Discover the unique art of willow sculpture


In my flagship online course I will teach you how to sculpt a life sized deer from willow rods. In this step by step guide I will steer you through the whole process, from the initial preparation of the willow; building a simple armature and then through all the different weaving techniques and methods needed to follow my unique sculpting style.

Over the last 20 years I've been working with willow i have taught thousands of people from far and wide. Not everyone who wants to learn willow sculpture is able to travel to my workshops due to time, distance and financial constraints. This is why I decided to compile all this information into an online course so you can learn at your own pace and from the comfort of your own home.

This online course is the first of it's kind and the beginning of a series of educational online products to be created by Willowtwisters, Sara & Hanna Holmes. Future courses will guide you through beginner & intermediate willow sculpting where you can learn how to make a willow sphere & a life sized willow heron. We then plan to offer some figurative courses.

In this course you will be taught in a series of easy to follow video tutorials, clips & slides, online discussions and downloadable workbooks.

Learn about:

- Tools and equipment

- Research, sketching and making the armature (frame)

- Preparing and sourcing your materials, types and lengths of willow needed

- Weaving a base layer and sculpting the head and legs of your deer

- Sculpting the finishing touches and adding detail

- After care and how to prolong the life of your newly created masterpiece!

"Thank you so much for your suggestions. I really enjoyed making the deer ....your descriptions of what to do made so much sense. Here is my finished deer. Going to try your sphere/seed pod. Studying the deer pictures was really helpful to me too! Have a great day"

Barbara Hair USA


Benefits of taking an online course in willow sculpture

  • Learn and work at your own pace. Log in and out at your leisure and access the course as many times as you want.
  • Create your sculpture at home! No need to travel miles to access an expert teacher, Sara will join you virtually in the comfort of your own space at home.
  • The volume of detail is far greater than Sara would ever be able to impart in a single day at a live workshop
  • Save yourself time trawling the internet trying to work out how to get started. This curriculum has everything you need to know.
  • Set your own schedule to enjoy this relaxing and therapetuic experience.
  • Be part of an online community who inspire, encourage & help one another. Share your ideas, thoughts & inspire one another.

Who this course is for

  • Anyone with some craft/art or sculpture experience with practical application of a natural material
  • If you also have some experience working with willow such as basketry, you will enjoy this course and learn some new techniques. You will develop your current skills and learn new ones which you will be able to adapt and transfer to further projects independently if you wish.
  • You will need to allow yourself about 5/6 free days to complete the sculpture in this course. Consecutive days would be ideal but obviously not always practical for most people. You will need to consider this when you plan the soaking/preparation of your willow. Careful attention to the tips and advice in the workbook for the preparation lesson will ensure you don't waste willow by soaking too much at a time.

"Thanks so much for doing the online instruction - it was invaluable. I’ve purchased 2 of your online courses recently .. I’ve been interested to learn your techniques for sculptural work....I’ve really enjoyed working through the videos - thanks very much for them. Kind Regards Ben"

- Ben

Watch this short video to find out more.

Sara explains what is involved in this course.

"I found it impossible to find a willow course in my area. North west UK. I had a go at willow weaving on my own taking instruction from a book, and found it very satisfying to be able to create something. But actually having tuition and being shown the techniques would be better. I found being shown how to manipulate the willow, most helpful. The pace of the course was fine. I liked that I could watch the video's over and over and there was no time limit. I would definitely recommend this course to a friend! I think you did a very good job Thank You"

- Pam Doidge, UK

"This was the first time I have done anything like this, and the first time using willow, and it was a fabulous course and easy to understand video tutorials, after doing this I tried my hand at making a willow greyhound using all the techniques you showed in your videos "

- James Cullimore, UK

" I am delighted with the willow..course I recently purchased. The instructions and attention to detail .. are excellent... very pleased with the results.'

Amanda Woodruff - UK

"Thank you Willowtwisters for your online courses. I´m very happy that I found them. I´m Tarja from Finland (finntwigs in instagram) and using mostly birch twigs in my craft. Here you see a deer, which I started with willow, but ended using birch twigs... but I´ll try again ...with willow."

Tarja Heikkilä - FINLAND

Marcia Morse Mullins

Your Instructor

Sara Holmes
Sara Holmes

Sara has worked as a freelance artist for many years. Working mainly as a sculptor her body of work has included some large-scale pieces of public art as well as many private commissions. Working with the environment has involved the extensive use of willow withies as a medium in much of her work. At times, she has stretched this medium to its limit with the intricate detail she has achieved. Always experimenting with new materials her main focus and inspiration comes from working with natural, sustainable materials.

As well as public projects and private commissions Sara has worked extensively in schools, colleges, and community projects across several counties. As a tool for educating people she believes all learning can be embedded into sensory, creative actions. By using natural and sustainable materials as a medium she is certain that environmental awareness can be taught through the tactile and tangible involvement with them.


Some of Sara's work.

Course Curriculum

  Preparation (please note there are 6 lessons NOT 7 as mentioned at the beginning of Lesson 1)
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  Sculpting with willow rods
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  Finishing Touches
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Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

Why not take a look at this FREE handy e-Book which details where to source the materials needed to create the willow deer in this course!

The information in this e-Book is intended to help you source materials before you purchase an online course with us.

There is nothing more frustrating than wanting to get going with a project and you don’t know how or where to find the materials you need!

We hope this e-book will provide you with some useful links to suppliers and what to ask for!

Also, if you happen know of any that haven't been listed in this book then please let us know and we'll add them !


PLEASE NOTE - UK/EU sales will incur a VAT at the standard rate

Get started now!