You will be guided through the mesmerising process of making a basket from a stem of an oak tree and learn all the skills and techniques necessary.
Skills covered include:
– Cleaving oak with wedges and then a froe, into billets that are ready to be boiled.
– Shaving hazel stems on a shavemare with a drawknife. Steaming this hazel in the top of the boiler and bending it around a former to create the bool, or rim, of the basket, and another for the handle.
– Using a series of knife sizes to rive oak out of the boiler into strips that are ready to be woven. The knife starts the split before you tear the oak into two in a controlled manner.
– Using a drawknife and mare to dress and shape tougher strips into the spelks (ribs) of the basket
– Using a knife to dress taws (weavers) ready to weave.
– Constructing the frame basket. The basket has a specific pattern in production that ensures the strength and size of the basket.
– Learning the terminology of a spelk basket. All these skills are transferable to other frame baskets and split wood baskets as well as to many other greenwood crafts.
Making these baskets is a very physical activity and involves a degree of hand strength. If you have doubts about your physical ability please get in touch with the tutor beforehand. A willingness to get engrossed in processing your own materials is necessary. We will start weaving the basket on day three.
Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above
Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.
6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).
8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.
Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.
From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).
Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.
Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.
Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.
(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)