Basketmaking, chair seating and willow work

Hazel basketmaking with Lorna Singleton

Ref: SWE09987


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Places available

About this course

Hazel is an incredibly versatile basketry material used across Europe to make strong and attractive baskets. Learn how to create weaving strips and a framework from a hazel rod to make a beautiful basket.

Course Description

Hazel grows prolifically and can be transformed into baskets in a few simple steps once you have the know how. At the end of your two day course you'll have been guided through the process of making strips from hazel rods and you'll leave with a beautiful, practical basket.

The skills you will learn include:

– Material selection

– Producing weaving strips and ribs using just a knife and some clever hand work

– Bending frameworks such as rims and handles using the core of the hazel rod

– Using a knife to dress taws (weavers) ready to weave

– Constructing the frame 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.

A willingness to get engrossed in processing materials is necessary. You will spend quite a bit of time focussed on mastering the technique of producing strips and dressing them for use. Lorna will have example baskets on display so the construction of other basket shapes can be discussed and hopefully leave you with a head full of ideas and inspiration and the confidence to try more designs.

Making these baskets is a physical activity and involves a degree of hand strength and bending the rods around your knees. You will mostly be seated during the process. If you have doubts about your physical ability please get in touch with the tutor beforehand to chat about your concerns.


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.

Daily timetable

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.

Last day

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)

Course Materials


  • On this course the tutor will supply all of the materials.

What students need to bring

  • Sturdy fully covered outdoor footwear is essential and old suitable work clothing that you don't mind getting snagged or covered in shavings. You will be working in the outdoor sculpture courtyard studio.
  • Notebook and pen.
  • All tools will be available to borrow from the tutor but you are free to bring and use your own.You are not expected to know what these tools are but here is a comprehensive tool list in case you would like to bring any that you do have:
  • Folding saw and secateurs
  • Swillers bodkin
  • Knife, craft knife such as a Mora Frost or similar. Straight blade is better.
  • Work gloves
  • Pegs
  • Leather patch approx 1ft square.

Available to buy

  • Available from tutor:
  • Swillers bodkins


Lorna Singleton

Lorna Singleton is a coppice worker and basket maker specialising in oak spelk baskets and hazel basketry since 2010. 


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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