I made this chap at a willow sculpture workshop taught by Hazel Godfrey at Albion Arts in Harpenden a few weeks back. I don't know what you think of my efforts, but I was rather pleased with him. My friend Sarah also did the course at the same time and made a heron, which you can see below. It was interesting how everyone in the group followed exactly the same instructions, yet everyone's sculpture came out different. Sarah's heron looks more realistic than mine - mine looks a bit, well, shocked, whereas hers is more naturalistic.
It was enlightening working with willow - the wood has to be soaked for a day per foot to make it supple, then the work of bending it to your will is all down to the strength of your hands. It definitely inspired me to make some willow obelisks for my garden as and when I have the time and materials - they're ridiculously expensive to buy and now I've made a heron, I can make an obelisk, surely?! I just need to lay my hands on some willow. Hazel said she gets most of hers from the wild, so I just need to scope out some harvesting spots ou in the countryside.My heron - who may well end up being called Horace - is about the only point of interest in my increasingly bare garden right now. Rick kindly got rid of the mostly dead but huge ceanothus bush, a rogue forsythia and a suckered lilac to free up a huge space for my not-yet-bought potting shed. I would've done it myself, but just under 6 months pregnant I've been banned from heavy work in the garden. With any luck by the summer I should have a new shed, possibly a new patio and with any luck, foundations for the garden office, oh, and a new baby. The latter may mean the garden office will take a little longer to get around to, but just getting rid of the algified ice rink that is the decking will be a great relief.