Birch bark container with leaf design Tough bark foraging bag made from Western Hemlock, bark stitched with lime bast Finished crafts on the bark boxes, bags & containers workshop Spruce root stitching on a birch bark pot Hand carved wooden spoons and spatulas in birch bark tubs Bark containers Using a birch bark tub to hold acorn flour Boiling water using heated rocks in a birch bark bucket Bark foraging bag Birch bark tub with carved wooden lid Carving a wooden lid for a birch bark container Birch bark container with amanita fungi design made by Joe O'Leary Shaping a birch bark container Birch bark pots Birch bark workshop Harvesting bark

Bark Containers & Bags Workshop

A weekend workshop learning how to harvest, fold, cut and stitch bark to make a large bark bag or quiver with stitched rim and plaited strap, plus several smaller tubs using stitched and tabs construction.

There are many species of tree that will happily give up their bark if the time is right. If you’ve chosen a good tree, at the right time of year it virtually pops off the wood with very little effort. We use the remaining wood for carving bows, cups, bowls, spoons and all sorts of useful furniture and equipment around camp so really the bark can be viewed as a useful by-product of wood harvesting in the spring. Some bark is relatively thick but can be made flexible and shaped while damp to produce hardy containers and bags with a tough wood-like quality once dry – perfect as a quiver for holding and protecting arrows!

Other barks are thinner and more malleable from the outset allowing smaller, more intricate containers to be made. Carefully chosen and properly worked, bark is waterproof therefore making containers that bridge the gap between lightweight, woven but not very waterproof containers and pottery – capable of holding water but heavy and fragile to transport. Bark containers that are able to hold water have even been used to cook in historically, using heated rocks from the fire to boil the water from inside.

Whilst some barks can be cut in a certain way to be joined, others will need to be stitched, glued or pinned meaning that during the weekend you’ll also learn about natural cordage from plant fibres, green stems and flexible roots, plaiting straps, natural glues found in the woods and carving techniques to make lids and rims from green, seasoned and steamed wood.

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!

Each working day will begin at 9am sharp and we’ll down tools at 5pm daily (although please be prepared to work on a little bit later if needed).

All tools, materials and hot drinks are provided however, as all craft workshops are self-catered, please bring your own food for the duration. Our woodland kitchen has plenty of robust pots and pans for cooking over the campfire, as well as cool boxes and secure containers to store your food. You would be welcome to bring a small camping stove to speed up mealtimes, however small, personal camp fires are absolutely fine and fire wood is plentiful and free.

If you wish to stay locally, the nearest villages to our location are Tisbury, Hindon & Chicklade. If you would like to camp over in the woods, please mention this when you book.

This workshop can also be booked as a private training course so if the advertised date doesn’t suit you, get in touch to choose your own. Many other crafts, wilderness living and survival skills taught here can also be covered during a private course.






A Week In The Woods?

In 2021 the Carving 3 Day Masterclass is followed immediately by the 2 Day Bark Bags & Containers Workshop, which then leads straight into the 1 Day Foraging Basket Workshop, which is already twinned with the Wild Food & Foraging Day Course.  Although all are standalone courses, there is the option of attending all four courses combined to make a crafty combo week of traditional woodland crafts and wild foods at a discounted price of £595!

Bark Containers & Bags Workshop

Bark Containers & Bags Workshop

2 days

22-Apr-2021 to 23-Apr-2021

Start 09.00

Finish 17.00


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