Making a coracle part 1.

Firstly, to Treewright, Mungo and Suburban Bushwacker…… thanks for you comments re my recent laptop problems.

Last weekend I was at Assington Mill again to learn to make a coracle with instructor Olivia Elton Barratt. I should point out that there are many different designs and ways of making them and this is just one;

The seat was cut from sawn timber, a hole drilled in each corner and placed on flat ground. Pairs of willow wands were then selected for construction of the framework.

Four large wands were inserted into each of the seat holes and then the shape was measured and marked out with the rest of the wands, starting with two pairs either side of the centre of the coracle

Once all the wands were in place, weaving between the wands could start to form the rim and help strengthen the frame. The weave starts under both ends of the seat and after one complete diameter of the coracle the second row is woven below the seat.

The wands are woven in pairs, criss-crossing between the upright wands.

As one wand runs out, you add in a new one to replace it and continue weaving until three rows have been completed.

The vertical wands (or ribs) are then lashed together in opposing pairs to begin forming the shape of the coracle.

until the basic shape is completed.

At this stage slight adjustments to the shape can be made and once the shape looks good, a square lashing is used to secure each point where the pairs of wands cross.

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