Finished crafts on the bark boxes, bags & containers workshop Students with their bark foraging bags Bark containers Using a birch bark tub to hold acorn flour Bark foraging bag Birch bark tub with carved wooden lid Carving a wooden lid for a birch bark container Shaping a birch bark container Birch bark pots Birch bark workshop Harvesting bark

Bark Boxes, Bags & Containers 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!

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

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 is self catered. Please bring enough food for the duration. Hot drinks, fruit and snacks are available all day. 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. Small, personal camp fires are absolutely fine and fire wood is plentiful and free.

This course has been re-scheduled to run after June 2020. Please email to register your interest and as soon as we have new dates, you’ll be the first to know!

Bark Boxes, Bags & Containers Workshop

Bark Containers Workshop

2 days

Start 09.00

Finish 17.00


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