Phil Bradley's willow baskets...

20 September 2014, Arts, events and places, Would you like to leave a comment?

I’ve just caught up with a friend of mine, Phil Bradley, who is a local willow grower and basket maker. Phil is a well renowned teacher of his craft and has been making beautiful baskets and sculptures for many years.

Phil grows his own willow, which he uses for a whole variety of projects. These can range from very large commissioned sculptures, down to smaller baskets and decorative pieces. Here's how it looks, when fully grown...

Willow-bed.jpg

This section of willow has been coppiced – the small clusters at the base will sprout new shoots in the spring…

Cut-willow.jpg

The photo below shows bundles of willow, which have recently been harvested. They can be dried for storage, but will need soaking before use, in order make them flexible…

Willow-bundle.jpg

When I arrived, Phil was working on a basket – a skill which he has pretty much perfected! The circular section below will become the base of a finished piece…

Phil-Bradley.jpg

Here are some finished items, which I have on display in my showroom. I’m going to be showcasing his work until the end of this month…

Willow-baskets.jpg

Jonathan Leech

Written by Jonathan Leech

Jonathan Leech is a woodturner working and living in Cumbria. He specialises in making bowls, dishes and platters from local sustainably sourced timber. Read more or about Jonathan or see a selection of his work.

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  • Hi Chris,
    It's great you've got some yew coming in - as you can probably…
    - Jonathan Leech