Here’s Sailí Mo, The Willow Witch.
Mo is what I call myself, Sailí is Irish for Willow.
for me, Life equals creativity, at best with natural materials and home-grown, as basket-maker, knitter, weaver, veg-grower, farmer.
I retired from my day&night job as a carer, to try make a living from willow weaving, teaching workshops and selling at markets and events. And then came the Big C and everything changed. No more markets, workshops or events and more time for creating, gardening, inventing. I finally went on-line to sell my creations. First on Etsy and later I joined Shopinireland.ie, who promote and support local Irish businesses. I am on Instagram and Facebook, all the links are here.
In the online shops you will find small to medium sized baskets and other creations. For items too large to be posted (garden supports, log-baskets, baby-crib etc) you can arrange collection or delivery in North County Galway. For commissions, collaborations, retail or creative ideas, send a message at any of the above, or email me : firstname.lastname@example.org
My life in the real world, offline.
Originally a city-girl, I chose a country life many years ago. Growing my own food, working with nature, access to outdoor space and living in a small community are key-issues, and as much as possible self-sufficiency and sustainability. So there are raised beds in front and back garden, there’s a polytunnel and a small greenhouse (currently in disrepair!). I have regular building going on as there is no end to my ideas for the place. Two troughs were built outside the shed, for soaking the willow, making it supple enough for weaving. The shed itself was transformed into a studio space and storage for the harvested willow, but the storage part is gradually taking over. I am now dreaming of an extension to the house, as a dedicated creative room! I grow about 20 different types of willow, to use different colours for my creations. In the back yard I created a little sailí-patch and further down the road there’s a small plantation, growing larger every year. My own harvest is supplemented by imported willow from Somerset for finer work.The basket-making has been a distant interest for a long time, until I finally found the right teachers, did courses and got hooked!
Living surrounded by farms I can’t avoid getting involved with life-stock. A flock of chickens in the backyard are often ‘herded’ by dog Sailí. Their eggs are delicious! A grey goose is patiently waiting for a gander, her life is a bit lonely since she lost her fella. There is a gang of black Zwartbles sheep who give me lovely black wool. I hope to master the skill of spinning, so I can incorporate the wool into my creations. I do find it difficult to balance the time making baskets with the time needed for growing and farming and the garden often suffers…
I intend to post about the ups and downs of growing, creating, foraging and hopefully again some teaching. Have a look at my blogs, photo’s and announcements on the next pages.