Ash Splint Basketry Workshops



Note: Apologies, but unfortunately the 14th August Workshop has been cancelled due to low numbers.



Spend either a one-day or two-day workshop discovering how to weave an ash splint basket with a square bottom and round top with Chelle Mateo. The two-day workshop also includes a day of material preparation. The techniques used today have their roots in traditional basket making of North America.

On the first day of the two-day workshop you’ll learn:

  • How to pound the ash log by hand to create ash splints. Each ash splint used to weave the basket starts as a section of the tree’s growth.
  • Knife techniques to prepare Ash for weaving covering trimming and finishing.

On the one-day workshop (and the second day of the two-day workshop) you’ll learn the following processes:

  • The properties of Ash: its durability, flexibility, strengths and weaknesses
  • How to do a basic weave of pre-prepared ash splints or using the ones you made the day before.
  • How to understand the importance of tension
  • Attaching and finishing the rim

Best of all, not only will gain all this knowledge, but you’ll come away a beautifully woven durable ash basket of your very own.

The day of ash pounding on the two-day workshop can be physically demanding so you’ll need a practical level of fitness or a good level of stamina!

Lunch will be provided on the two-day course.

Learning these skills will give you the foundation to adapt future baskets to your own design and it will give you a new appreciation of the mighty ash!

ash splint basket made by Chelle



Chelle Mateo

Chelle’s (@chelle.mateo) passion for craft began in 2013 when she was introduced to green woodworking whilst volunteering with a woodland community called the Cherrywood Project. Since then she has helped to build cob houses, cob ovens, timber framed cabins, yurts, outdoor structures, and compost toilets; admiring the use of local resources intertwined with sustainable forestry and land use. Over the years she has had the privilege to learn from the best craftspeople who encouraged her to push my craft further, and now her main passion lies in making ash splint baskets, bowl turning and leather work.

She enjoys working off-grid with hand tools, using only hardwood that is locally sourced, from sustainably managed woodlands as part of a natural thinning and woodland regeneration process. It comes either from the outskirts of Bristol, Gloucestershire, or the South/West of Wales, and is naturally air dried or solar kiln dried.

She is a member of the Heritage Crafts Association and the Basket Makers Association.

You can read more about her work on her website.

Chelle Mateo