Journal

Making an Oak Swill

Making an Oak Swill

One of the first things you notice about Owen Jones, apart from his friendly, relaxed demeanor, is his hands: huge and work-worn. They've definitely seen some years of graft. I'm at his workshop in Cumbria, to make an oak swill. This is a traditional split wood basket...

Archaeologists Making Baskets

Archaeologists Making Baskets

A crisp cold November morning and I'm meeting a group of archaeologists at Fort Cumberland in Portsmouth for a day of basketmaking. During our discussions and through the making itself, a couple of very interesting revelations happen over the day, which make...

Fibre & Clay in the Wild

Fibre & Clay in the Wild

In conversation with No Serial Number Magazine, a publication which explores environmental sustainability through traditional crafts and innovative design. We discuss my practice: my relationship to the landscape where I forage my materials, and about coping with the...

Looped Cordage: Netted Bags

Looped Cordage: Netted Bags

After a day of making cordage from foraged plant fibres, my grubby fingernails show evidence of all the separating and scraping. Once you're committed to the steady, repetitive nature of prepping and twining cordage, it's a deeply satisfying process. So much so that...

Wakehurst 2017: Space Between

Wakehurst 2017: Space Between

Space Between is a recently commissioned, site-specific woodland sculpture at Wakehurst, (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew).  It's situated in Pearcelands Wood, their newly-opened ancient woodland. It was commissioned as part of Wakehurst's Wild Wood Festival, 2017.  ...

Making an Ash Pack Basket

Making an Ash Pack Basket

For ages I've been wanting to make a pack, or back, basket from wood splints. They're best made in the spring when the sap's rising, so earlier this year I took a trip to the woods near Bath for a few days to make one. There's a long tradition of black ash splint...

Forage of the Month

Forage of the Month- December

Forage of the Month- December

King Alfred's Cakes At this time of year there's not so much around to forage, but these are a favourite for fire-making. I always keep an eye open for them when I'm out in the winter woods. Their Latin name is Daldinia concentrica and if you break one open you'll see...

Forage of the Month- November

Forage of the Month- November

Rosehip Vinegar This is a favourite, super-easy recipe. It comes from 'Hedgerow Medicine' by friends Julie and Matthew Bruton-Seal. Recipes for rose hip syrup abound...but if you want to preserve their goodness without using sugar this is the recipe for you. Last...

Forage of the Month – Sept/Oct

Forage of the Month – Sept/Oct

Fruit Leather Fruit leather is a really popular snack and easy to carry around with you. It's basically thin, pliable sheets of fruit puree with a flexible consistency (like leather). Don't buy it in the shops because it's incredibly simple to make your own. Now is...