This is one of several workshops at Creative with Nature, founded by local willow sculptor and basket maker Joe Gregory. Occupying a characterful three-story building in Todmorden, her shop – which hosts a range of willow products alongside a lively calendar of courses – is the only one of its kind on the UK high street, and classes sell out fast.
While Joe employs fellow UK makers to lead courses on a range of subjects, from felting to shibori dying, she often teaches willow weaving classes like this one herself. Foxes are a relatively new addition to Joe’s animal repertoire (most notably birds, bees and hares) and their ‘graceful and lithe’ form are proving popular. If you’re after a standout garden ornament, these vulpine critters work a treat.
The one-day course will teach you sculptural weaving techniques to create your own fox, and promises a hugely rewarding experience if Joe’s rave reviews are anything to go by. Of her basket course, student Andrea Tudor said: ‘I loved these two days. As a complete beginner, at the end of day one I wondered how any of us would ever come away with a basket worth having, yet by the end of day two, like magic, we each had a log basket to be really proud of! The course was well planned and paced and Joe, as well as being a lovely person, is such a good teacher. She explained everything so well and so simply, yet not in the slightest bit patronising; just encouraging. reassuring and very complimentary about all our efforts. Thank you Joe, you’ve certainly kindled a little fire’.
For willow weaving and mosaic, Creative with Nature also offers a range of training options including bespoke tuition and corporate days.