Posts Tagged ‘living willow’

Moorwood Art goes to Hereford

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

This is the culmination of 7 days of weaving and gathering.  Vine prunings from the local vineyard at Wraxall, wild clematis, hazel, Virginia creeper, ash twigs and dogwoods have all been carefully woven into these willow balls to celebrate Nature’s winter colours and textures. 

All the materials, with the exception of wild clematis, form part of an annual maintenance operation; vineyard maintenance, hedgerow cutting prior to bird nesting, coppiced garden dogwoods and tidying of potentially over vigourous house creeper. 

I love the grooved grey stems of wild clematis, for this I have to go to the woods where it happily climbs up from the forest floor and into the canopy of coppiced hazel.  Foresters consider it a weed as it makes felling a tangled and difficult mess as well as cutting out light from coppiced stools.  It does however provide access to tiny creatures such as doormice up into the woodland canopy.  Sustainable harvesting is necessary however it is a very vigorous climber.

I was asked to make these balls for an exhibition that starts next weekend, they will be suspended from the beams in a barn which should look stunning!  They look great indoors, a conservatory or outdoors where I find that birds usually build nests in them,  I have nick-named them ‘birds nest sculptures’.

Moorwood Art, The Carpenter’s Shop, Whitfield House, Whitfield, Hereford HR2 9BA
Open Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th March 2013
10.00am – 1.00pm and 3.00pm – 5.00pm
11th, 12th and 13th March (by appointment only)

A carbon zero garden

Sunday, September 2nd, 2012

A show garden is one of those totally unrealistic and exhausting projects that must be built in a week in all weathers only to be dismantled 3 days later! It is the sort of thing that I usually try to avoid however this time the show was very local to me, I used all recycled materials and the garden brought together design, horticulture, willow and willow weaving.   It was a garden commissioned by the Royal Bath and West  Society.

The garden was designed as an inspiring work space for willow weaving workshops as well showing off some well designed raised beds using locally reclaimed timber.  It was a carbon zero garden on account of its recycled materials, its locality, the fact that I grew the plants myself (these were mostly coppiced willows) and that everything would be reused again.

The garden was well received with a silver medal and it was a great show!

Willow tunnel – Southampon

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

This strong living willow tunnel became quite basket-like the more I wove in the diagonals.  It was a damp half term day but there were still children at this day centre, who, dressed in wet serious weather gear, came out to watch my progress and were delighted to play in it at the end of the day.

Outdoor reading room – Fareham

Monday, March 29th, 2010

A school set in beautiful oak woodland asked me to create an outdoor reading room for pupils to incorporate native bulbs, scented shrubs, (reinstated) living willow structure, oak benching, log seating, areas for sculptures, etc…

section of plan

Living Willow Tunnel – Basingstoke

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Chilly weather with flurries of snow but I was helped by small groups of infants throughout the day.

new living willow tunnel  children impatient to try out the tunnel

Living willow tunnel at nature reserve

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

A bitter cold morning but the sun was out and the wind eventually dropped, it was a day of laughter, good humour and hands on learning for my class at Swanick Nature Reserve  part of Hampshire & Isle of White Trust

a cold morning for a workshop  nearly finished  testing...

The Blue School – Wells

Monday, November 16th, 2009

This is a raised level area bordered by two straight banks, there are several semi mature trees and a glasshouse.  One bank has been scalloped to create a free flowing form, the other bank built up using gabions filled with local stone.  The overall design uses very organic  forms to detract from the large adjacent school building (see entry ’7 November’) as well as to create an inviting and useful division of space for outdoor teaching.   A wildlife pond, seating, six extra trees and a curved landform ‘amphitheatre’ have been created.  The planting uses a backbone of shrubs such as dogwoods to create winter colour, there is an underplanting of low growing herbaceous and bulbs and one area uses hardy annual seed mixes, as devised by Sheffield University, to create sequential flowering from May til October.

section of plan

Site surveyed with students, see entry: November 7th, 2009

Children’s garden – Basingstoke

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

This children’s centre (for 0-5 year olds) wants to involve the parents to create an exciting outdoor area to maximize play and exploration. 

The brief was to maximise the potential of the outdoor area and the design  incorporated: vegetable growing, an edible maze, bug discovery, a living willow adventure trail with den, with sensory planting around (smell and feel), grass mounds, paths and stepping stones to link the existing features (musical instruments, glass house and tractor).  Staight hedges were transformed into wavy topped structures, the outside of the shed became a huge blackboard and the railings were planted with fruiting trees and vines.

The project is to be implemented in phases and linked with art workshops.

children's play centre

Somerset Life

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

I am interviewed in Somerset Life (September issue)

Maker of the month

Sunday, November 12th, 2006

I am maker of the month