Go on a course: WILLOW SCULPTURE
DOWN A COUNTRY LANE IN
LEAFY SURREY, surrounded by woodland, is a large, unkempt garden throughout which you’ll find some incredible willow sculptures. They’re the work of artist and sculptor Sara Holmes. Having always admired a willow figure belonging to a friend of mine, I jumped at the chance to join Sara to learn how to make my own. She asks beforehand for your choice of design, preferably with an illustration so she can see if it’s achievable, but also so she can make the armature, or metal frame. Mine was waiting for me when I arrived, and, once Sara had handed out willow ‘withies’ to everyone, she showed us how to get started. When we were confident about what to do, we carried on, with Sara moving around the group providing help. I found the rhythmic movement of weaving the softened willow over the frame surprisingly relaxing and a delicious vegetarian lunch provided the perfect break. It was amazing watching the raw materials being transformed, and now my willow lady stands pride of place in my garden.
One-day willow sculpture workshop, £145; online course around £125 (willowtwisters.com).