I (Lorraine) have been running a series of Willow Obelisk Workshops this year at both Priory Farm, South Nutfield and also The Dene, Woldingham. Due to their popularity I have been adding new dates and will continue to do so until my Willow runs out! Last year I used Hazel as it really creates a strong, long lasting Obelisk. However, Hazel is much more time consuming to cut as you have to be quite selective when using the rods for weaving.
There is something about working with Willow that really allows you to feel connected to the natural world. I enjoy harvesting the Willow from the lakeside at Priory Farm, as much as I enjoy delivering the Obelisk Workshop. When harvesting the Willow I try and keep as quite as possible so not to disturb the fisherman but also so I can listen to the birds and watch the ducks and their ducklings enjoying a swim in peace, I am so lucky to be able work in such a picturesque, tranquil location!
Great time making mini and maxi obelisk for the garden. Helpful guidance and tips from Lorraine and the cups of tea helped keep us warm! Highly recommend these courses. Keeping the traditional crafts alive.
Facebook review by Sarah Hellard
If when I get a spare half an hour I also enjoy just sitting and peeling off the bark of the Willow to reveal the white wood below, ‘it’s like peeling off nail varnish”, so satisfying and addictive! Once peeled the Willow can be used for weaving but it does dry out much quicker than when the bark is left on but does looks very attractive. I include the use of Willow in my Wood Craft Workshops too, the children love making Bird Feeders or Mini-Obelisk.
Together with my husband Paul we will be delivering our first combined Obelisk and Wattle Hurdle Making Workshop to be held at Sussex Prairie Garden, Henfield on Sunday 2nd June. This beautiful garden (another picturesque location) partners with the RHS so we are offering a 20% discount to RHS members!
We also have a new collaboration with The Salt Box (also located at Priory Farm Estates) who are hosting a Willow Obelisk Workshop & Woodland Lunch, so why not join us, Lorraine, Christian and Beckie in the woods on Thursday 4th July!
Another great use for Willow is making the bases for our seasonal wreath making workshops, such a natural alternative to using wire or oasis. We include the weaving of the base in the workshop to make it more interesting. The Spring Wreath below included an attractive yellow Willow, you can also weave in other flexible wood to introduce different colours such as Cornus!
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