Eco

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 Cordage (string)

Sunday 8th May 2016 10.30am-4.30pm Cost £70 Book now

Wild cordageWild cordage2

Learn how to make cordage (string) from a variety of plants which we’ll forage for on the day. There’ll be lots of samples on hand for you to look at and be inspired by. We’ll work with plants that need varying degrees of preparation to make cordage from, so you’ll come away with a really good understanding of the specific methods required to make cordages for various uses and from different types of fibres. From a quick, on-the-hoof cordage, through to a robust, long lasting cordage that is made from a more complex process.

When you make your own, you’ll never look at a humble ball of twine in the same way again.

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.

Full course description here.

 


 

Bone Needle-Making

Saturday 2nd July 2016 10.30am-4.30pm Cost £70* Book now

bone needles

Spend a day in the woods making a bone needle using Stone Age tools and techniques. We'll be in a great, tucked-away spot, under the trees with a camp fire. We'll be using flint and stone tools to work deer bone into these beautiful and useful needles. You might also like to make bone beads or other small items. Other items made from deer hide, bone, sinew and antler will be on hand for you to look at and handle. Inspired by artefacts like these made by our distant ancestors, you’ll quite probably discover a new sense of respect for the technical skills of Stone Age peoples.

*Join the Grass Baskets day the following day, July 3, and you can use your bone needle to stitch your grass basket. Attend both days for a discounted price of £130 (instead of £140). To book for both days please get in touch to arrange.

Time will be set aside for connecting to the woodland surroundings, making the course a nourishing as well as a learning experience. Suitable for beginners as well as those with some experience. Places limited to 10 participants. Make a weekend of it: info about camping options will be sent to you when you book.

Full course description here

 


 

Grass Baskets

Sunday 3rd July 2016 10.30am-4.30pm Cost £ 70* Book now

Coiled Grass Baskets

This is one of our most popular courses. People love the mellow atmosphere that grass basket-making creates. Spend a day in the woods making a small stitched coiled basket from grass, some of which we’ll gather on the day. Learn about which grasses you can harvest and use, how to harvest sustainably, when to do the harvesting and how to process your harvest. We'll stitch with twined hemp, to make a basket that's sturdy and perfect for storing eggs or other similar-sized objects. You’ll leave with all the knowledge you need to make another yourself after the course.

*If you also attend our Bone Needle course on the previous day, 2 July 2016 you can use the needle you made to stitch your grass basket. Attend both days for a discounted price of £130 (instead of £140). To book for both days please get in touch to arrange.

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

Make a weekend of it: info about camping options will be sent to you when you book.

Full course description here.

 


 

Family Grass Baskets

Sunday 24th July 10.30am-4.30pm Cost: one adult + one child*(see below for age guidelines) £110 Book now

grass baskets

Spend a day in the woods making a small stitched coiled basket from grass, some of which we’ll gather on the day. Learn about which grasses and leaves you can harvest and use, how to harvest sustainably, when to do the harvesting and how to process your harvest. We'll stitch with twined hemp, to make a basket that's sturdy and perfect for storing eggs or other similar-sized objects. You’ll leave with all the knowledge you need to make another yourself after the course. This is a wonderful opportunity to share a creative outdoors activity, and have some quality time together away from the demands of daily life. Designed to support you both in developing new skills and a love and appreciation of the natural world.

*This activity requires a degree of dexterity, so it's suitable for children aged 8-16 who are used to using their hands and making things. Please note that you'll be responsible at all times on the day for the child you bring with you.

Full course description here


 

Reed Mace (‘bulrush’) Basketry

Sat 9th & Sun 10th July 2016 10.30am-4.30pm & 10.30am-1pm Cost £100 Book now

reed mace

Spend a day and a half in the woods making a basketry item of your choice, using foraged wild reed mace (known as 'bulrush'). We'll be using Typha latifolia, a lovely material to work with, some of which we'll gather on the day from the site. You'll learn how to harvest, store and process this very useful basketry plant. We'll look at different weaving patterns, twining, cordage and plaiting. We'll also consider a variety of things you might make- a berry basket, belt pouch, phone/camera case, shoulder bag, lidded container, mat... There will be lots of samples to inspire you and you'll be guided through all stages of the making process to help you have a good understanding of the 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 who wish to expand their knowledge. Places are limited to a maximum of 10 participants.

Make a weekend of it: info about camping options will be sent to you when you book.

Full course description here


 

Rush & Wild Rose Baskets

Sunday 11th September 2016 10.30am-4.30pm Cost £70 Book now

Rush platterrushrose baskets

Spend a day in the woods, round a roaring campfire, 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 woodland surroundings, making the day a nourishing as well as a learning experience. Suitable for all levels, including beginners. Places limited to 10 participants.

Full course description here