Owner Andrew Kent weaves willow branches between ground stakes.

The Willow Way Story


The Willow Way’s roots go back all the way to 1993 when I made my first willow chair in a workshop with Kate Lawes. Over the next five years, Kate and I opened and ran a store in downtown Nanaimo, attended many large and small shows, and hosted numerous willow furniture workshops. Many of the designs I use are traditional, coming from Kentucky by way of Pemberton, BC. Some are then updated with design ideas suggested by the materials themselves.

A natural progression

I grew up on a rural island and have always felt at home in the woods. A keen mountain biker, I am passionate about the outdoors and Vancouver Island. Many of my days are spent hunting for materials, foraging local species of willow and alder, and finding the best shoots and whips for each piece, which directs the creative construction.

From forest to finished product, the entire willow furniture process is an adventure and ever-evolving, which to me is the real beauty of this work. Most of the materials are natural and not milled, which means not one project is the same and it’s always a new experience.

I think people respond to my work because it is more than just your average rustic furniture – it is handmade with materials that are otherwise not utilized. My passion for nature and for the creative process comes through in each piece.

Andrew Kent


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