Basketry (or willow weaving as it has become known) is widely believed to be the oldest craft in the world, dating back ten to twelve thousand years and predating pottery.
Willow weaving in an ancient craft and evidence has been discovered that it was also practised in Roman times. Willow is still used to make functional items but it is also used to produce beautiful sculptures and amazing structures.
A bit more detail
The willow Sarah uses is from the Somerset Levels and is a renewable and sustainable crop. It is the ultimate green product absorbing carbon from the atmosphere as it grows.
The sculptures are made entirely of willow. Sarah’s workshops are run at a steady pace and are suitable for beginners. You will be expertly guided through every step to create a wonderful sculpture of your own.
About the Tutor
‘Willow has a fluidity that can’t be matched; it can twist and bend and turn to be reworked into whatever shape I desire; I am literally drawing with sticks.”
Sarah Gallagher-Hayes is a local willow sculptor. She has been creating sculptures for over 20 years and has been commissioned to make sculptures for Kew Gardens, Chelsea flower show and RHS Wisley gardens to name a few.
Timetable of the day
09:30 A warm welcome to @:Toolerstone with refreshments
10:00 Introduction to willow weaving & techniques used
10:30 Time to start your sculptures
11:00 Coffee will be served
11:15 Continue with the workshop and work at your own pace
13:00. Delicious homemade, lunch in the refectory
14:00 Putting the finishing touches to your work.
16:30. Workshop ends but, you can take your stag sculpture home!
Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 2 weeks before the course starts. Start dates may be amended on request.
What is included?
All materials & tools
Aprons are provided for the day if required
Refreshments & a delicious lunch
Free onsite car parking
The most important bit, your very own festive willow sculptures to take home
What do I need to bring?
Gardening gloves would be of benefit as the willow can be tough on your hands.
We welcome all levels of experience from beginners to the enthusiastic professional!
1 day (9:30am to 4:30pm)
This craft course provider has been awarded Bronze status for receiving 1 or more 5 star ratings from previous students.
The Students' Choice award ensures that course providers get recognised for their efforts in the teaching and practice of UK craft.
They also allow tutors to gain valuable feedback on their courses and for new students to find the course that's right for them.
1 day (9:30am to 4:30pm)
Wet felting Day at Toolerstone, Cheshire
Thank you for such a lovely, ‘relaxing’ and therapeutic day. Myself and my friend Renate enjoyed it so much and are looking forward to completing our ‘masterpieces’ in the garden with some wine!
We came as novices and learned a new skill (well lets hope I can do it a little better next time now I sort of know what I’m doing)! It was a full packed day of learning, eating and enjoying the company of others, some of whom were a little more experienced! Melanie(Craft in the Valley) was very patient with each and everyone of us. I never felt foolish or disappointed with my efforts even when being the first to break a felting needle!
Melanie’s approach to teaching is both calming and informative. She is very clearly exceptionally skilled at all she does.
The venue was a perfect setting, the food was delicious and we enjoyed a lovely walk in the sunshine through the owners beautiful gardens.
Easily the best workshop that I have ever experienced. The welcome, the venue, the workspace, the ambience, Camilla and her friendly staff, the wonderful food, Melanie our lovely tutor and the superb range and quality of the provided materials were all exceptional. I have attended many workshops across the UK and this is the only one that I have found to be totally faultless. Absolute perfection. The cherry on the cake is that I now have a felted landscape, of which I am very proud, thanks to Melanie's friendly, patient and expert guidance.
Thank you all for an amazing day, I will be back.
Response from @:Toolerstone:Thank you so much for your fabulous review Lynne! We are so pleased you enjoyed your day with us. We really hope you come and see us again very soon! From the @:Toolerstone team x