Ash Splint Basket Weaving
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About the Course
This workshop is suitable for those that are completely new to working with wood and participants do not need any prior experience of weaving. Adults only, or over 16 when accompanied by a paying adult.
This workshop will be limited to 8 participants.
The workshop will focus specifically on the following areas:
• Choosing a suitable tree for harvesting splint material
• Pounding a log to create splints
• Grading splints suitable for different elements of weaving
• Processing harvested splint material ready for a basket
• Weaving processes for ash splint basketry
• All about tension
• Tools to make the weaving process easier
Back in 2015 Steve Tomlin, a good friend of mine and world-respected craftsman was able to organise an ash splint basketry class in Edale in the Peak District. I was extremely fortunate to be invited to attend this special event. April Stone, a Native American of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (Ojibwe) had agreed to come to the UK and teach the traditional native craft of working with ash splint, although we were to be using our own local ash (Fraxinus excelsior).
The structure of ash lends itself particularly well to splint work. Each growth ring of the tree has a porous open area between it and the next year's growth ring. This porous area is the Spring growth of the tree (the lighter area of an annual ring) and the dense Summer growth (the darker area of the annual ring) is what is usable as splint – an extremely durable and tough material yet flexible enough to be intricately woven into functional baskets.
There will be lots of time for you to develop and practise new skills. Whilst the main focus of the workshop will be about materials processing and weaving technique you should still look forward to producing a strong, beautiful and functional basket to take home at the end of the two days. By the end of this workshop you should feel confident and well equipped with enough basic skills to be able to continue your ash splint basketry journey on your own.
To be held in our farmhouse workshop in Dundraw, Cumbria.
Further information will be sent via email upon confirmation of booking.
Workshop bookings are non refundable.
Workshop dates cannot be transferred once booked.
If booking with a CraftCourses voucher for part or all of the course fee, please fill in the contact form above or telephone us. Your voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.
What's included in the price?
All tools and materials are provided but you may bring your own if you have them and we can advise on their suitability.
The workshop cost includes a simple ploughman’s type lunch on each of the two days. This will normally be homemade soup, freshly baked bread, local cheeses, salad, pickles, chutneys and free-range eggs from our flock of hens as an example. If you have particular dietary requirements then you should advise us beforehand so that we can try to make sure we provide for you appropriately.
Free flowing tea, coffee, water and fruit cordials will be available for the duration of the workshop, and home-baked biscuits and cake will be provided for morning and afternoon breaks.
A great course, made better by the planning and prep Adrian clearly puts into it. The course was carefully designed to ensure we got the most from it - trying our hand at all relevant techniques, but not losing unnecessary time to the labour intensive bits! He'd done some serious graft before we even arrived.
A great setting (a characterful traditional barn), knowledgeable and entertaining tutor, superb homemade food and great atmosphere. Absolutely what I hoped to get from the two days - more in fact. A real sense of accomplishment, and a genuine feeling of leaving with the skills/confidence to continue unassisted.
If you have an interest in traditional hands on crafts, I'd have no hesitation recommending this course (or Adrian as a tutor).
Jonnie - - #17147
A fun couple of days, extremely interesting course and went home with a basket. The venue was great the refreshments wonderful and lots of entertainment added by weather. Highly recommended, a good practical result at end thank you Adrian.
Yvonne Grey - - #16959
The two days with Adrian at his workshop seemed to simply fly by. We met others and made new friends and we received practical and skilled demonstration time and we participated in all the stages needed for ash basket making. These delicate but strong baskets are a delight. It was also interesting to see different styles and types of baskets produced by Adrian and others. You may need to loosen your belt after two days of the tasty homemade food. I left at the end of the two days clutching my own delicate ash basket.
Flora Fairbairn - - #16952
A really interesting and fun course. I learned a lot about making ash splint baskets, and the food, including home-made biscuits and cakes, was wonderful.
Geraldine - - #16091
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Course Start Dates
Course dates are flexible; please get in touch for the next available date.
- Suitable for beginners
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