Thursday, 20 October 2016

Makers Market 2016 Oriel Myrddin Christmas Show

So happy to be included in this annual makers show held at one of my fave galleries, Oriel Myrddin in Carmarthen. Lots of great gift ideas things to spoil your nears and dears or's Christmas...You will probably find you need one huge big log basket to carry everything away with you  ..hey  ...I've made some...If you want to have a sneaky look at what's in store press the link below.

This is the  link 

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Glastonbury Festival 2016..The Wood, Glade,Avalon and the Park

What can I say the experience of Glastonbury is all consuming. It gets you in ways you will never expect. Retreating to your tent, van or tipi will not be an escape from  its pulse my friend, once you have been wrist banded into the fellowship of Avalon you too become a  willing worker in the hive of the Avalonian Queen Bee. Oh.. and there's no escape until the following Happy Monday.
For me I will keep saying oh it's work da de da de da. Phew..a bit of an understatement Michelle! Huh! The logistics are one thing the gathering of stuff another, then finding willing Glastafarians,
making, making, making the rain the mud the crowd, the volume. It is a sensory overload.
 A full body and mind stretch and soul work out.. An extreme sport..But. I love it, I love it's creative balls and I really love the people who make it and turn up year on year out whatever the weather and get it done..on time and with bells on.  How many times has one of my young crew said wow and thanks that was the most amazing weekend of my life...well when you get to dance on stage with Iggy Pop or hold the hand of Beth Ditto or this year  get to stand on the Pyramid Stage all be it without the  big crowd...then I suppose it is.
All credit to the farmer and his family tho really.
This year we worked a few fields and also The Wood a new area next to the John Peel Stage. Such a cool place with a fire pit and cute pond. Lush and green with Cherry, Ash  and beautiful Willows. All in all we installed 8 willow giants.. a Snake and two Badger Peeps in the Wood;
two Foxes in a Avalon; a pair of Spikey Dancers in Glade
and the winged Boy  for the BBC Park Set.
In the wood we also created  a series of tunnels and arches giving the walkways from the central fire pit a bit of a rabbit hole feel. For the entrances to the Peel Stage we stripped mature willows to create white Arches which where transformed by night with colourful uplighting.

At the Spike we made another rabbit holey tunnel and on the BBC stage we added some small animals. That's two lorry loads a few trailer fulls and a lot of hard work from a team who I am very grateful to. Big thanks to all of them. Big thanks too to The Willowbank and Steve Pickup, to West Wales Willows, to Blaencwm Holiday Cottages and Musgrove Willows oh and St Dogmaels Allotments  oh and me too for supplying some Stuff which was fabulous to work with. Really it is kind of nuts where a bit of basket making using some beautiful Black Maul grown by Reg Hector can lead isn't for everyone but I think some of my team will be back to rebuild the Avalon Hive next year and I hope to be among them

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Out of the Woods and Back in the Hood

Phew all the coppicing is done so I am out of the woods and
back in the Hood of Cardigan town and getting down to some orders and ideas for festivals.
Promise to have all your baskets and such like to you patient people...I have some nice stuff to work with too so it will be worth the wait and Emma is helping to speed up my process. We had fun. yes it was fun' making a chair together yesterday another is on the way but back to logs and the back log. Oh and away from the web...weave on.

Willow Badger 2016

The Willow Badger at the Wildlife at Teifi Marshes near Cardigan is three years old now ..which  does means the willow is becoming more fragile and in need of some TLC or more. The framework within is still stable and could  be clad again next year with a completely new badger now there's a thought. There is not the funds to do that this year but we have had a go at sprucing it up and we think it is good for the next few months. I think we should launch a fundraising campaign and try and recruit some badger loving volunteers next spring to help do a new one ...what do you think? The framework is so good I think it could be saved for some time to come.

Willow Coppice 2016

The winter has been wet and cutting willow has been as intermittent as sun shining.
Still we managed to pick the good few days to be out amongst the colour it is warming too all that work and I thank my two helpers for their toil. There is a new patch for planting next week yes it is late but better that than never. It is not big enough for all I would love to plant  so deliberating on what varieties.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Aerie Willow installation at West Wales Arts Centre in Fishguard

Aerie may refer to the nests of hawks and eagles built on high, lofty platforms to hold their eggs, rear their young but  here it is the name  chosen for a willow installation we created at West Wales Arts Centre weaving it around a wooden structure on the outside of the  gallery. To build our nest my asistant Emma and I  had to find a good supply of useful sticks and a little birdy  told us to stop at Newport School where there was a healthy hedge of tall green viminalis needing to be cut..  The hedge was tall and I was amazed to find we could fit it all, once  deconstructed,  in to a van and roomy Kangoo.. so off to Fishguard we flew. Like those busy motherbirds working tirelessly for a few days we worked arms and heads stretched upwards poised on the tops of silver ladders,  descending  from time to time to inspect the  weave and what to do with it  next. We worked each day until we could weave no more but promise to return again and add some more and so it went on until  our bundles had gone.  As I wove those thick powerful branches  in and around, my imagination searched for  the meaning, the form, the name of the work.  In to my thoughts came memories of a sports day many years ago watching my little boy aged 4 run with his classmates all around the green playing field baby birds flying for the first time for the utter joy of it as all us Mums watched. What are we inside, what do we have in us and what do we do with it. What is left in us is our memories  and our hopes our joys and our deep fears. Aerie is perhaps referring to birds of prey or is it  pray a nest far up out of reach out of the way some

thing hopeful some thing about joy.

Living Willow Roller Coaster

Here's a peek at the latest living willow  installation that we  created  for Oakwood, Pembrokeshire's theme park. It is a little experimental too with some parts of the design reaching 2.5 metres. That is the tallest living willow design I have ever planted and so I will be watching it closely to see how it develops. The design is based on the park's  Megaphobia all wooden roller coaster ride which is twenty years old this year.