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Willow coffins

Willow (or wicker) coffins have become increasingly popular over the years.  The sustainability of the willow grown locally on the Somerset Levels make it a very important aspect of burials and cremations, whether they be a traditional or more alternative type of funeral.  All the materials used in my coffins are fully biodegradable and environmentally friendly.  I have recently planted some of my own willow at Vallis Farm just outside Frome, so in years to come it will be great to weave with my own willow.

I offer the opportunity to come to my beautiful peaceful workshop in Nunney near Frome and help weave part of a coffin, either for yourself or your loved one.  This act can play a major part in the process of grieving or preparation for death.  Of course, you wouldn't have to take part in the process, you can be involved as much as you choose or not at all.

Families can be thrown together at a time of great loss and have to perhaps face each other after difficult times or uncomfortable relationships.  By bringing these family members together to focus on an action rather than just talking can be massively helpful and rewarding. 

The back story

I started working with willow 13 years ago and have often thought about going down the route of making willow coffins.  I have been lucky enough to be asked to work on various projects, all quite different but equally rewarding.  From a flat woven cradle with an additional framework that was to be inserted into a fleece sleeping bag for natural burials to a coffin for an 8 week old baby.  An incredibly sad request but one that I felt honoured to be asked to do.  

Last year I was asked by a friend to weave a flat woven cradle for her husband for a natural burial at the Midford Natural Burial site near Bath.  Laura and her son came and spent the day with me helping to weave.  The experience was deeply moving and a really important part of their grieving process prior to the death of her husband and father of two.  There was laughter and reflection and I was really struck how beautifully Laura had handled the whole process with her family.  She has definitely played a role in my decision to take this path. 

Caz Ingall of Wild Heart Coffins is a very talented coffin maker in Warwickshire whose work I have admired and followed closely.  I love her work and her ethos and in fact contacted her for some advice on the baby's coffin. When last year she announced her offer of 1:1 training, I felt compelled to follow this calling.  

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