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Chaz Friend is Wayside Willow.

  I live on the Leicestershire/ Warwickshire border in a Victorian  Railway Station with my artistically tallented and lovely wife, my energetic, adorable 10 year old son, Jess our cuddly golden lab and Bedlington Terrier, Ruby

I have four adult children from my first marriage, who have enriched my life with 11 grandchildren.

I am inpired by the created world and love time out in the countryside, under trees, beside streams or beside the sea.


The Journey  

   I have taught in Primary schools for 24 years, working with all ages of children during that time, but mainly with KS2.

  Teaching is delightfully rewarding career, bringing with it the privilege to be  a part of seeing children develop and grow under your care and nurture. Unfortunately, year on year it is a profession that demands increasingly more of you, so that the children that  matter the most to you (your own), get the least of you.

  In 2010 I was invited to do some work with Tom Hare, when he put a team together to work on 3 large scale sculptural pieces for America.

   I really loved this experience and seemed to pick up the weaving technique quickly. Since then I have conducted many workshop sessions in a variety of venues.

  At my own school I  offered after school willow craft clubs,  which has helped me to experiment and explore what works best with pupils, when engaging with these techniques. During those years in school I have been able to bring the creativity of willow to a number of areas of the currriculum to engage children's interest and foster that thirst for learning new things.

   In 2013 I dropped my hours to working 3 days a week to give willow work more time and then at the end of that academic year left school employment to fully persue  the wilow craft avenue.

  I am amazed and thrilled at the positive impact working with willow has on all the different groups and ages I have worked with over the years.  My greatest delight has been all the school classes I have worked with so far up and down the country and have been working this year at extending what I am able to offer to schools and other organisations.



 I lbelieve we are all created to be creative - its a core part of our humanity. Some people never find that place inside them.

I know from experience that willow can help free that creative spark  in people who think of themselves as non-artistic.  

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