After our last class ended, we began to look forward to one more highlight of the season! An event coordinated by Jo Campbell-Amsler and Lee Zieke Lee, Willow Connection 2023 brought together a group of willow basketmakers and enthusiasts from all parts of the country for four days of willow harvesting, basketmaking and sharing.
The group harvested the entire Sievers willow patch in one morning, which ended up being the one time it didn’t rain during the time they were here! The fresh cut willow, along with other materials brought by the participants, was used for making baskets and sculptural pieces.
Wrapping our season up with willow added more wonderful memories to the ones we already made in 2023!
We’re also wrapping up with some numbers from our 45th year. Our class registrations totaled 332. Over 75% of the enrollment were students who had taken classes here in the past and 80 were here for the first time. Those new students came from these states: IA, IL, IN, KY, MI, MN, MO, NC, NE, NM, OH, PA, VA, WA and WI. The average class size was 9 students and there were 94 people on waiting lists for the classes offered. Five Sievers Scholarships were awarded to students who took classes in weaving, spinning and surface design.
We’ll begin the planning process for our 2024 schedule soon. Registration will begin on February 1, 2024. Until then, we’re here in the office, watching the leaves float down from the trees.