25 May 2011

News from Chelsea

Via Kings Cliffe, Northamptonshire.

In a village hall, down a dirt road, round the back of Main Street, Sue Kirk teaches a raggle taggle bunch of people how to weave with willow. I am one of them. Most people do it because they enjoy the amazingly soothing experience but also because they want to make fencing to keep the chickens out, or to provide their sweet peas with an obelisk which is not made of bamboo. Sue is an artist as well as a practical person and when she is not making bespoke shapes for sculpture gardens she sells baskets at Oundle Market. One day Bunny Guinness, the radio-friendly garden designer, opened a special event at the market and came over to Sue’s stall to buy a basket. ‘Do you want to do Chelsea?’ she asked, a bit casually. On Sunday Sue was serenely teaching people how to make garden supports in the village hall, having spent two weeks at Chelsea, weaving day and night. The results can be seen, surrounded by cabbages and roses in Bunny Guinness’ Kitchen Garden which took silver-gilt at Chelsea. As Bunny says, willow can look ‘slightly rustic and quite modern, in a way.’ You can grow it, cut it, use it and re-do it when it wears out. Sue is ambivalent about all the publicity. ‘I hope I don’t get too much work,’ she says. ‘I did it to pay for the loft extension.’

No comments:

Post a Comment