I thought our woven willow work was respectably large until I saw these beauties… Ten days ago 6 amazing, 30ft, woven willow arches were officially opened at the top of The Long Walk outside Windsor Castle signifiying the 6 decades since The Queen’s coronation.
It is an old tradition to erect Triumphant Arches for the monarch. Often they were heavily decorated and opulent but made from papier mache! The minimalist woven willow design of 2013 using locally sourced traditional natural materials is more representative of todays environmental awareness and frugality.
The arches were designed by UK garden designer John Worland and woven by a team of volunteers at a local farm led by willow artist Spencer Jenkins (pictured below) and including help from Tom Hare (if you’re into willow weaving you’ll recognise him as the creator of the gorgeous woven seed pods in Kew Gardens). They were then lifted into place by crane and peiced together in situ.
The crew of 10 people were weaving on a local farm for 2 months, 12 hours a day however the arches are only going to stay up (for one’s pleasure) for two weeks! They will be sold off to raise money for the Royal Windsor Rose & Horticultural Society society’s legacy fund to pay the education of one young horticulturist each year for 60 years.
That’s some awesome creative energy being used for good.
photos: Coronation Arch Facebook Page