On the x3 day workshop, you’ll create Lorna’s ‘Laal Yak’ basket, using simple hand tools and ancient techniques.
Lorna is one of the UK’s last remaining ‘swillers’, a specialist in weaving baskets using coppiced oak. Using simple hand tools and ancient techniques, she creates baskets based on the traditional patterns from the South Cumbrian region as well as patterns found on my travels.
In 2017 oak swill basketry was listed as a Critically Endangered Craft in the Radcliffe Red List of Endangered Crafts and hazel basketry was newly listed as Critically Endangered in the 2021 update.
It’s vitally important we keep these skills alive.
Lorna works from a workshop tucked away in the Cumbrian woods, weaving traditional baskets known as spelk baskets, swill baskets or spale baskets. She cuts and prepare the wood by hand, seeing the whole process through from the tree to the finished product, coppicing the woodland to create a truly renewable resource and improving biodiversity. She's one of the last people still practising this ancient skill and keeping this important knowledge alive.