Thursday, 7 July 2016

Watch the birdy

I know there are many fantastic willow weavers who run courses in the Five Valleys including Susan Early (email:, Sheila Winter (write to: Sheila Winter, 4, Trinity Rd, Stroud, Glos. GL5 2HX) and Norah Kennedy ( but I was invited to join a group of friends at the Willow and Wetlands Visitor Centre (where they make the best Fortnum & Mason's hampers!) at Stoke St Gregory in Somerset for a willow sculpting workshop. I had seen Sarah Le Breton's leaping hares outside Linley's this year for the Chelsea Flower Show ( so I knew I was in for a treat and I was not disappointed. We all made different animal sculptures and, fearing making a complete numpty of myself, I chose what I thought would be the easiest option - a 5ft heron. I needn't have worried. With boundless enthusiasm Sarah was able to help everyone create a bespoke piece to take home. Besides wading herons there were sitting hares, leaping hares, a fox and even a dachshund! I'm already thinking about another workshop... maybe this time I'll be brave and go for the dancing hare.

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