We were delighted to be asked to design and build a willow dragon to be set within the wooded grounds of Hardwick Hall County Park in Sedgefield, County Durham.
The brief was to create a structure from locally sourced materials that would encourage visitors to further explore the grounds within the park. In particular, the structure would feature as a focal point for a children's storytelling walk that also includes a willow gruffalo to bring life to childhood stories.
Bringing the dragon to life was great fun! We wanted to create a sense of awe by the sheer size it would be displayed at and worked with a 2 metres high, 5 metres long frame supplied by Fairley Forge.
The dragon was made primarily with willow however locally coppiced elm bark was used on the wings to give definition and a real sense of flight.
We are particularly pleased with the head of the dragon, whose effect complete with gnarling teeth and open mouth is a sight to behold in a woodland setting. The green eyes were made specially by Bluebell Glass and perfectly finish this mythical beast.
The dragon can be viewed at Hardwick Hall County Park, gates open 7am to 8pm.
Our willow sculptures typically depict characters from children's books or films such as The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and Brum car TV series. Alternatively we recreate themes from local history or nature such as a coal miner or woodland birds.