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Willow sculptor commissioned to create king of the reeds for Seychelles client

20 September, 2014 - 07:00
Robert Yates from Brampton Willow has created King Kong from willow.

Robert Yates from Brampton Willow has created King Kong from willow.

© Archant 2014

A Suffolk willow sculptor who has been creating bespoke products for the last 20 years, has just finished his latest work of art - a giant willow King Kong which is due to be shipped off to The Seychelles.

Robert Yates from Brampton Willow has created King Kong from willow.Robert Yates from Brampton Willow has created King Kong from willow.

Robert Yates, owner of Brampton Willows, thought he had made his most difficult piece to date when he was commissioned to create a 4 metre diameter willow propeller earlier this year. However the King Kong creation, which is made in one piece and weighs about 300kg, took Mr Yates’ weaving skills to a whole new level.

He said: “I thought the propeller was hard but this was something else. It was just the sheer scale of 
it. “You never quite know how these things are going to turn out but 
I’m really pleased with it.

“I used a very heavy duty weave to reflect the muscular power of King Kong.

“The idea is if you stand in front of it he’s looking at you, on the move and not very happy.”

Robert Yates from Brampton Willow has created King Kong from willow.Robert Yates from Brampton Willow has created King Kong from willow.

The willow is woven around a stainless steel armature, created by Francis Alexander of Easitron Ltd in Linstead Parva, with a cast bronze face. The face was made by Mr Yates’ wife Susie, who sculptured it in clay before getting it cast.

Mr Yates said: “We just thought if we did the face in bronze we could get much more detail and we liked the idea of using different materials.

“He’s got a tooth hanging out and he looks menacing.”

The sculpture will be the centrepiece inside a large private house in The Seychelles designed by award winning London architects Studio RHE - the same company who commissioned Mr Yates to make 
the propeller.

The sculpture took three months to make and is about 3 metres long, 2.5 metres tall and 2.3 metres wide.

Mr Yates said: “I started by making a model of it and then I just scaled it up. It is based on a toy of King Kong.

“The hardest part was the top of his neck and around his shoulders to get the willow to work.”

Mr Yates’ previous work has included making various obstacles for cross country courses at 
top international horse trials including Badminton and Burghley, as well as travelling to The Bahamas to construct willow fences for a 
client.

He said: “This is the first organic or life form I have ever done.

“It’s great to be asked and exciting to be doing something new.”

King Kong has spent the last 
few days standing in Mr Yates’ willow beds, and has now been crated 
up and exported.

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