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Sweet Chestnut Bark Basket with Nick McMillen

By Nettlecombe Craft School
Nettlecombe Craft School

On this two day course you will learn to make a small foraging basket from the inner bark of the sweet chestnut tree. The basket will include a bent wood handle made from either chestnut or ash.

The course will start with getting straight into the action and steam bending the wooden handles in forms ready to dry.

Once this is done we will turn our attention to the chestnut bark. We will discuss bark harvesting times, what to look for when selecting stems for bark, harvesting techniques, and how to prepare your bark for storage.

The group will then be shown techniques to prepare bark ready for weaving.

Basketry techniques covered on the course will include; plaiting, 3 strand twining, twill weave and a wrapped border.

By the end of the first day the students will have woven the base and sides of their baskets.

On the second day the group will focus on finishing their baskets. This will start with packing down the weave and preparing the baskets to have the handles fitted. Then we will take the handles from the forms and fit them to the baskets. The final process will be to finish the basket with the border.