Sunday, 16 July 2017

Beatherder 2017 Willow Sculptures

We returned to Beatherder this weekend.

The weather is fine the outlook is good the beat goes on.With two Big Girrrl sculptures to put up and yes they had a bit of a hair doo and a dust down before planting in the field. let the party begin and in Lancashire they do know a thing or two about partaying.

Giant Willow Badger

Returning from Jersey and it was straight on to the rebuild of the Giant Badger at the Welsh Wildlife Centre. Musgrove Willows for their kind donation of Steamed Willow. The other willows came from the Wildlife Park itself and mostly from the pruning of the Butterfly Maze earlier in the year. Next winter we will top the weaving up with more stuff from the Maze and make the weave a lot more dense.

What  sorry state this poor creature was in. But loved by lots of small children. The willows where now so fragile it seemed pointless to keep them so we began at the rear where the full effect of the weather had its worst effect from there we moved forwards replacing everything from the framework to the top weave layer. So much help from friends, family and the amazing Wildlife Park Volunteers making it happen so much more quickly. Thanks too to Musgrove Willows for their kind donation of Steamed Willow. The other willows came from the Wildlife Park itself and mostly from the pruning of the Butterfly Maze earlier in the year. Next winter we will top the weaving up with more stuff from the Maze and make the weave a lot more dense.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Willow Crapaud for Jersey National Trust

What an experience. Such a wonderful location and
 such a wonderful team. Thank you everybody at Jersey National Trust. Especially Jon Parkes for  organising, Neil Harvey for  your support and weaving. A special thanks to the totally inspirational Alcindo Pinto for your hands on  endurance weaving, your stories and fun . Thanks for the willow too. Wow what a lot of stuff you cut and delivered to be used. You are a weaving buddy extraordinaire I will miss you so much. 
Thank you to my dearest sister and Paul (needs a medal) my dearest brother inlaw and nephew Harry for  having me stay a month
in St Mary. So touched by every aspect of this project. I love toads all the more and hope this biggy works magic on all who get to see it. Bufo Spinosus is a species of toad that is found nowhere else in the UK  so is all the more special. Jersey  I love to bits too so honoured to be invited to  create a sculpture on this beautiful island that I have had a long relationship with and is the place of so many memories. Happy days treasured. Thank you to to the Trust and to the donors without your support it could not have happened.

Living Willow Butterfly Maze Winter Prune and Fixup. 2017

It is winter and time to cut back the willows that make up the Butterfly Maze in the The Welsh Wildlife Centre at Teifi Marshes in Cilgerran. This installation is now a mature four years old I think. So much happens in the meantime but getting back to the yearly prune seems to reduce the years perhaps but looking at the growth of the original plants they do look 3. It is growing well but some changes are to be made and some fixing to do. Such a huge plantation needs more hands than mine so I cunningly organise three hands on free workshops with lunch thrown in as a way of persuading some volunteers. the workshops are a success and I make new friends renew old ones and we also plant three new entrances as well as reweave the boundaries and domes tunnels and fedges.
It all gets done  over a month or so and the willow we cut is stored to one side ready for putting to use in the rebuild of the big Badger which will begin very soon.The maze is now ready to burst into growth and entice wanderers into its leafy charm.

Top Of The Woods. Living Willow, Hide And Seek Garden

 Winter and Spring are the best time for living willow projects. this year I had a medium sized garden to plant for Soo and John at Top Of The Woods boutique camping site here in Pembrokeshire just on the edge of Boncath.  Tunnels, Fences, Gazebo/ Dome  and Gateway where all installed and are growing well. It is a treat for me a beautiful office and some new friends made. John and Soo are creating a wonderful retreat for friends and families to share and enjoy in a beautiful little spot of West Wales.. and all whilst planning their imminent wedding.

Bluestone Winter Wonderland

It may be cold outside but it seems like we still love to be out there walking and sharing time with our nearest and dearest.
Bluestone is a holiday village here in Pembrokeshire which is a very popular destination with visitors all year round.
This winter I got involved with them in a couple of ways running workshops with their young staff in willow weaving and also adding some sculptures to their Winter Illuminated Trail.
They have a huge living willow tunnel  which I made a dragon head and tail for and we also installed for them two  giant willow foxes.

Winter in the Workshop

Brr it's cold soTime to bring things in to the workshop a new willow harvest, willow giants to shelter and fix, little requests from pressieblocked  granniest (how can you say no) so also thankfully time to let things go too  sale out  little reindeer   a stag and baskets chaos, logs and a fishing pannier
 all help stoke the coffers and get you through the expensive yuletiding. It is just a moment of buzz and bustle in blows the stress and I soothe it back out with some stick art and smile the folding m money is a thanks enough.

Willow Otter, Lower Moor Farm, Cotswold Water Park 0ctober 2016

Nice little commission for Wiltshire Wildlife Trust for their  Lower Moor Farm site in the Cotswold Water Park. Made in my workshop using Musgroves Black Maul in Brown, Steamed and White.