave me more than I had imagined it would..still the bark waits for attention but the rods have been deconstructed and reconstructed a couple of times already and will develop in to  new installations this coming year too...

Monday, 25 May 2015

Skibblers and Mushrooms for Hobbbledown

The sun is out but I am mostly weavering away in my workshop it has been a productive time and my last job to do is all done delivered to Hobbledown in Surrey. A long long way away. We have been there before with Rumpletump and a huge outdoor living willow maze that we designed and installed for them a while ago.
This time they asked for Skibblers three and big mushrooms, four. Happy to oblige.
Now for the summer and the sunny road starting at Wildlife Festival near Brighton next pressure...

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Vintage Willow Strongman Sculpture Heads To Blackpool

this bad boy has left the building...he will be somewhere near South Pier in Blackpool....where he will live...close to all the fun of the fair. the Pleasure Beach  and all that naughtiness..I love Blackpool and Lancashire...we all do don't we...guilty pleasures...happy to think he may become part of some kids future memories.  Thanks to Weatherspoons for the job and all my supportive team and lovely Beanie.

Ten hours spent  finishing and installing....could  have been done in the workshop but needed it onsite for the designer et all to have a look....may need some adjustments still, but all in all I am pretty happy. Like all artists it is difficult to stop the  tweaking....let it go...

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Artists Studio the Willowtech

I am an itinerant...runs in the blood....wherever I lay my hat and all that.
But to have a home or a room of one's own...
My deepest desire is to stay put in the shelter of a familiar, stored full of ideas and samples,
materials gathered and light and space left to create, place.
How much does it cost to indulge or deny your desire.
Today I have a temporary space that ticks my boxes realises
 my dream.
So I race against the clock, the meter, the tiredness, the distractions.
Before it's move along get along go move shift time again.

Sudeley Castle Lost In The Willows

Recent installation at Sudeley Castle in Cheltenham.
This large scale living willow play area is dedicated to the Wind In The willows story.
Created by Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust with some woven additions by me.


Monday, 30 March 2015

CADW Magna Carta Trail in Wales at Cilgerran Castle.

My most recent project has been to create a sculpture for Cilgerran Castle as part of CADW's Magna Carta Trail in Wales. Catherine Collins ...castle warden and procurer of the funds for both mine and Caroline Gregson's sculpture at the Chepstow Castle site, was very persuasive in having a Knight to represent William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke and the Greatest Knight who was responsible for bringing the Magna Carta into existence. Quite a formidable and strong character seemed to demand a slightly larger than life willow form. He is built around a metal framework and built up in layers of body, tunic, chainmail and sircoat with a striking metal sword. I think he looks the part taking command in his castle in the beautiful village of Cilgerran cilgerran.inforan overlooking the Teifi Gorge in Pembrokeshire. Splendid. We hope he will remain for sometime but it is best to visit him while he is in his prime.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Colomendy...Pigeon Shed. Dove Shed Studio Workshop Space

I have found a workshop...It is big and old and central and accessible. It has big doors some natural light a few residents...tis not called Colomendy for no reason. I have some projects to complete so it is just in time. I love it and want to live there...24/7. You think I am obsessed  well watch this space I am going to get really obsessed... Can not wait to show you what is coming up. Stay with me. Wish me luck. Happy Valentines Day.