Brixton’s very own willow-weaver Sarah Lovett talks about her craft and her show at Making Uncovered on 20 April.
Tell us about your venture
I am interested in permaculture and sustainability. Four years ago I planted 600 willows in West Somerset. I call my venture Naughty Magpie Willows.
Every year in the winter while the plants are dormant I cut them all down and sort the slender wands into bundles. It is hard work but satisfying.
I then have a crop of green willow, which can be planted and grow into structures like tunnels, wigwams and domes. It can also be woven into various useful things for the house and garden.
What will you be showing at Making Uncovered?
I am very pleased to be able to share my skills with you!
I will be introducing my one of a kind bean climber – an obelisk frame which you can grow lovely orange runner bean flowers up, or clematis, cucumbers or morning glories. It is suitable for the garden, balcony or patio, and helps make the most of a small space to grow vegetables or flowers.
While you are waiting for the plants to grow, you can hang a bird feeder in the top and watch the little birds fertilise your bean plants while they peck the food.
All you need to do is to find a big container, or plant pot, fill it with soil, plant your beans in it and plonk the frame over the top, you might have to tie it on in case its windy. Make sure it is watered and soon you will have a feature covered in free food!
I will also have with me large willow hearts designed to decorate the wall, bringing the outside inside. The hearts look fantastic on a feature wall in the living room, great as a notice board in the kitchen, or a hanger in the hallway.
Make your own plant climber!
If you would like to make a plant climber for yourself, or as a present for someone else, book your place at my workshop at Making Uncovered – there are only eight places.
I will demonstrate the easy to follow technique and then you can choose a dozen willow wands and begin to make your own climber with a little help from me. It is a lot of fun. Don’t worry about it being too big to carry, the structure collapses like an umbrella when you take the ring out of the bottom, so you have a long bundle and a ring to carry. More fun on the bus!
This activity is for adults. If you have a pair of secateurs bring them, but I have a few pairs we can use.
You can book your place at the workshop here.
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