Shrink Pot Carving Course

£125.00

Spend a summer’s day in our beautiful Woodland Hall, learning woodwork techniques to make your own shrink pot on this training course in the Hampshire South Downs. Our tutor, Chris Matthews, will teach you how to use traditional hand tools to carve your own pot from locally grown wood. This technique of making a container is generally considered a very old Scandinavian tradition but was also used in South and Eastern Europe.

A shrink pot is a fun, creative greenwood project which utilises the natural shrinking properties of the wood as it dries to form a pot. The body of the pot will be drilled and chiselled out, then refined with a spoon knife. The base is made by carving a loose, thin disc of dried wood to fit in a groove made inside the base of the pot. As the wood dries over the following weeks, the body of the pot will shrink snuggly around its base to create a useful and beautiful container. The pots can be used to store dry foods, coffee, tea bags or trinkets, pens, and pencils. There will be a small group of 6 students on this day to allow plenty of tutor support for all attending.

Most commonly birch, sycamore, horse chestnut, sweet chestnut or cherry are used for the pot body with a variety of hard woods for the lids. This course will cover the steps needed to make a simple shrink pot from freshly cut ‘green’ birch.

Please note: Each participant will take home their shrink pot and if time allows, a lid can be prepared on the day. Because the pot needs to dry, the final lid fitting will be done by you at home after your pot has finished shrinking. Your tutor will provide you with a video link with instructions on how to fit the lid, should you choose to make one.

£125.00 Location : Hampshire

Spend a summer's day in our beautiful Woodland Hall, learning woodwork techniques to make your own shrink pot on this training course in the Hampshire South Downs. Our tutor, Chris Matthews, will teach you how to use traditional hand tools to carve your own pot from locally grown wood. This technique of making a container is generally considered a very old Scandinavian tradition but was also used in South and Eastern Europe. A shrink pot is a fun, creative greenwood project which utilises the natural shrinking properties of the wood as it dries to form a pot. The body of the pot will be drilled and chiselled out, then refined with a spoon knife. The base is made by carving a loose, thin disc of dried wood to fit in a groove made inside the base of the pot. As the wood dries over the following weeks, the body of the pot will shrink snuggly around its base to create a useful and beautiful container. The pots can be used to store dry foods, coffee, tea bags or trinkets, pens, and pencils. There will be a small group of 6 students on this day to allow plenty of tutor support for all attending. Most commonly birch, sycamore, horse chestnut, sweet chestnut or cherry are used for the pot body with a variety of hard woods for the lids. This course will cover the steps needed to make a simple shrink pot from freshly cut ‘green’ birch. Please note: Each participant will take home their shrink pot and if time allows, a lid can be prepared on the day. Because the pot needs to dry, the final lid fitting will be done by you at home after your pot has finished shrinking. Your tutor will provide you with a video link with instructions on how to fit the lid, should you choose to make one.

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Course Details :-
  • In-Person Course
  • Day course

THE COURSE WILL GIVE YOU The skills to hollow a wooden log to create the cylindrical body of the pot. The technique of shaping the dry wooden base and fitting it into a groove to make the base. Safe use of axe, drawknife, chisel, spoon knife and scorp. Understanding of how to construct a shrink pot using the wood's natural shrinkage when dry. Students will learn about wood selection, other appropriate species, and sustainable sourcing. THE COURSE IS SUITABLE FOR Anyone interested in learning traditional greenwood skills.  The hollowing process does require some wrist and grip strength, as you will be using a mallet and gouging with a spoon knife. WHAT TO BRING/WEAR Stout footwear and outdoor weather-appropriate clothing. This course will take place outdoors in our Woodland Classroom. Packed lunch or lunch is available from the Beech Café. ABOUT THE TUTOR Chris Matthews has worked closely with trees as an arborist and conservationist for over 25 years in the mid-Hampshire countryside. Alongside this work, Chris has spent many years exploring creative ways of transforming the timber produced from tree works into useful and beautiful objects for the home. Working mainly with freshly cut ‘green’ wood, using hand tools and traditional techniques, Chris works with the organic forms and textures of the wood combined with hand tooling to create pieces that retain the liveness of the materials.

What's included in the price

Tuition, materials and refreshments

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