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Wayside Willow

Chaz Friend


Chaz Friend is Wayside Willow.

  I live on the Leicestershire/ Warwickshire border 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.

  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.

  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. It opened a creative door in me that had been shut for a very long time.

 In 2013 I lowered my hours to  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.

 Since that time I have worked full time, building up my provision to both schools and other settings.

I have developed my basketry skills and run beginners classes in basket making along side adult courses in various making opportunities.

My metal work has progressed to allow me to make much larger sculptual armatures to dress in willow.

Next steps for this year are to be the development of a range of baskets and establishing an online shop.



 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 being  non-artistic.  

Come jourey with me to find that place of ignition.

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