Learn how to make baskets from foraged materials which we gather on the day from the woodland site. On offer is a wide variety of techniques and materials including bramble, bark, bone, wild rose, grass, reed mace, bulrush. Courses are scheduled to coincide with the seasonal availability of plants for foraging.
Learn about the whole cycle of production- harvesting the raw materials & processing them, through to completing a beautiful and useful basket to take home with you. Please see the Native Hands website button (above) for the next course.
There are limited places (max 10) to allow for individual attention. Suitable for all levels including beginners. Mainly designed for adults but teens of 16+ are welcome if accompanied.
National Geographic & Toyota put us in their Top 125 UK Adventures. Native Hands has been featured in the Guardian and also in the recently published 'Wild Times' guide by Bradt.
Tutor Ruby Taylor is a trained teacher with over 15 years' experience. She’s appreciated for her ability to teach the techniques of basketry, pottery and related crafts with clarity, patience and humour. Her courses have a relaxed and inclusive atmosphere. From both formal training and her own experimentation with foraged materials, Ruby has a breadth and depth of knowledge, including an interest in the crafts and technologies of our ancient ancestors.
"I enjoy providing a supportive space in which others can develop their creativity and technical knowledge as well as their connection with the natural world. It's great to witness the sense of achievement and satisfaction that comes from making a basket or pot this way. I'm also inspired by seeing how people can feel deeply nourished and inspired by the whole experience of taking time out of an often busy and stressful daily life to be creative in the woods round a fire, with birdsong, creatures, wild plants and like-minded people."
What's included in the price?
All materials are provided and we always have a roaring camp fire, plenty of hot drinks, and home made cake to keep us well fuelled. We also have shelter arrangements (a large tarp) in case of bad weather.
Participants bring a packed lunch to eat around the fire together.
A peaceful and fascinating weekend in the Hornbeam woods with a kettle continuously on the fire, plenty of flapjacks and a stream of incredible information from Ruby about basket making and plants and land. I'm left with tingly fingers itching to do more. Thank you.
Thank you Ruby for giving such calm, unhurried and reflective sessions for us at the Retreat. The feedback was so positive about you, your energy, your tone and the work you inspired and guided. We are so delighted you were with us and would absolutely love to work with you again.
This is the second workshop I have done with Ruby - what a wonderfully gifted teacher! So much care is taken over the whole weekend - from making fires, to foraging the plants, and imparting valuable knowledge in such a clear and kind way. And weaving is glorious! It's so satisfying... what a wonderful way to learn to make a basket. I can't wait to try to make one myself now!
Thank you Ruby for such a lovely weekend. I really felt the benefit returning to work on Monday, it's been far too long since I've sat round a fire in the woods! You're a very natural teacher, and I'm so grateful to you for passing on your crafts and knowledge.
Totally fantastic. I made my first ever basket and feel confident about my ability to make another . I'm really inspired and feel enabled get my next basket project together! Ruby is so full of grace and knowledge and she imparts it in a such a super fun way. It really was a joy to attend this Wild Rose and Bramble Basketmaking course. The camping at the venue was great too. Happy days. Thanks Ruby.
Just got back from the most sublime weekend workshop. If you ever get a chance to go to one of Native Hands events then do so.
Fabulous weather, great friends and lovely group. Brilliant venue and the most perfect guide.
Earth and water, fire and air. From clay to pot. Greatest gratitude to have been able to have take part in this and come home with gifts from the imagination. Highly recommended
We had such a good time on the reed mace workshop, and we've been recommending it to everybody. Ruby is a skilled and generous teacher - we learned so much, in a wonderfully calm atmosphere. Spending the day in the woods was magical, and Ruby has the most graceful way to light a fire with flint and steel, tinder and grass. I want to go on ALL the workshops!
Thank you for such a wonderful weekend of digging, potting and fire-making. We all had such a blast, and learned LOADS. Arthur practised his spark making all the way home in the car, and has continued this morning at the breakfast table… He’s going to have worn out his flint by the end of the week. We will be back again for more adventures. Steve (family wild pottery)
Picking the bramble prior to making the basket made me feel really connected to the finished product. I also felt the achievement of mastering the skill of turning an unwanted plant into something of beauty and use. Feeling the rain on your face makes you feel alive; hearing birdsong, you share the bird’s vitality and zest for life.
Loved both the bark containers day and the native cordage one. Ruby makes ancient techniques simple and achievable, and imparted a vast amount of knowledge in bite-sized chunks. Am totally inspired and can't wait to make more!
I’d recommend these courses to anyone…because if I can do it anyone can! I’d been on several basket making courses over the years , with different teachers, and hadn’t managed to come away with anything other than a tangled mess and a belief that I couldn’t do it.
I loved the day with Ruby because we were out in nature, sitting around a fire and it all seemed very relaxed. I was very skilfully tutored and encouraged, met some lovely people, ate delicious food and generally had a great time! Not only did I leave the woods relaxed and happy at the end of the day, but I also came away with a very useful basket and a restored faith in my own abilities!
Thank you so much for a wonderful, and I mean REALLY wonderful day learning about bark, fire making and connecting to nature again, and all the good soul nourishing things that we did. I’m very pleased with my container. Mary said that the workshop was one of the best birthday presents she’s ever had!
Ruby – I wanted to thank you again for the lovely basket workshop, making coiled grass baskets in the woods. It was so relaxed yet focused, clear modelling with space to crack on and explore with your supportive skills and knowledge on tap.