Amanda Rayner runs Wyldwood Willow, a small business that was established in 2000. Her aim is to re-educate people in the versatility and sustainability of weaving willow and other hedgerow materials by running and teaching workshops throughout the year. She also sells her own handmade and beautiful baskets as well as bespoke items ranging from arrow quivers, Moses baskets for babies, eel traps and coffins- for humans and pets. She also weaves living willow structures for gardens and playgrounds and sculpture. Amanda harvests materials from the wild hedgerows and woodlands and manages a few small plots of coloured willows. Many of her products use these materials combined with willow from the Somerset levels.
Amanda spends a large proportion of her time sharing and passing on her weaving skills in the hope that more people, once they have had a go will take up this therapeutic pastime as a hobby or way of life. She believes that at one time we would have all known how to make a functional if not beautiful vessel for carrying things and would love to see a world of handmade woven baskets and no poor plastic imitations!
You’ll be most likely to meet Amanda teaching hedgerow and willow basketry on our Weavin’ & Whittlin’ weekend and Willow Baskets and Bark Crafts workshop. You may well see her helping out with other courses throughout the season too.