INSPIRATION...WILLOW: My obsession of the moment

I have been using willow a lot recently in various forms and it’s becoming a bit of an obsession. It is such a versatile material that combines practical strength with flexibility; it looks raw but has a certain noble quality; it’s a very cheap material but it can look elegant. Whether in its natural form (I’ve bought a few stunning Salix Contorta “Tortuosa” specimens recently and used them as focal points), living willow structures or weaved into a hurdle to form a feature wall or fence panels, it seems to offer so many possibilities and uses.

In my latest projects, I’m thinking of designing a structure which would be sculptural while purveying dappled shade on the dining area, a bit like a fluid pergola with an organic form. I haven’t worked out quite how yet….

And then in one of these rare and striking coincidences, I came across the work of the amazingly talented Laura Ellen Bacon while listening to a BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour podcast.

I dream that one day I’ll be able to commission her or collaborate with her….in the meantime I look forward to her work being exhibited at the V&A from September and will carry on experimenting on a more modest scale.