By Coates
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It was back in the 1960s that Percy Coate began experimenting with the willow he grew to make drawing charcoal. Although it tooksome years toperfect the technique, by the 1970s he was finally ready to share the new Coates willowcharcoal with the world. Percy's grandfather, Robert Coate started in business in 1819 as a 'withymerchant', buying and selling local willow crops.Today Coates is still very much a family concern withmembers of the family involved in all aspectsof the business. For many years now Coates willowcharcoal has been recognised as the best quality charcoal in the world.The willow plant used for making artist charcoal grows very quickly and takes only one growing season before it is ready for use. It takes 3 days to turn raw willow sticks into willowcharcoal ready for the artist to use.

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