Wow, what a day! It started with rain ended with rain and had rain in the middle, but as I told the lovely Liz, who came to see us at intervals with tea and wonderment, rain is good for the willow, it helps water it in and stops the whips from drying out.

Anyway, after a bit of to-ing and fro-ing with the tape measure, aided by my glamorous assistant Max, we started the boat with a basic willow peg and twine frame, to provide a shape around which to put the uprights. (Incidentally, I say glamorous because during the day max tore his waterproof trousers, turning them effectively into a rather fetching kilt like garment).

Once the uprights were in place I set to weaving the basic frame to build based on this design.

After what seemed like forever and I have to admit, at one point I didn’t quite believe it would, the boat hull began to emerge. It was really heartening and exciting! After the basic frame, I added additional weavers in brown and yellow to build up the hull.

By the end of the first day, the boat was really starting to take shape. And although I had hoped to be finished in a day with the first structure, it will soon be finished off when I return to the school on Saturday…

Liz introduced me to the book ‘The Lost Words’ over lunchtime and it is certainly worth a mention here. The book is a collaboration between an artist and poet responding to the fact certain everyday words from nature were being taken out of the Oxford English Children’s Dictionary. Which, amongst words like bluebell, acorn and Magpie included willow…apparently it was decided that children no longer needed these words in their dictionary. I was flabbergasted as I am sure you are too!! Check the book out. I would highly recommend it! It’ beautiful to look at.

Anyway, until Saturday, that’s all for now folks,

Warm and willowey regards,
Jenny.

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