SPLIT HAZEL WHISKET :: Thursday 23rd & Friday 24th April 2020




With Lewis Goldwater of Turnham Green Wood 

Discover the skills and learn the techniques for making a traditional split-hazel frame basket, known as a “whisket” in the Welsh Marches. Over two days you will source your hazel from the local woodland, prepare all of the components from the rods you have cut, and with a minimum of tools, assemble them into a split hazel basket of your own creating.

The “Whisket” is a traditional, round-bottomed basket, made from split hazel, that has its origins in the Welsh Marches of Radnorshire and Herefordshire. It is similar in style to the Welsh “Cyntell”, consisting of an oval or round rim (also made from bent hazel), to which ribs are attached with long, weavers.

The skill of the whisket maker is to harvest the longest weavers possible from the entire length of a clean, slow-grown hazel rod, at the right time of year. This is done by bending the rod along its length and splitting off the outermost growth ring. This is repeated around the circumference of the rod to yield around 40 – 50 feet of weaving material from a single rod, with the bark visible. A second set of weaving material can be obtained by removing the next growth ring from the rod, or pairing down the outermost set of weavers. In these cases, the weavers will be entirely white, and no bark is left showing on the outside of the basket.

There are currently only a handful of makers in the UK, making baskets using split hazel. We are overjoyed to have Lewis sharing his skills with us.

Please note; The preparation of split hazel is physically demanding, more so than traditional basketry using willow. This course may not be suitable for people with a history of back/neck/shoulder or knee problems (knee pads will be provided to all participants to guard the knees whilst working).

£165 (Including materials)



Other useful details ...

Courses run 10am – 4pm, we will be glad to welcome you for coffee from 9.45am.

A selection of teas, coffee and soft drinks are inclusive and served throughout the day.

Lunch is served as a ‘bring and share’ sit down buffet, please bring a small plate of food to share, or lunch can be provided by pre-booking at a cost of £5.

Each course has a detailed requirements list so you know if there is anything in particular you will need to bring or wear. We try and keep this minimal and supply most of what you need, but we know that people also like to bring their own ‘kit’ if they have it. Please ensure you read your list carefully and do ask if there is anything that isn’t clear!

We also offer 4* B&B accommodation please enquire or see our course accommodation page full details – it is worth noting that during course times we only have attendees staying here so our accommodation is not available through the usual online system.

Printable directions and Google Map links to help you find The Old Kennels can be found on our  ‘How to Find Us’ page (sat nav will not bring you to the door as being rural the postcode area is quite large).

For answers to some frequently asked questions about courses please see our FAQs’ page.