one of the few people in the country making and teaching the traditional,
and little known craft of making shrink pots.
So what is a shrink pot?
Shrink-pots are beautiful, functional, tactile pots
made from hollowed-out, green branch wood or green logs. They are
great fun to make and provide practical storage solutions for the
kitchen. Commonly known in parts of Europe and beyond, their tradition
died out in this country in the Dark ages.
Their origins go back millennia to when, some peoples used wood
to make storage vessels for food and other stuff. Shrink pots come
in all sorts of sizes, from a few inches diameter, up to three
foot in diameter or to 6 foot high. They are often made with tight
fitting lids and can store any dry goods.
When the log or branch is hollowed, a small groove is put into
one end on the inside, and a disc of dry plank-wood is cut to fit
inside this groove. This is the bottom of the pot. As the hollow
pot dries, it shrinks around the base and holds it firmly. A lid
is made from another piece of plank of wood.
No woodworking knowledge or experience is required, although if
you have green or normal woodworking experience then this will
help you progress faster. Only hand tools are used on this course:
you will learn how to make these pots with a minimal investment
You will learn:
• How to use an axe and knife safely. Step by step tuition is given
in each axe and knife technique.
• What wood to use and what part of the tree to use.
• How to drill out and remove wood from the centre of the pot
• How to refine and finish the roughed-out pot using a range of
• How to make the groove to fit the plank and how to cut out and
make sure the plank fits the pot.
• How to make various types of lids.
You will be able to try out a range of commercially available
knives and axes and other hand tools.
Depending on your skill level, you will make at least one pot during
the day, but will also take home the knowledge and techniques to
continue making pots on your own.