Category Archives: outdoors

Summer Fun in the Community

We’ve been sharing the skills of the basketmakers with families at community events in Great Yarmouth. We were at the Family Fun Day at the MESH community centre in Gorleston and the Fun Day at Community Roots in Great Yarmouth.

Jane was delighted to make a basket.
…more beautiful weaving
…made with precision .
Sally clearly has favourite colours.
our youngest weaver of the day.
Andrea from We Are Cycling UK had some time to make a basket alongside promoting cycling
…and Megan too.

Stitch in Time (Part Two)

We are working with a group from About With Friends, based in Cromer, continuing the Stitch in Time project whose starting point is the coast.

Our first session was a visit to West Runton to collect ideas and images to inspire us for our print making and stitching in weeks to come.


2018-09-18 09.42.07

Sara took photos for reference and we spent time looking at coastal features…

…plants and sea creatures…

What a great day…

The public involvement day was a roaring success. The weather was good so there were lots of people in the park enjoying the sunshine. Many people came to see the demonstrations and find out more about what the volunteers have been up to and learn about willow.

Several of our younger visitors helped with the scribble weave sculptures.



or made willow stars


The toilet block hurdle and the garden enclosure were both finished.

The new hurdle for the bin enclosure was started and volunteers demonstrated willow fish making and how to make the covers

We even had a canine visitor who was more interested in the water in the bucket than the willow itself to be honest.


Proud volunteers and Withy Arts workers at the end of a delightful project.


Flowers, fish and finishing things

This was the last of our practical sessions weaving together. All the skills have been passed on and the volunteers are ready to weave without us.

Everyone made willow fish at home and a beautiful shoal came back as diverse as their creators.

Stuart and Eunice installed their covers…

Hisnhers covers

Those who hadn’t had the chance to learn the flower and the tension plate did some catching up…


and preparations continued for the Public Involvement Day; all spare hands made progress with the spheres so that they are ready for people to add their scribble weave to…


Pete put a window in his sphere.

And Graeme tried it on for size!

Graeme spheres


Scribble Weaving

This week we made armatures for willow spheres which we then started to fill in with ‘scribble weaving’ which as the name suggests is a technique where the willow withy is woven in a random fashion to create an interesting effect.


Everyone made a small sphere. We will be using this activity at the Public Involvement Day, Saturday 12th May 2018 at Whitlingham Country Park where members of the public will be encouraged to contribute to what will become a willow sculpture in the park.


In the afternoon everyone carried on with their personal projects. Eunice and Stuart finished their covers.

Laura made a flower


Bridget and Sarah carried on with the hurdle.


And we even managed to sort some of the willow!


New work

This week’s session after the Easter break saw the volunteers at Whitlingham Country Park using their newly acquired skills to weave more of the items they have already made.

Susan working on a garden hurdle for the car park flower bed and with the finished product.

Laura garden hoops

Laura finishing off the hoops on her hurdle.

Eunice and Stuart

Eunice and Stuart working on covers, using the gorgeously coloured Repps Meadow willow.

David and Sarah

David and Sarah with this hurdle. It’s going to be used to hide the bins and really too lovely for that job!

Here’s detail from the hurdle.

detail of hurdle

Round Work

Our second weaving session was taken up with round work, starting with some structures that will be used to cover unsightly items around the site. We used boards with pre-drilled holes to start the structures off and made a simple but effective top by folding over the remaining willow withies.


Laura is randing having stated with a three rod wale which makes the structure really strong.


Martin is adding uprights for a  super strong final border.


David randing.

group round work

The weavers added Repps Meadow willow for a decorative touch.

upside down covers

The finished (upside down) covers.


installing cover

Installing the cover…

cover in place

And here’s the result. Good job!

In the afternoon we made wigwams for plant supports. We left them up near the visitors centre because they look so good.






We spent a very happy day yesterday whiling away the hours making scales with lots of lovely people who were visiting St Benet’s.

Bernie was our first customer; he’s on holiday from Austria.

Here’s Jemima making her scale and then fixing it to the dragon’s body.

Next up is Lauren and her lovely work.


Caroline from Norfolk Archeological Trust paid us a visit and made the dragon a scale.


Anna, Laura and their Dad working away.


Laura with her finished scale – beautiful work.

Jane and Una from the Friends of St Benets.


Here’s Mia and her gorgeous scale.

Mia and Mum

and Mia’s mum joined in too.

Anita and Dick

Anita and Dick, also from the Friends of St Benet’s, came in the afternoon when we decamped into the sunshine.


Here’s Kate.





Claire and Richard

Claire and Richard

and last but by no means least…



Many thanks to everyone who made a scale. The dragon looks much scalier!


Bishop Graham blesses the project

We attended the Ecumenical Open Air Service today which was taken by Bishop Graham James, the Bishop of Norwich. The service happens every year at St Benets Abbey.

Bishop Graham arrived by wherry.

The Bishop of Norwich on the wherry


Then he processed with the Brothers of St Benet’s Abbey up to the cross where the service took place.



After the service everyone processed to the gatehouse and Bishop Graham blessed Withy Arts.



He spoke to Arlen about his drawing, the one of the furious dragon.

talking to Arlen and Clare


and chatted to Peter about his work.



Lots of people saw the dragon.

crowds flock2


The day was a perfect celebration of Withy Arts’ work. Many thanks to The Dyballs for a lovely picnic and our trustees Jerry and Melita, Richard and April for their support. We were also delighted to see Martin and Graeme from the Broads Authority.

Bishop Graham and us