Crafts made on the Bush Craft Week Hand made buckskin bag Beautiful hand carved spoons Hand weaving a foraging basket Splitting willow into three ribbons using a boxwood cleave Buckskin pouches Bark boxes, bags and containers Hand carving a spoon Hand softening a buckskin Weaving a willow fish trap Hand carving a kuksa cup Finished bark crafts Hand stretching a buckskin Willow fish trap Toolkit for the Bush Crafts week Stretching a fallow hide in a frame Weaving on the Bush Crafts Week

Bush Crafts Week

This week of crafting and creativity will take the form of several instructor led sessions, focussing on a different subject each time. The group will be small, just six people therefore allowing some flexibility in exactly what you as an individual would like to work on during that particular session.

Subjects would include traditional hide working, bark work, wood working, leatherwork, basketry and weaving. Working on a particular craft, delving deep into your creative side deserves time and total focus. This approach will feel less structured, more casual. So, for example during the leatherworking day you may be keen to make a haversack or several pouches or a belt pouch or a knife sheath or even a new mask for your axe. The choice would be yours and all materials and tuition would be on hand to help you achieve your aim!

Even if you haven’t already got something in mind and have no experience in a subject, suggestions and ideas will be provided to ensure you leave with a cool selection of new gear AND new skills. Evenings will largely be your own to continue working on crafts or just enjoy the peace and solitude of these ancient woodlands in late spring.

Subjects covered will include...

Traditional hide working to make buckskin – 2 days - Extra hides will be available and the hide working will take place early on in the week, therefore making rawhide, tanning hair on pelts and bark tanning will also be covered. There will be time, during the week to make up some oak bark tannin solution to start off your own bark tan to take away and finish. Making up leather dressing from birch tar and rendered fat for softening and waterproofing will be included as a background activity.

Wood working – 2 days - Safe tool use and carving techniques will be covered as well as tool maintenance and sharpening. Potential projects will include ash mallets, butter knives, spatulas, spoons, ladles. We’ll move up to carving Scandinavian style cups or bowls using axe, gouge, knife and crooked knife. You could even carve a paddle or make a three legged stool!

Leather working – 1 day - The mainstay of this phase, whatever you decide to make will be pattern making, prototypes and basic stitching and joining techniques. After that, the world is your oyster. Leather of different thicknesses and colours will be available as well as different stains, waxes and all the tools you’ll need. Don’t forget, you’ll also have your finished buckskin to use as well and the beauty of the leatherworking phase is that your projects are easily worked on during downtime in the evenings next to the campfire.

Bark work – 1 day - You’ll be shown which trees are willing to give up their bark and how to harvest it. Whilst some barks can be cut in a certain way to be joined, others will need to be stitched, glued or pinned meaning that you’ll also learn about making natural cordage from plant fibres, green stems and flexible roots, natural glues found in the woods and carving techniques to make lids and stiffened rims from green, seasoned and steamed wood.We can make anything from small birch bark containers with push fit wooden lids and bases, to larger, thicker ash bark foraging bags, boxes, even arrow quivers with plaited rush straps. The ability to craft such useful containers quickly using only locally found, natural materials is an essential bushcraft skill. From a crafts perspective, bark is a fantastic material to work with. Made from several layers, each with their own texture and shades, your containers can be both practical and beautiful!

Basket weaving – 1 day - Learning to weave willow and other hedgerow materials together to make a lightweight but strong container is a fantastic skill to possess. Frame baskets are perfect for foraging wild foods. The woven structure allows your hedgerow harvest to breathe and the rigid frame offers protection as you roam through the woods. Many different materials can be used in addition to traditional willow, such as clematis vine, honeysuckle, ivy, brambles, hazel and even roots from coniferous trees meaning that you should be able to quickly knock up a useful basket from local materials in most outdoor environments you visit.

You may even decide to weave a fish trap. Their rigid, woven construction has the advantage of letting the water flow naturally through the fitched weave whilst the natural materials blend in perfectly amongst the reeds and other aquatic vegetation. A funnelling opening is woven separately and held in place with cordage, to be easily removed when extracting your days catch.

The best way to summarise this week of crafts is that it’s an opportunity to learn a huge amount in a relatively short time. All the materials, tuition and guidance you need will be available for you. It’ll be up to you to make the absolute best of your time here – you can do as much or as little as you like and as you’ll be working on your own projects, you will dictate the pace.

The Bush Crafts week will be part self catered. Hot and cold drinks, snacks and fruit and breakfast will all be available – you’ll just need to bring lunch and main meal options. Storage containers and cool boxes are available to use as well as all our kitchen pots, pans, cast iron Dutch ovens and kettles. Personal campfires are absolutely fine and fire wood is plentiful and free but there’ll always be a group fire chugging away in the roundhouse.


Bush Crafts Week

Bush Crafts Week

7 days

29-Apr-2019 to 05-May-2019

Start 09.00

Finish 17.00

£675 per person

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