Eddie Glew in Canada

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If you have ever dreamed of making baskets for a living, Eddie Glew is living your dream! This talented young man is a self proclaimed basket nerd who holds workshops with tea and 'posh biscuits' in his red shed in Staffs, UK. Eddie works throughout Britain on basket and sculptural commissions, indoor and outdoor installations of pretty much anything you can make out of willow. He teaches at many venues, sometimes to large crowds, and has been interviewed for television, magazines and blogs. Eddie inherited his love of basketry from his father who taught him to weave, later he studied with Adrian Charlton and then spent 2 years training with Sally Goymer, author of The Complete Book of Basketry Techniques.

Eddie's skills are precise and impeccable, a natural talent who is patient and extremely generous with his knowledge. We had the pleasure of working with Eddie in 2014 and are thrilled to have him here teaching for the first time in North America. We are pleased to offer three special workshops this summer from August 1 - 6. Take a look at his website, BLITHFIELDWILLOWCRAFTS.CO.UK and scroll down this page to see photos of some of his work.

For information about Eddie Glew in our Guest Instructor Series 2018 click here>>>

 
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Patrick Dougherty

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Last year is now a blur of amazing memories and you may have noticed we were so busy we have not had a chance to post about our adventures. Hopefully we can catch up on some of the news from 2017 in the next few instalments.

First on our minds was our time spent working with Patrick Dougherty. If you aren't familiar with this incredible man you MUST take a look at his web site or google him. Be prepared to be AMAZED! 

 
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In June 2017 we volunteered to work on a project called 'Monumental Dougherty' at the Montreal Botanical Gardens - Jardin Botanique. This event was created, designed and built by land art sculptor Patrick Dougherty, an artist from North Carolina who builds massive, whimsical, sculptures all over the world using indigenous materials, his 'stick works'.

It was the chance of a lifetime for us and an experience we will never forget. Our friend and fellow "stick geek" Lene Rasmussen of Lakeshore Willows arranged for the three of us to work for three days...in the rain, cold, sun and heat, on ladders and on our knees, we worked side by side with Mr. Dougherty and his team. This incredible artist is a kind, calm, patient and humble man who's lifetime of work consists of over 275 unique, animated, imaginary, extrordinary structures made entirely, from top to bottom, with sticks. 

 
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Monumental Dougherty consists of three installations. The one we worked on was loosely designed on the shape of a celtic knot, with interlocking 'rooms' joined by a maze of woven willow walls and arches, all swirling and whirling as if it was about to lift off from the ground and spin up into the clouds.  

 
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Mr. Dougherty and his crew constructed two other structures while they were on the site in Montreal. The first was built as an interactive framework for visitors to work on over the summer using willow rods to fill in the walls. The third, which was built after we left, was an incredible series of buildings, a sort of twisted, domed village, with one monolithic, multi-domed, willow worshiping cathedral in it's centre. 

 
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  photo courtesy Conrad Bertrand

photo courtesy Conrad Bertrand

 

This three day experience was a huge '10 out of 10' for Madame Twig I & II! These structures will deteriorate over time, lasting 2 - 3 years in our climate, so if you have the chance don't miss the opportunity to visit them, they are truly remarkable!

 
  photo courtesy Conrad Bertrand

photo courtesy Conrad Bertrand

We're Weaving With Willow!

The spring rains finally arrived just in time to avoid another drought and now we are enjoying the heat of summer. The last time we checked the willow crop was well over our heads so we are looking forward to a good harvest, with fingers crossed we continue to get some rain now and then, one inch a week would be perfect! 


 Willow fields on May, 2015.

Willow fields on May, 2015.


 June 2015

June 2015


 August 2015

August 2015


In June we spent five days at Lakeshore Willows in Wainfleet, learning to weaving with bark and willow in a class taught by Ane Lyngsgaard who travelled with Eva Seidenfaden from Denmark to teach in Ontario, and then on to Iowa for more classes. Ane and Eva are remarkable artists and weavers who have travelled all over the world to share their talent with others. We feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet these wonderful women. 

 Our lovely baskets after five days of weaving with Ane Lyngsgaard.

Our lovely baskets after five days of weaving with Ane Lyngsgaard.


Here are some photos of the things we have been working on this summer. We hope to have some of these items available for sale at our Annual Farm Open House this November. 







 We made this willow donkey sculpture for The Blue Jeans and Black Tie Kick Ass Auction, a fundraisers for  Primrose Donkey Sanctuary  held on Friday, October 17th at the Warkworth Townhall. 

We made this willow donkey sculpture for The Blue Jeans and Black Tie Kick Ass Auction, a fundraisers for Primrose Donkey Sanctuary held on Friday, October 17th at the Warkworth Townhall. 


 The End.

The End.

Willow Workshops in Warkworth, August 2014

This summer we held classes with guest instructor Lene Rasmussen of Lakeshore Willows in Wainfleet, Ontario. Lene, a remarkably talented weaver,  is originally from Denmark and has spent many years honing her talent and learning as much as she can about willow basketry and living willow structures. We met Lene last fall and have remained friends, taking classes at her home and sharing ideas about all things willow. 

 

We had a great group of people attend, many first time weavers, who made bird feeders, garden globes and tatza baskets over the five days of classes. 

 Christine , Lene and Jill tightening a tatza basket. 

Christine , Lene and Jill tightening a tatza basket. 

 Bird feeders in progress.

Bird feeders in progress.

 Setting up for lunch on the terrace.

Setting up for lunch on the terrace.

 After two days, the first group of happy bird feeder students.

After two days, the first group of happy bird feeder students.

 Time for a break...coffee, tea and goodies including our good friend's famous banana bread.

Time for a break...coffee, tea and goodies including our good friend's famous banana bread.

 Group number two, great job!

Group number two, great job!

 Garden globes.

Garden globes.