Hello and welcome to my willow and crafts workshop pages my name is Jacqueline Rolls and I am a willow sculptor and artist working from my home in Southampton, Hampshire.
I am passionate about sharing my love for creating with others and as well as providing lots of different activities which you can see in the menu above you might be interested in popping over to my sister website to see my work to do this just follow the link to my art pages
My willow weaving journey
I caught the willow bug at a weekend music festival in 2009 and disappeared for the weekend into the craft area emerging to watch the bands in the evening.
Like most other artists, creativity has always been part of my life, I was brought up in a family that loved creating, and this was seen as a hobby and not a reliable way to earn a living. After trying my hand at a few different jobs I took time out to be a full-time mum, when it was time for him to go to school I decided that it was a good time to explore my interest further and spend the next 4 years studying for a Cultural Studies Degree, my son often accompanied me to lectures sitting quietly reading whilst I studied. My first proper job when I completed my studies was as a community engagement/ playworker on a mobile bus project. It wasn’t long before I found that I was naturally using my creative skills in my work. In fact, it was their encouragement that gave me the courage to start up my own art/ craft workshop business in 2006
I have taught many different crafts over the years and have become very experienced at offering bespoke art participation events, activities, and training with a wide range of audiences and clients. My experience is broad and varied and was a great foundation and means that I have the knowledge to adapt to many different situations. I would recommend this to anyone starting out especially if are interested in exploring different things.
In 2008 my son had left home and I decided to take a year out to travel around Europe with my partner Glenn in our motorhome, whilst I was away I spend a lot of my time exploring and foraging and reconnecting myself with my love of nature and it helped me to make the decision refocus my energies on creating with natural and recycled materials, the following year in 2009 I attended a music festival and caught the willow bug which changed my life.
So what am I up to now, well normally I would be very busy running activities and showing my artwork at events and exhibitions and of course running activities and workshops? During the first lockdown, I loved the fact that the hedgerows and plants weren’t being cut back and so decided to start filming my activities to share with others, initially because I wanted to provide ideas for people to do without any help.
As time went by I realized that many people were still finding it hard to get out and meet me in person so I decided to start offering a range of online and work at your own pace video workshops as well. I’m so used to meeting people face to face it hadn’t occurred to me that this would provide some interesting experiences and new ways to meet up with people, it has been a lot of fun and something that I wouldn’t have thought about doing before.
Participants who come to my workshops attend for a variety of reasons including, learning a new craft, taking time out for themselves, having fun with others, a special treat, curiosity, etc. I can never say how quickly someone will take to the craft everyone’s different and some people take to it quickly while others may take longer to get to grip with the basics, for me, it’s all about having fun.
Selling my wares
I have already relaunched my shop space which shows both my willow and some of my other artwork. Many of the shows that I was booked onto were canceled which was so sad, thankfully Art Galleries, exhibitions, and art fayres started to reopen again and I took part in the Hampshire Open Art Studios in August as well as showing my work at the Yellow Edge Gallery in Gosport for two exhibitions and several online exhibitions. This year two galleries already want to show my work when we come out of lockdown and some events are already planned for this year so we just need to wait and see how this year unfolds.
If I can help in any way do get in touch as you never know what is possible.