Hello and welcome to my willow sculpture 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 of creating with others so you will often find me out and about demonstrating at art exhibitions and shows as well as providing workshops in various venue in the south of Hampshire and beyond
Being a full time artist means that I have different strings to my bow and much of my time is divided between working on my own projects , projects for clients and teaching
Many people ask me how I got started as a willow sculptor. well it wasn’t a direct route, I worked as a community development worker for many years and worked for both the public and private sector on multi agency cross sector projects with many different audiences. Being creative by nature was a very useful added skill that I was able to put to good use .
In 2007 and with a great deal of encouragement from colleagues and clients I decided to dip my toe into the water and started my own craft workshop business. Working at weekends and occasional days for a wile and then reducing my hours in my conventional work. For the first couple of years I taught different crafts and from the outside focussed on providing activities that involved using natural materials or reusing materials where I could as well as my other passion of painting.
In 2009 when I was attending a weekend music festival I decided to join in with a willow activity, little did I know that I would catch the willow bug and that it would take over my life.
For the next couple of years my I spent my time developing my knowledge and as my skills and knowledge grew I decided to focus my energies and time on being a willow sculptor.
I look back and realise how fortunate I have been to have been able to use and develop my interest, my previous years providing art participatory projects with the community be it painting murals, creating large junk sculptures or providing large lantern events have been great fun and taught me so much and I still enjoy dabbling and getting involved every now and again
So where am I now?
Well alongside creating willow sculptures and my craft work I have been working on my own projects undertaking my own creative explorations , enabling me to experiment and work in different new ways Over time this had taken me in different directions and most recently in May 2021 was delighted to hear that I had been awarded a Developing your Creative Practice award grant from Arts Council England (funded by the National Lottery )
My project ‘Investigating new ways of creating with natural and recycled materials in a historical environment’ has enabled me to spend time focusing on experimenting and challenging myself as an artist and so alongside my everyday willow activities
I am currently spending time as artist in residence two days a week at the Tudor House and Garden Museum in Southampton the project will end at the end of April 2022.when I will be sharing some of my experiences and learning. Meanwhile If you are interested in finding out more about my experience and other art please to date pop over to my sister site https://jrolls.co.uk/