Thursday, June 21, 2018

better late than never...

or so the saying goes.


When I returned from England in April 2012, I was anxious to get a workshop set up and start willow weaving regularly. Well, 6 years, 1 month and 21 days later and I am finally getting there. I am in the process of moving house again. (This makes, lets see, 9 housing changes in that same 6 years which is about 8 too many). Another time maybe I will talk about the sorry state of the housing situation in Vermont. But for now, I just wanted to share this one good thing with you.

I am moving to a peaceful place in the country where there is space available for me to finally set up a workshop area.

To that end, and because I am working on a sculptural piece for Sculpturefest 2018 in Woodstock, I just bought a beautiful galvanized tank to soak my willow in.

And here it is on its maiden voyage with 2 bundles of willow... along with the view... So far, so good, she's holding water!

signing off for now--
one extraordinarily happy willow weaving woman high up in the hills of Tunbridge, Vermont.

this may not seem too exciting to you, but trust me, it is exciting to me--and a long time comin'.
xo



Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Willow Sculpture @ Helen Day Art Center


My willow sculpture "For the Birds" is in the member show at HDAC in Stowe, VT. Opening reception and show details below... please email, call or text me if you think you might attend the opening reception 'cause i'm not sure if i'll be able to attend or not! Love 'til next time-susie




Opening reception

Friday, December 1st 5-7 pm

Please join us in celebrating the season with an eclectic group exhibition featuring the artwork of our members amongst community-sponsored, artisan-decorated evergreen trees and a beautiful Hannukkah display of menorahs, games, and dreidels. It is the perfect opportunity to find a unique and meaningful gift!

Enjoy a feast of hors d'oeuvres generously provided by local restaurants, music to ring in the holiday cheer, and the festive community atmosphere that makes the Art Center what it is - a place to gather and celebrate creativity.


+ + + + + 
The show runs from December 1 - December 30, 2017 
Members' Art Show curated by Chiyomi McKibbin and Amanda Marquis
Festival of Trees & Light organized by Lisbeth Bruce, Kim Dreslin, and Molly Triffin

Monday, October 9, 2017

Willow Weaving with One Planet Afterschool Kids


I am having the greatest time leading a "Wonderful Willow Craft" program for kids aged K-6. Our current project consists of a willow "loom" onto which we are weaving more willow, grapevine, day lily leaves and whatever other natural weaving materials we can find along with stips of 100% cotton and wool yarn, also natural materials just in their processed state of being...

Our previous project were miniature (fairy) doors created with willow sticks and decorated with a bit of raffia! Lots of fun!

some of us might have gotten a little carried away with the hot glue gun... 8-)



Next up we'll be working on our own willow stick creations! Check back and see what we make!

As always, i'm having fabulous fun weaving willow in the mountains of Vermont. I hope your days are filled with something you love to do too!

Until next time-
susie








Monday, September 25, 2017

Sculptural Willow Weaving Demos this Weekend!

I am very excited to be demoing my sculptural willow weaving techniques this coming weekend September 30th and October 1st... Hope to see you there!

Saturday, September 30th
Sculptural Visions @
St Gaudens National Historic Site
11-4:30
Admission is free!!

139 Saint Gaudens Road
Cornish, NH 03745

AND

Sunday, October 1st
Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival @ 
Tunbridge Fairgrounds
10-4:00
Admission: $6/ $5 Seniors

1 Fairground Lane
Tunbridge, VT 05077

Saturday, September 23, 2017

LandART Lab 2017

At the King Farm in Woodstock, Vermont
128 King Farm Road
 September 2 - November 30, 2017

"For the Birds"
(with Tom Hare)













and during the creation process October 2016... Leicestershire, England

   
until next time-be well
susie




Tom Hare and Greenwood Days

Tom is a willow sculptor based north of London, England in the Midlands. I have been a huge fan since my first visit to England, when I went to Wakehurst Place with John Waller, who was was teaching a course. Wakehurst is a house and botanic gardens owned by the National Trust but managed by Kew-Royal Botanic Gardens. Wakehurst is also home to the Millennium Seed Bank. The largest wild plant seed bank in the world. Tom Hare has installed a series of willow sculptures along a walking path across from the seed bank depicting all manner of seeds and seed pods.

