AUGUST – Willow Storytelling tree, Roman Military Spectacular (just look at those Gladiators) the Eisteddfod and the Vale Show
Nearly up to date – August was quite a busy month as well with The Eisteddfod and the Vale Show. We had a rather fetching teepee at the Eisteddfod and spent a very relaxing week on the Maes Gwyrdd. Les Llewelyn, our famous Cyntell maker demonstrated for two days making a beautiful white cyntell.
What better than willow swords and shields for a Roman Military Spectacular at the Amphitheatre in Caerleon. The event lasted for two days and we were treated with fantastic Roman Soldier battles and sparring Gladiators.
Another lovely project was a sculpture of a Storytelling Tree in Dare Valley Country Park. Spread over three days the workshop was for local children who either worked on the tree or made leaves which we attached at the end.
Finally the Vale Show which is an agricultural show held in Fonmon Castle in Barry, another event we’ve attended for quite a few year’s running. Always a very busy day which this year was made joyful by the return of someone very special… 🙂
JUNE – the Olympic cows (yes cows), more baskets, sunflowers, Wool & Willow festival, BA Summer meeting, exhibiting at St Clears, making a giant willow boar, Open Farm Sunday, Willow Bark with Terry the Weaver and Tuppence the willow weaving Terrier – a very busy month!
June kicked off with a lovely project at a Special Arts School in Northampton where we were asked to make a sculpture of a willow cow to celebrate the Olympics… It was a blistering hot but lovely day and we ended up with one finished cow and another well on it’s way made entirely by the children. The cows had to be small enough for them to be carried in a parade.
We also run willow courses for the National Botanic Garden of Wales and this month was lovely Sunflowers and Basket Making for Beginners.
June is the month for the Wool and Willow Festival in Llanidloes held in the Minerva Arts Centre. The exhibition runs for the whole month of June and is a lovely showcase for local crafts. There are lots of workshops that run alongside the exhibition, ours was the Willow Frame Baskets and we were lucky enough to have our first willow weaving dog attend, Terrence the rather fetching Terrior.
At the end of the month we took part in the Big Basketry Gathering which included the BA Summer meeting held at the National Botanic Garden and the week prior to that several welsh basket makers got together to help willow artist Michelle Cain make a giant willow boar which stands about 16 foot tall at the gardens. The gathering ended with some lovely workshops, Coracle making, the Tea Things basket run by Helen Campbell and a really interesting Willow Bark course by Terry Dunne.
The workshops were both really interesting, Helen Campbell showed us how to make a traditional Welsh Tea Things basket and Terry Dunne showed us how to harvest bark from two year old willow rods then make beautiful things out of it, yet another use for willow!
JULY – thankfully a lot calmer with some lovely egg collecting baskets
How time flies, can’t quite believe it’s six months since we last posted. So here’s a quick update on what willowing activities have come our way since March 2012.
APRIL – Willow Crafts for the Garden, Beginners Baskets and the wonderful RHS Show
With the living willow season finished it was straight into the willow craft season which included the RHS Show in Cardiff and lots of willow courses. Willow Crafts for the Garden is always popular and although every time we say remember the size of the car you came in, quite often this happens.
Beginners basket making are also very popular and we had some lovely baskets made in April at the Heritage Coast Centre in Southerndown. We even had two lovely ladies fly all the way from America. Back to the wheelie bin for soaking though.
We’ve been lucky enough to have a stand at The RHS Spring Show in Cardiff for the last four years and although a tiring three days, it’s always a lot of fun. This year the weather wasn’t so kind and it ended up a bit like Glastonbury outside our marquee. Many thanks to all our helpers, especially Sarah who stuck it out for the three days and most importantly helping to take the stand down, something not easily forgotten 🙂 We also made a willow badger for the Wildlife Trust Garden so it seemed as if we were living on the show ground for about a week.
MAY – Willow Sculpture course, Forest School sessions and Jubilee Crown
Four herons and a dolphin were made on our sculpture course, how amazing are they!
Forest School sessions started again, one afternoon a week for ten weeks taking a group of ten and eleven year olds to experience the outdoors and learn about their environment and to have fun of course. Some lovely tree art went on in the first session, sadly rained every single Thursday afternoon for ten weeks!
We were also asked to make a replica of the Queen’s Coronation Crown for the Physic Garden in Cowbridge to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee.