Chaz Friend is Wayside Willow.
I live on the Leicestershire/ Warwickshire border with my artistically talented and lovely wife, my teenage son, and Bedlington Terrier, Ruby
I have four adult children from my first marriage, who have enriched my life with 12 grandchildren.
I am inpired by the created world and love time out in the countryside, under trees, beside streams or beside the sea.
I believe 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.
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 my brother-in-law, Tom Hare, when he put a team together to work on 3 large scale willow and steel sculptural pieces that were bound 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 pursue 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.