Sussex Trug basket making

Sussex Trug Making Workshop

The Course

Over the two days participants will be shown the process of cleaving and shaving chestnut to produce the handle and rim for their Trug and will be shown how to steam and bend both chestnut and the willow used for the boards of the Trug. The final part will involve assembling their Trug to take home and cherish. There will also be an opportunity when participants will learn some of the history of this most famous of Sussex Crafts.

The Tutors

Robin Tuppen has over 27 years of experience in the making of the South Down Modern Trug and some 20 years in making the Royal Sussex Traditional Trug. Over the years Robin has promoted this unique Sussex Craft all over the world and his companies have attended numerous international shows, including in the USA and Japan where his trugs were admired by the crown Prince at a trade show in Tokyo. He has been a director of Gardenex for over 16 years. Gardenex is a trade association devoted to the export of British gardening products and Robin was chairman for almost four years.

During that time he also sat on a Department of Trade & Industry Gardening Task Force and helped arrange promotional shows in the gardens of the British Embassy in Paris and at a hotel in Brussels. He has also attended many shows throughout England, Belgium, France, Germany and The Netherlands. Robin gives talks to local organisations about the History of Trug making and actively promotes education of his chosen craft whenever possible.

Chris Tuppen is a Master Trug Maker having guided two apprentices through to craftsmanship, Chris has worked at Thomas Smith’s for over 10 years and is a skilled tutor.

Caleb Pimm is a Craftsman Trug Maker, having finished his apprenticeship in August 2017. He has taught at several courses at the Weald & Downland Museum assisting Chris and is currently guiding a second year and first year apprentice through their apprenticeships.

Participant Information

It is advisable to bring a pad and pencil. All other tools and materials will be provided. It is advisable to wear warm clothing.

Fee & Refreshments

£190 per person, to include tuition, materials, teas and coffees. The Museum café will be open or you can bring a packed lunch.


Sat–Sun 14–15 November 2020






Working with Wood