Courses & News November 2020 including New Willow Days January – May 2021
Below is a copy of the information about my courses and other news that I sent out in my latest newsletter to my MailChimp list on the 11th November.
I hope that you, your family and friends are keeping well.
I’m now taking bookings for the 18 Willow Basket & Animal Sculpture Days that I will be teaching January – May 2021 at Coates English Willow on the Somerset Levels.
Find all the details, including how to book your Willow Day below but first….
2020 has been, and continues to be, quite a year!
Throughout September and October I was able to successfully teach both my own Willow Days and for brilliant supportive organisations including River Cottage, the Somerset Rural Life Museum and the RHS. Whilst doing so I made every reasonable effort in following Covid-19 government guidelines, this included social distancing, hand sanitising and wearing face masks / visors. The reality is that yes it was slightly more tiring for everyone creating their baskets or animals and it was more strenuous for me; but what I’ve found is how determined, resilient and enthusiastic we all were. The amazing willow baskets and animal sculptures that were created during this time are testament to this!
The second lockdown has therefore come as quite a blow, but I am determined that in 2021 not only will I be teaching everyone who has very kindly postponed from the Spring / Summer and November 2020, but I am going to continue as planned and next year focus more upon teaching willow basketmaking. I’m especially excited to finally be able to teach a 2 day English Willow Round Basket course. This will include learning a basket base and handle that is local to the Somerset area and us being able to delve in more detail into English techniques.
New Waiting List arrangement for 2021.
Having already released my January – May 2021 Willow Day dates to my gift voucher holders and to those whose 2020 places have been postponed, some of my new 2021 dates are now already fully booked. For Jan – May 2021 I have also reduced my maximum number of places per Willow Day from 8 to 6 people. Subject to government guidelines I will review this and where possible increase the number of places available in 2021 back up to a maximum of 8 participants. If therefore you see your chosen Willow Day already fully booked please do still make a booking enquiry and I will put you on a waiting list for your chosen date/s.
Just to let you know, once you have booked your place/s I will keep you informed of any changes to our Willow Day that may occur due to Covid-19 government guidelines and if for a Covid-19 reason you or I do need to cancel, I will of course postpone your place/s to a later 2021 date.
It’s been a challenging year for so many of us who are earning a living through craft. I was incredibly grateful at the start of June to receive one of the Heritage Craft Association emergency grants, there to help me create a more sustainable craft business. This gave me a much needed boost, a greater belief that I will succeed in forging new avenues for my work and that I will survive doing what I love. This grant also gave me the confidence to keep making and undertake exciting commissions that encompass my growing skill in traditional English willow basketmaking and my sculptural background. (Photos immediately below show recent commissions clockwise from left: Playroom Baskets, traditional shopper, Lampshades for Creative Spaces at Marchmont House, Devon Maund).
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 in 2021 to create fantastic willow baskets and animals!
Best wishes, Sarah www.sarahlebreton.co.uk