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Willow Weaving Workshop by Martin Keeley

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Willow Weaving Workshop – Creating a Willow Pheasant

Autumn 2016 I held my first workshop with our host Martin Keeley of Rutland Willows.  Martin and his wife Louise run willow_course_16RutlandWillows which was originally founded by Louise’s farther John Shone.  Apart from Willow animals and sculptures they also do Dry Stone Walling and Hedge Laying. More about the work they do can be seen on their website.

Our course was well attended and Martin started off by teaching us about various types of willow and its preparation to be used for weaving. We learnt how to do some basic weaving pattens and techniques and created a small woven miniature panel much like those of the fence panel type, just in miniature.  We then had a go at making a fish on a line.  After our lunch we all got started on creating our pheasants.  There were some inevitable frustrations and giggles while we were trying to do as Martin had shown us.  Deep concentration could be seen on peoples faces as everyone was focussed on the task at hand.  It was deeply absorbing and creative.



At the end of the day we all managed to turn out a pretty respectable looking pheasant that will do our gardens or homes proud!


It was an enjoyable day and one i would hope to repeat next year.  Martin has agreed to repeat this one day course for any of those whom showed interest, but were unable to attend and anyone who would like to have a refresher could adapt the pheasant to another bird such as a duck.  We may then follow on the next day for an advanced class where we will be shown how to create a four legged animal such as a fox.


Many Thanks to Dave Clarke who took most of the lovely photos of the day.