The maltings marvellous summer school begins next week, providing a whole host of activities for children to get involved with. Ahead of the willow weaving and cake decorating class on Monday, we met with local willow artist Judith Needham, to speak more about what participants will be doing and why the maltings summer school is a fantastic way to keep your children occupied over the holiday break.

Tell us a little about what you do.small bike basket

I am a basket maker specialising in willow playhouses which are basically big upside-down baskets that you can climb into! My previous classes have included making a sweet pea basket and later on this year I will be offering willow weaving classes to make a basket for your bike and Christmas decorations such as an angels and reindeers.

How long have you been involved/worked at the Maltings?

I’ve been teaching basket making at the Maltings for about 6 years now and for the last 3 years I’ve also worked occasionally on the box office.

What do you enjoy about working here?

The people, particularly the staff and customers. The atmosphere is consistently buzzing and there always seems to be something new happening.

You’re going to be involved with the maltings marvellous summer school this year. Have you done this before?

I’ve been a part of the Easter School which is just as much fun, but I am excited to be joining the summer school team this year.

What will the participants be doing in your workshop?

We’re going to be plaiting with willow. It’s a great technique because the end result looks really, really complicated but it’s actually very easy (no need to tell anyone that though!). It’s also very versatile – you can use it to make little baskets, bird feeders, sculpture or come up with your own unique ideas.

Why would you encourage children to come along?

The summer school is brilliant. You get to try a wide variety of activities all taught by people who are actually working as artists, musicians, dancers and so on. Come along and learn a new skill!

maltings marvellous summer school runs from Mon 08 – Fri 12 August. Admission: 1 day £30, 2 days £58, 3 days £84, 4 days £108, 5 days £130. 10am – 4pm. Wednesday is now SOLD OUT. Book your spaces here

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