Saturday, 19 March 2016

Boris, or how to weave a hare...

Boris, the willow hare
One of the many great things about being an artist, particularly an artist employed by an arts organisation, is that ones training/team building/professional development tends to involve doing art stuff. Thus the Prism Arts team building day involved us all learning to make willow hares with basket maker and willow weaver Phil Bradley at the end of January.

A bunch of sticks...

Starting to add form...

A body emerges...
I was really looking forward to this workshop, last year I did a basket making course and I've done quite a bit of willow weaving to make giant puppets and lanterns so I was keen to develop my skills further. Phil is a well known and respected willow weaver and teacher and so I was looking forward to some expert guidance.

Adding structure

Can you guess what it is yet?

Taking shape

We all had a great day, it was good to have time to focus on creating something that we hadn't had to plan and to be guided through a way of working. I found it very rewarding and as well as being pleased with my sculpture I found it gave me lots of inspiration and ideas for future work. Most of all I enjoyed working with my hands, seeing my hare emerge from a bunch of sticks and spending time with my friends.

It looks like a moose...

Getting there

A host of hares

Another of the things that I enjoyed about the day was hearing about Phil's approach to work, he has an understanding and appreciation of the creatures he is representing in willow and this really shows through. He works in quite an instinctive and natural way which combined with the skill one gains from putting a lot of time and effort into ones craft leads to his sculptures having a real sense of life and movement. Whilst they may not be anatomically correct they capture the spirit of the animal. I found this very inspiring and is something I hope to bring into my own work.

Boris from the front

He casts very beautiful shadows

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