About this course

Using traditional hand tools, cleave, shave and steam-bend sweet chestnut to make a classic Sussex trug with white willow boards and feet.

Course Description

Use traditional hand tools to learn to make a traditional Sussex trug. You will become familiar with the process of cleaving (splitting) green wood using a froe and cleaving break, and shaving using a drawknife and shaving horse. Other skills include learning to steam bend sweet chestnut around specially made jigs to make the handle and rim of this unique frame basket.

Once the boards of white willow are shaped, shaved and nailed into place, the feet – also made of willow – are finally fitted and you will take home a completed Sussex trug.

Timetable

Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials

Included

  • On this course the tutor will supply the materials for making your trug.

What students need to bring

  • Sturdy covered footwear, preferably safety shoes
  • An apron
  • A pair of heavy duty gloves
  • A cushion for sitting on the shaving horse

Additional information

Wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals. Safety boots, if specified.

Tutors

Dominic Parrette

Dominic is a basketmaker and coppice worker with over ten years experience in teaching his craft.
He makes a woven willow structures, organic forms and frame baskets using a range of traditional and contemporary techniques.
 

Accommodation

Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

Courses of interest

Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or advance your learning with our BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft: Materials, Making, and Place (six years part-time). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.

Interested in a career in woodworking?

Our Foundation Degree specialising in Furniture is designed to give you well-rounded woodworking theory and craft skills to become a self-employed maker or craftsperson, to continue your studies in higher education or to find employment in the creative industry sector. Find out more