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Weaving but willow at The Wool Clip

Phil’s work includes cleft oak furniture and wooden spoons and spatulas as well as his traditional woven willow baskets and vollettes (useful as trivets as well as decorative)

The Wool Clip co-operative is welcoming a guest exhibitor to the Caldbeck shop for the coming month. Phil Bradley, known for his woven willow structures and baskets, will be the first Spotlight guest to exhibit and sell his work in this way.

“We re-opened the shop in early July,” explains Wool Clip member, Jean Wildish, “and have now extended our opening hours to four days each week. It seemed a good time to introduce something new and Phil has been a loyal Woolfest stallholder for many years so we know his work will be of interest to our customers. He’s local, he’s adding value to a traditional material and he’s very involved in sharing his skills so the fit with The Wool Clip’s ethos is brilliant.”

Phil Bradley with Jean Wildish of The Wool Clip – Phil is the first non-wool worker to take part in the new Spotlight space in the Caldbeck shop

As well as traditional willow baskets and trivets, Phil is also including cleft oak furniture and wooden spatulas and spoons in his Wool Clip display.

“I’m looking forward to reaching new customers with my work in the shop,” he says. “I’ve got to know The Wool Clip cooperative very well over the years and Woolfest has always been a good sales event for me. I know that Wool Clip customers tend to appreciate my work, whether as a useful basket for yarn and projects or as a piece of traditional craft or both. I’m very proud to have been invited to take part in this first Spotlight and really hope that the approach will be something that supports other makers in the months ahead.”

“This is a new initiative for us,” explains Debbie Lucas, current Chair of the Wool Clip co-operative, “but we know Phil well enough to give it a try, take a risk and learn from how it works out. Everyone involved in art and craft is under a lot of pressure at the moment with so many selling events and craft venues closed due to COVID-19. Anything that we can do to help and support each other across the Cumbrian craft community is worth trying.”

A range of Phil’s work will be on display and for sale throughout the month until Sunday 30 August at The Wool Clip, which is in Priest’s Mill, Caldbeck. The shop is open Thursday to Sunday each week, 11.30am to 4pm. Further information, directions and details of The Wool Clip can be found online at www.woolclip.com.

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