Structured mainly in two day blocks, all modules have the use of green, freshly harvested wood in common to make useful items using hand tools. By it's very nature this is a very practical course.
Taught by professional craftspeople and some of the countries leading exponents of their specialist crafts and all very experienced tutors.
As you would expect the first subject to be taught is managing native woodlands especially for coppice, an entirely sustainable form of woodland management. This gives students an understanding of nurturing and protecting the woodland resource for the benefit of wildlife conservation, future harvesting and amenity.
This leads onto the efficient harvesting of small diameter rods and poles for the purpose of adding value to what is commonly considered a low value raw material.
The art of converting hardwood into charcoal is taught using commercial steel ring kilns as well as oil drums and mini kilns. The important aspects of grading, bagging and marketing of barbeque charcoal are also covered. For many self employed coppicers and woodland workers making barbeque charcoal and firewood are mainstays of their business.
As a professional green woodworker and woodsman for more than 18 years, Maurice Pyle will teach units in Coppice Woodland Management, Charcoal Burning, Green Woodworking, Bowl and Spoon Carving, Tool Sharpening, Cleft Ash Gates and Pole Lathe Turning.
The countries only full-time oak swill basket maker Owen Jones will patiently guide you through the facinating process of making a 'swill'. The process will include the boiling of split strips of coppice oak over an outdoor fire. Learning to finely control the riving of boiled oak to produce thin strips of extremely durable weavers for a swill will be one of this units skill challenges.
Professional willow meastro Phil Bradley from Cumbria will diligently teach willow basket making, from selecting suitable willow, through making the base, upsticking, different types of weave for the basket wall and completing the rim.
Professional willow worker James Bedingfield will inspire and explore the potential for willow as a material for outdoor structures including domes, tunnels and garden frames.
This course will give high pririty to Heath and Safety, and dealing with waste material correctly throughout.
Enrolment takes place Friday 24 January 2014 and finishes May 2014, timetabled every Thursday and Friday.
Cost £1 295, payable in 5 monthly installments of £259.
This is a very popular course where many former students have gone on to earn their livings from green woodcraft.