As part of the Somerset arts week in early September this year, Musgroves the wonderful willow growers pulled together a collection of international willow work. From the very solid functional vessels to the more contemporary, sculptural and experimental pieces weavers came together for 'Working the willow'. All of which drew from a wealth of makers who at some stage have purchased their quality materials from Mike and Ellen Musgrove (I reckon over 150 makers contributed!).
The variety of colour, technique and beauty was overwhelming, some of my personal favorites were that of artist/maker Sarah Webb, coiled work, bound with jewelry wire which was very precise and flowing. Joe hogans work also really stood out for me as well, a stunning 'closed pod' worked onto ash-wood, showing both disciplined and anatomical traits. Also, Lizzie Fareys wall hanging of wagtail sketches really captured my imagination .
Alongside the exhibition I ran two 1 day workshops sharing some of my techniques which proved to be popular, the sun shone the willow was very local and clients were spotted leaving with arms full of their own creations.
There will be more dates coming soon for sculptural workshops 2010, watch this space!
Of course my work had to be fork-lifted into place, proving that Big can be beautiful too!
My Hanging Nest seat is constructed from tightly woven steamed willows around a mild steel frame.