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Basketry & Pottery with Native Hands

Native Hands: Wild Pottery & Wild Basketry Courses

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These courses have evolved out of a love of making things in nature using natural materials. Foraging our materials from the land to use in these sustainable crafts, many bushcraft skills are an integral part of the learning. It’s easy to take the objects and resources we use in our daily lives for granted; these courses are an opportunity to experience the whole cycle of production: harvesting/gathering materials in a sustainable way, processing them and finally creating a useful and beautiful object.

Taking time out of our daily lives to be creative in the woods round a fire, with birdsong, wild plants, and like-minded people can be deeply nourishing and rejuvenating. We can find a sense of space and connection…to ourselves, to each other, to our ancestors, and to the web of life itself.

These courses are suitable for all levels (beginners as well as those with some experience). Designed for adults, but 16-18 year olds are welcome if accompanied by a participating, responsible adult.

Native Hands tutor Ruby Taylor is a qualified teacher at post graduate level, with over 20 years’ experience. She is appreciated for her ability to teach the techniques of basketry and pottery with clarity, patience and humour. Ruby has an honours degree in 3D Crafts and has been a maker since she was knee-high. From both formal training and her own experimentation with foraged materials, Ruby has a breadth and depth of knowledge, and a love of the natural world. She has an interest in the historical origins of basketry and pottery and teaches ancient craft & technology to all ages as part of East Sussex Archaeology and Museums Partnership. Ruby also has her own practice as an artist/maker.

 

Wild Pottery

National Geographic & Toyota put this course in their top 125 UK adventures. Click here to see what they said & did.

Also featured in The Guardian

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Two-day course in March: Saturday 29th & Sunday 30th, 2014 and then repeated on June: Saturday 28th & Sunday 29th, 2014

10.30am-4.30pm each day. Cost per two-day course: £100.  

To book, or to see the full course description and for any enquiries, visit the Native Hands website here.

To see more photos of this course, have a look at the Wowo Facebook album here.

(Wild Pottery is also available as a family course)

Spend two days in beautiful woodland making hand built pottery from clay that we'll dig on the day. Make an item or two of your choice: a small pot, a figurine or an oil lamp. Technical assistance will be on hand to help you make what you have in mind.  Learn how to prepare the clay so that it can withstand the thermal shock of the firing.

Wild pottery course

On day two, we'll fire the pots in an open fire. It's an exciting process to take part in and magical to witness clay being transformed by fire. You’ll learn how to make fire without matches using the ancient techniques of percussion and friction, while we keep an eye on our pots and wait for them to cool enough so they can be taken home at the end of the day.

Time will be set aside for connecting to the beautiful surroundings, making the weekend a nourishing as well as a learning experience. Places limited to a maximum of 10 people.

Camping is available for this course by arrangement with Alice- please email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Please note that the course fee doesn’t include camping.

“Really, really enjoyed those two days - we all felt very refreshed and inspired.
I have my little pot on my desk to remind me of the wonderful experience." Simon M, Brighton
 

 


 

Bark Containers- Stitched Willow

Saturday 17th May 2014, 10.30am-4.30pm. Cost: £55.

To book, or to see the full course description and for any enquiries, visit the Native Hands website here.

To see more photos of Native Hands basketry courses, have a look at the Wowo Facebook album here.

Spend a day in the woods making a very sturdy and long-lasting bark container to take home. Make a berry basket, a penknife pouch for your belt, a container that hangs on the wall (for kitchen utensils, paint brushes etc), or a design of your choice.

We'll use willow bark which we'll harvest on the day from the land at Wowo. learning where, when and how to harvest it in a sustainable way. We’ll use only bark to stitch it together, but will consider other materials you can incorporate to give it the function you have in mind. We'll explore processing it with wood ash to achieve different effects.

We'll also have time set aside for connecting to the beautiful surroundings, making the day a nourishing as well as a learning experience. Suitable for all levels, including beginners. Places limited to 10 participants.

“Thank you so much for a wonderful and I mean REALLY wonderful day learning about bark, and 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!” Amy H, Brighton.

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Bark Containers- Woven Willow

Willow bark
 
Saturday 7th June, 2014, 10.30am-4.30pm. Cost: £55.

To book, or to see the full course description and for any enquiries, visit the Native Hands website here.

To see more photos of Native Hands basketry courses, have a look at the Wowo Facebook album here.

Spend a day in the woods making a very sturdy and long-lasting woven bark container to take home, using the bias plaiting technique. These make great berry baskets or all-purpose containers. We'll use willow bark which we'll harvest on the day from the land at Wowo, learning where, when and how to harvest bark in a sustainable way. We’ll look at processing it with wood ash to achieve different effects and you will be guided through the making process so that you have a good understanding of the technique.

We'll also have time set aside for connecting to the beautiful surroundings, making the day a nourishing as well as a learning experience. Suitable for all levels, including beginners. Places limited to 10 participants.

"Thank you Native Hands for my thoroughly enjoyable day making a willow bark container. I came home with a beautiful container and new knowledge and skills ....all in the beautiful surroundings at Wowo. A fabulous day."  Lucy H, Lewes 

 


 

Reed Mace – Woven Belt Pouch

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 A two-day course on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th September, 2014.

10.30am - 4.30pm each day. Cost: £100.

To book, or to see the full course description and for any enquiries, visit the Native Hands website here.

To see more photos of Native Hands basketry courses, have a look at the Wowo Facebook album here.

Spend two days a weekend in the woods making a twined pouch to take home with you. Your pouch can be made to fix onto your belt (perfect for carrying your fire-kit or phone in) or can be made with a long strap, as shown on the right in the photo above. We'll be using reed mace (Typha latifolia), some of which we'll gather on the day from the woodland site, and you'll learn how to harvest, store and process this very useful basketry plant. You'll also learn how to make your fixtures and fittings using cordage and/or plaiting techniques.

Time will be set aside for connecting to the beautiful surroundings, making the course a nourishing as well as a learning experience. Suitable for beginners as well as those with some experience. Places are limited to a maximum of 10 participants.

Camping is available for this course by arrangement with Alice- please email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Please note that the course fee doesn’t include camping.

“Ruby – I wanted to thank you again for the lovely basket workshop. It was so relaxed yet focused, clear modelling with space to crack on and explore with your supportive skills and knowledge on tap.Richard S, London.

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Wild Rose & Rush Frame Platter

Rush platter

Saturday 18th October, 2014.  10.30am-4.30pm. Cost: £55

To book, or to see the full course description and for any enquiries, visit the Native Hands website here.

To see more photos of Native Hands basketry courses, have a look at the Wowo Facebook album here.

Spend a day in the woods, round a roaring camp fire, making a frame basket using wild rose and English rush. Perfect as bread or fruit platters. We’ll harvest some wild rose for making frames, looking at how, when and where to cut it sustainably, and how to set it into a frame for the weaving. English rush is a beautiful material to work with.

We'll also have time set aside for connecting to the beautiful surroundings, making the day a nourishing as well as a learning experience. Suitable for all levels, including beginners. Places limited to 10 participants.

“Ruby, what an amazing day we had with you making baskets in the woods, sitting round the camp fire, and soaking up the spring, listening to the birds. So idyllic. Thank you.Tessa S, Oxford.