I have this morning released my June – July 2020 dates to my MailChimp list. I will be teaching these 8 Willow Basket & Animal Sculpture Days for you at Coates English Willow, near Taunton on the Somerset Levels. Please head to my website Courses page for more information.
I always tell you about my latest Course information and News in my MailChimp newsletter and thought you might like to read this too! To sign up to my MailChimp newsletter and receive my next set of Willow Day dates before their release to the general public please sign up on my website Contact page.
Best wishes, Sarah X
In the past 8 years of my teaching Willow Basket & Animal Sculpture Days at Coates English Willow I have helped in making over 1500 willow animals! During this time I have had the privilege of meeting and teaching the most incredible people. There have been many who have claimed not to have a creative bone in their body and then go on to make in a day the most amazing animal; to others whose ambitions for ponies, elephants, large trophy bear heads and vicunas etc. have sent me into a mild but conquerable panic!
Actually, as the popularity of willow animals has grown, it has been the ambitions of what you have wanted to make, and what you do achieve, that has kept me thriving and fulfilled. I also feel that I have now succeeded in my blatant ambition for students weaving willow animals to catch the “willow bug” (so to speak), go on to weave more, learn how to make baskets, value baskets and the craft form, and in so doing support UK based basketmakers and teachers.
It’s now time for me to focus upon becoming the best basketmaker and teacher that I can be, further learn and hold on to traditional English willow basketmaking techniques, pursue exciting commission opportunities and to assist in creating a future for commercial basketmaking in the UK.
This would be more than enough on it’s own; but combined with my recent first real health wake up call, (a direct result I believe from pushing myself to my work/life limit for years), I’m now choosing to refocus my work and live life better.
Therefore, if you are wishing to make a willow animal with me, I strongly advise you to book on one of my following June – July dates, (not because I’ve drastically shortened my life but because I’m no longer guaranteeing that I will be teaching willow animals after this summer!) However, if you wish to play your part in saving a truly amazing heritage craft form and create a lovely willow basket, do please book on one of my Willow Basket Days!
As many of you know, I absolutely love teaching at Coates English Willow on the Somerset Levels. Growing willow since 1819, Coates are open to the public and are a brilliant showcase for our rich willow heritage which we are all lucky enough to be able to explore. You can see one of the few remaining commercial basketmaking workshops in the UK in action, walk on the moors among the willow and of course buy their baskets! On site are also a range of lovely artisan shops – who run craft workshops too. So once you’ve woven willow with me why not also try out glass fusing or even baking and fermentation courses? www.coatesenglishwillow.co.uk www.withiesdelicatessen.com www.pallkerartglass.co.uk www.hattysattic.co.uk
In my last newsletter I gave what must have been a far too subtle hint as to the amazing potential teaching opportunities at Coates, so I’ll try again…. Coates are looking to expand their range of willow weaving workshops that they offer. So if you are a former student of mine, have existing willow teaching experience, desirably in animals (hint hint!), are preferably self employed and would like to know more, then please do contact me.
Gift Vouchers: I do offer my own Gift Voucher Service. These make ideal birthday and anniversary gifts for family, friends or colleagues. They also enable priority booking, (gift recipients get to choose their Willow Day date before those on my MailChimp publicity mailing). You can find out about my gift vouchers in more detail by heading to www.sarahlebreton.co.uk/courses
I do hope that you will be joining me this summer to create fantastic willow baskets and animals!“