Course Duration: 13:00 Friday - 12:00 Sunday
Group size: 10 Maximum
Age Range: 18+
The bow and arrow has been one of those accelerating forces in the shaping of mankind's story on Earth, allowing our ancient ancestors to ensure the security of food in the wilderness they called home.
As our societies developed and wars were fought, victory often favoured those peoples who harnessed the power of this truly incredible weapon. Whether you have an interest in ancient history or simply share with your ancestors the exhilaration of firing a bow and arrow, opening the door into making your own wooden bow can be the beginning of a life-long journey of discovery.
On this course we will guide you through the whole process of making a wood bow with hand tools out in the field. There will be a range of handmade bows on hand to highlight the diversity of bow design and you can take your pick in crafting anything from a Mesolithic flat bow to a Medieval longbow.
We start with a safety brief on the Friday afternoon, and a discussion on the fascinating range of designs from prehistory right up to modern day. There will be time to set up your sleeping system and familiarise yourself with your surroundings and fellow bow makers. We then look at the safe use of the tools that are required for the course, and also look at the different types of woods suitable in bow making. The hard work then starts in earnest where we will provide all customers with a suitable bow stave to begin work on but before doing so we will explain fully how to get to this stage - the selecting of an appropriate tree or limb, the splitting of that limb and what advantageous properties to look for before moving on to shaping of the stave. We will break for an evening meal at round 18.00.
We aim to guide you through a range of options for manufacturing a working bow - there will be the opportunity to get to grips with shave horses and draw knives as well as a variety of more primitive means to bracing and working the stave.
The real art in bow making is the tillering process whereby both limbs should flex equally either side of the handle and most people find themselves well into this process by Saturday afternoon. Once the bow is in tiller we look at cutting the string groves and of course making a string! We aim to break for lunch around 13:00 to give your hands a well deserved break.
Saturdays work will conclude around 18:00 to allow time for cooking your evening meal and relaxing around the campfire.
On Sunday we ensure that everybody is on top of the tillering of their bow. We cover finishing the bow and bow after care. There will also be an opportunity to test out your bow by firing some arrows at some targets.
Please note this is a self-catering course and no food is included you will need to bring food and all cooking equipment with you for the duration of the weekend. Please bring food that is quick and easy to prepare to avoid eating into the course time. Hot and cold drinking water will be constantly available.
Basic eco-toilet facilities are available on site.