Ready to go! Demonstration of Willow Craft. Catalan Platter, now for sale!
Well, I can’t say it was very busy in Dunmore, where I was demonstrating my Willow Craft last Friday. But the company was good and I had a pleasant morning. A 4 year-old kept me entertained while I was making my basket and he was very creative himself. A few people came and admired the baskets. Most importantly, being there and showing the work encouraged people to tell their stories! It turns out there were quite a few basket-makers in this area in the past. Several people have come in and told me of their father or grandfather, who was making baskets,sitting in the kitchen. It seems the craft was there and then lost, only one generation ago! Time to bring it back to this locality!
As usual in An Seomra Eile inspiration was rife: the idea of a ‘basket-maker-in-residence’ was brought up. I am game! In the Community Garden behind An Seomra I will be making a few things for the upcoming Bealtaine Festival anyway. I have started a Living Willow Arch, which will soon be accompanied by a Living Arbor, with a place inside for a seat. During the festival there will be pea-supports for sale (Teepeas), something like these:
Don’t they look nice in the snow?
Oof, I better get off this blog and start working !!!
My business cards arrived, hurray.
So now I guess I am really in business! Have been very busy this week: extended the Willow Plantation in both places. In my Saili garden I planted in clumps, but this time I labelled everything properly. In the ‘plantation’ I first spread more plastic ( I know, should have done that months ago and then the weeds would now be killed, but hey, I am not that organised!) and then planted nice tidy rows of each different willow species ……and labelled them on both sides of the line! When these start growing, they will make a very colourful display. Almost a pity to have to cut them down again!
Today I was getting ready for the demonstration/display at the country market in Dunmore tomorrow. I have a few baskets made for sale, and prepared some for working on tomorrow. I just hope I didn’t over-soak the willow. What I am using now are left-overs from the last course I took, so they were soaked and steamed already before! More soaking does not improve the quality. Skins are peeling on some. Hope for the best.
Now you may be fooled into thinking I have a very professional set-up: alas, not yet! When I say soaking, I mean the willow resides in the bathtub for a few days! A proper trough, long enough to accommodate the longer willow rods shall be built in due course…….sometime this spring. Watch this space……