Tuesday, January 20, 2015

From 2014 Willow Basketry events to new adventures in 2015

2014 started very slowly as we had a very cold and long winter. 

This photo is from March 30th and some of the willow field still has snow drifts more than 1 meter (3-4 feet) deep. We were getting anxious to harvest the willow before it all started to grow again.
March and April are usually the time for workshops creating living willow structures in pots. Because of the winter dragging on and on we only managed to have a few sessions, but we had a lot of fun.
I haven't been good at remembering to take photos during workshops. I have to get better at that to save the memories of some wonderful hours with great people eager to learn and excited about their creations.
Several workshops took place here during the year where I had the opportunity to share some of the basket making techniques that I have learned.
For the third year in a row we were fortunate to have Anne Mette Hjornholm here from Denmark to teach 4 wonderful days of classes.
Just three weeks later we had two more of Denmark's talented willow artists visiting.
 Ane Lyngsgaard and Eva Seidenfaden taught 3 days of exciting classes.

The Southwestern Ontario Basketry Guild (SOBG) of which I am a business member, held a wonderful "Willow Retreat" at the Michaelite House Retreat Centre in London, Ontario
I had a great group of students making baskets on a Catalan base.
In August I also had the pleasure to visit The Branch Ranch to teach a week of classes. A wonderful place with great people and lots of fun.
We always end the year with a few winter/Christmas workshops that are fun and relaxed with emphasis on making smaller decorative items. We did have 3 sessions, but these two ladies were tough. They made it here in a severe snowstorm - all the way from Wisconsin and New York - while the other participants registered for that class (from Ontario)  cancelled because of the snow. 

Just as last year at this time we are now waiting for the snow to melt so that we can start harvesting our willow. Hopefully that will happen within the next 4-6 weeks.

In the meantime we have the first workshops of the new year 2015 this week, Wednesday and Thursday and more will be scheduled for the next few months including a few Living Willow sessions in March and April.

In addition to a few speaking engagements, workshops off site, a week long  series of classes at Haliburton School of Art and participation in Port Colborne's first Art week I am looking forward to once again welcoming Ane Lyngsgaard and Eva Seidenfaden to teach classes here in June and Anne Mette Hjornholm to teach here for the forth year in September. 

Watch out for my next newsletter with information about the upcoming classes.

Words and photos by Lene Rasmussen,Willows.

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