2021 Due to moving house, courses are limited to willow weaving.
The format for 2021!
We will be working with variable, living willow, which is beautifully flexible when fresh or soaked and has lovely colours. I grow most of the willow and buy in extra willow rods.
The aim is simple - to have fun while learning a new skill; we always reach a point of peaceful activity, when I can rest my voice and the class works away busily, accompanied by much general chatting as the group get to know each other.
Willow is a wonderfully forgiving material and everyone goes away with their original creations!
The group size is limited in order that everyone can get individual assistance with plenty of space, a maximum of 6 people.
The courses are aimed at adults; to teach children of school age, we would all need separate insurance, CBR checks and so on. And honestly, we adults need time to relax and learn without other responsibilities.
The exception is the Pop-up Session, where you must accompany any child, when we will be making easy willow items which they can 'help' you with...
There are 4 choices of workshops;
Willow structures -
An all day course 10am- 4pm suitable for beginners.
You will learn how to make hurdle, border edging and 'wigwam' structures - all at a third
to two-thirds of full-size to enable you to take them home!
With these first principles, and practise..., you will find other structures
easy to work out and put your own creative stamp on them.
£75 per person
Willow baskets -
A 2 day course, suitable for beginners.
The aim is to produce a simple basket, which gives you the techniques needed for practically any willow weaving. Warning; It can be addictive!
I used to do this course in one somewhat tiring day which frequently over-ran into the evening - not very relaxing for those with no craft experience... The two day format, 10-4pm each day, allows everyone to breathe occasionally!
£145 per person
Pop up sessions -
Short taster workshops, 2 hours, 10-noon or 2-4pm.
We will be making smaller willow items, which could be anything from a fish to a sunflower!
£25 per adult. (Children may join in if accompanied by an adult, see above.)
Weavers workshop -
These are regular sessions, between 10-4pm, for previous workshop participants or those with some experience, giving the opportunity to work on your own projects.
This will not be taught, although I will be there to help and remind you if needed.
There will a charge for the venue, facilities and willow, but feel free to bring along other materials to experiment with. (Dogwood cuttings, ivy, hazel, wool, bark, let your imagination run free...)
Please let me know with a quick text, 07517 142685, as I will have to pre-soak enough willow!
£25 per person
(While I have suggested Mondays for these sessions, this is flexible)
This year all the courses will take place at The Plas, Dolanog;
The Plas is a working farm in a beautiful setting alongside the river Vrnwy. There is a lovely open-sided barn, to comply with coronavirus restrictions, toilets and an open kitchen area. plenty of parking - and if you are coming from further away, why not combine the workshop with overnight stays on their peaceful campsite, and take time to explore the area?! You can camp in tents or campervan and there is also the Boatshed which does however get booked up quite quickly.
You don't have to just do willow either! There are courses this year in singing, yoga, felting and woodwork, with more options coming soon.
Please contact the Plas directly for both camping stays and courses.
Please note that my phone doesn't work at Dolanog...so if you need to get in touch, do it in advance!!
What you need to know;
You will need the layered clothing appropriate to Welsh weather as we will be in an open barn- we can light the fire-pits if needed - perhaps bring fingerless gloves if you have them.
We are restricted to providing drinks only, so bring your own food. (you can access the kitchen facilities)
I have several pairs of secateurs, which will be sharp (N.B.!) If you have your own do bring them, we can sharpen them as necessary. An old knife is useful too.
All necessary materials are included in the course prices.
I have found a new home! This is Great for
me but does mean I've had to cancel several
workshops...apologies, but I can't be in 2
places at once!
The pop-up sessions will continue I hope,
though the dates may vary.
May 3rd - willow weavers
17th - willow weavers
(22nd - willow structures SOLD OUT)
31st - willow weavers
31st - pop-up session Places available
June 5th - willow structures Places available
14th - willow weavers
14th - pop-up session
27th - pop-up session
July 12th - pop-up session
25th - pop-up session
August - surfs up! If we get a dry, hot month, we
may all want to paddle in the rivers or head to the
If it pours with rain, I'll work out some more dates!!
September 5th- pop-up session
6th - pop-up session
26th - pop-up session
October 10th - pop-up session
11th - pop-up session
Sometime towards the end of October; we would like to put on a hazel structure day.
These would be quite large - hurdles and teepees - the latter made in situ, part hazel and part willow.
The timing depends on the weather as if it's too cold we'll all freeze, too warm and the leaves won't be off the hazel and willow!
The other 'if's are whether there is enough interest, and hazel material - possibly insurance too as it involves billhooks and axes.
Let me know if you're interested in this idea and I'll work out the feasibility.
THE COURSES ARE DEMAND LED TO A GREAT EXTENT, SO IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO DO A COURSE, AND THE DATES ARE BOOKED UP, OR ABSENT, GET IN TOUCH!
A few pictures of the 2019 courses. All unique - and really excellent results after all their efforts!
Feel free to contact me for any queries, but note that 2021 bookings need to be made through The Plas, Dolanog.
e-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org
mobile - 07517142685
Note, I have no ansaphone services, so if you need to leave a message, please use text or e-mail.