Wednesday saw the OH and me back at wonderful West Dean together. I’d promised to buy him some sort of course as a birthday present, and then (pre re-employment!) decided I’d go along too.
The course was ‘Willow Work for the Garden’, the instructor Dominic Parrette (see some of his work above) and we had an absolute ball.
Dominic couldn’t have been more helpful and supportive, and we came back with an absolute stash of willow goodies, to the point where we had two items strapped to the roof rack, as well as the seats down and the boot stuffed!
We started on Wednesday evening with a general chat regarding safety, materials and tools. Dominic grows some of the willow himself, but he had also brought some in, so there was a range of lengths and colours.
But on the Thursday we started on various individual projects. I wanted two tall plant supports to replace a pair which had rotted after a number of years, and so the OH and I decided to make one each.
A certain degree of rivalry ensued, but I think they look pretty good. Note the spirals travel in different directions as I’m left handed. I’d like to say that this helps with the symmetry, but that’s rather ruined by the fact that mine’s definitely chubbier!
After the plant supports, we both went a little off piste. The OH created a sculptural piece which then evolved into a rhubarb forcer. (Or, as one of our fellow attendees suggested, a hobbit house),
and I decided to convert the two spheres we’d made the previous evening into some sort of flower sculpture:
After knocking up another tall plant support after dinner (which was even chubbier), on Friday I calmed down and made a more sensible woven panel.
The challenge then was getting them home – here they are admiring the West Dean view whilst waiting for their transport.
And finally, here are a couple of our items in situ.
With enormous thanks to Dominic, West Dean and all our lovely group for a wonderfully creative couple of days. Do take a look at the short courses at West Dean – and note Dominic will be back in both June and October if you’re inspired by our wobbly willow!