Check out this link:
 http://blog.tomhare.net/post/44776306812/uk-native-seed-hub-at-wakehurst-place

I was in awe of his work the first time I laid eyes on it. Still am. I honestly think I might be Toms biggest fan... I emailed him when I returned home to VT after that first trip and received a kind, encouraging reply to keep pursuing my dreams to be a willow weaver - sculptor- artist- basket maker- craft person. I have followed Tom's blog and sent occasional emails along the way to ask questions or applaud one of his new sculptures. When my trip last fall was confirmed I wrote asking if he might be teaching a course during the time I'd be in England. The answer back was yes! Tom has developed a very unique method of weaving willow sculptures, and I was so excited that I was going to learn it from the master!

So. In early October 2016 I boarded a train in West Malling headed for Derby. I traveled by way of St Pancras International Train Station-- train travel is always a fascinating experience for me. I love train station architecture. St Pancras is HUGE! And there were people playing grand pianos as I walked from one platform to the next--that was cool! My Airbnb host Laura collected me from the station in Derby. My room at Laura's was truely wonderful plus she cooked me breakfasts and dinners but my favorite part, was the hours and hours we spent talking. Talking and eating. Talking and drinking coffee. Talking and tea.

Tom's course was being run at Greenwood Days where courses are run in a beautiful woodland location--under large canvas covered lean-tos. Peter Wood is the guy in charge there, and he was running a pole lathe course at the same time, so there were lots of us bustling about each day.


Peter's pole lathe class -- our lean-to across the way was just the same.


giant teakettles, giant pot, giant spoon

Peter cooks--check out that spoon!


My delightful classmates -- (L-R) Angie, Ann & Julia

Lunch provided every day-a hearty soup and bread


I'm getting started...





Tom and Angie

Julia

Ann

I'm half way there!

Me. In heaven. Weaving away.

Eventually, my piece was finished and shipped on home to me in Vermont. The UPS guy said it was the most unique package he had ever delivered!

And now, it is hanging in an old windswept appletree on a farm in Woodstock, Vermont!
LandART Lab at the King Farm, Woodstock, Vermont

I'm leaving you with links to Toms website:
http://www.tomhare.net/

And
Greenwood Days website:
http://www.greenwooddays.co.uk/

Please check them out!
until net time-
susie











I went to England...


For four glorious weeks last fall-- mid September to mid October. It was such a joy to spend time with all my friends and hear a British accent in my ear for one solid month. I visited as many National Trust sites and castles as I could squeeze in. Went to the infamous Bentley Wood Fair. Took a sculpture workshop in the Midlands. Used Airbnb for the first time (twice) and had the absolute best hosts... And that especially includes friends who gave me a place to lay my head for a month... I love England and leave a bigger piece of my heart there every time I visit.

Over the next month or so, I'll post a few pictures of places I visited. But, what has got me thinking about all this is that last weekend was the Bentley Wood Fair... and so I have spent some time reminiscing this week. And feeling homesick for my beloved England.

My first Airbnb experience ever was with Marianna in Lewis and it was fabulous. I had a wonderful bright sunny room and a duvet with little red flowers. What more could I ask? I was away at the Wood Fair most of the time, but was thankful for several opportunities to chat with Marianna over cups of tea in her cozy kitchen. I felt right at home. I did not have alot of time to explore Lewis much, but, did wander around a bit each evening as I was looking for supper. I must go back.

And now... a few pictures from Bentley Wood Fair 2016...



Two of my favorite willow people in the world were there.. John Waller (L) and Jake Whitcroft (R). If you've ever read any of my previous blog posts, you'll know already that I've spent a little bit of time hanging out with John, watching and taking workshops on traditional woodland crafts. Last time I visited, Jake was Johns apprentice. Now, Jake has a business all his own!

John Waller, Underwoodsman


spoons, burl bowls,and dibbers


baskets, baskets, and more baskets and flowers and hurdles and chairs-oh my!

The famous rustic hazel chair with willow seat and back on the left--equally beautiful new chair, almost finished, on the right.

JW inserting the stakes on a square basket--working on an order for 3 of the same.

Jake Whitecroft, Coffin Maker

Jake working on the border of a coffin.

Jakes coffins and baskets


some other cool 'woody' stuff by other people...


Mushrooms--a popular woodland theme




Another popular woodland theme--fairy doors.



and yet another... gnomes (upper left) cute as anything!








and of course--what English festival or fair would be complete without a Morris dancing group?!
There was lots of other vendors and demos too-some that I saw, some I did not... Horsepulling, tree climbing, pole lathe turning, shave horse demos... there was a group of woodcarvers each individually working on an exquisite carving of a bird.

To top it off, I got to see the Waller family (everyone so much more grown up!) and the Whitcroft family including their latest addition.

That was Bentley Wood Fair 2016! I had heard about it so much. Was really thrilled to finally get there myself!

until next time-
susie