Total classes: 2 Days
Number of hour per class: 7 hours
Time: 9am - 4pm
Set of tools provided and used:
Wood & Bamboo piece (Small: 40 x 55cm, Medium: 50 x 70cm, Big: 60 x 90 cm)
The first crossbow was invented around 700 BC in ancient China. It consisted of a horizontal bamboo bow with a stock of wood, a rope and a trigger. It was used as a silent weapon for fighting and later it has been used as a tool in hunting. Given it's supreme east to make with natural materials and stealth features, it's no surprise that even today people in the Laos countryside still use crossbows to hunt birds or rats while in the city people use it as a way of sport, especially in sport competitions during their new year celebrations.
This master class is designed for those who want to learn and become a crossbow crafting master. It allows you to take part in each step slowly with details so that you will be able to make your own crossbow on your own.
Introduction to host, wood and learn the first steps
9am - 9.30am:
Pick up at your hotel and go to a local village to meet your host. Here you will get to know his background as a master craftsmen, the history of crossbow and also meet his family and some other villager.
9.30am - 10am: Introduction to materials that are used to make a crossbow
Your host will explain in detail what makes a good crossbow
- Soft and hard wood
- Old and young bamboo bow
10am - 12pm: Making your crossbow from a piece of wood
We have 3 sizes (small, medium, big) that you can work on. You can select your preferred size and get it started. Firstly you will learn how to check if the wood is good enough, then learn to use the knife for carving. Once you are familiar with the knife, you will work on the wooden piece, to carve it into crossbow handle shape. The host will make one crossbow simultaneously while teaching you so that you can follow him step by step. You will finish carving and shaping it by noon time.
12pm: Lunch at a local noodle shop nearby
After lunch, host will show you how crossbow is used in local life in the village. You can also see other ways that people hunt such as different traps works (bird traps, rats traps and tiger traps).
1pm - 4pm: Making the hole and trigger
Once you've done carving the wood, you will learn how to craft the hole for the bamboo bow and also the trigger. Host will show you step by step how to do it correctly.
Crafting your bamboo bow, rope making, arrow making and shooting trial.
9am - 10am: Crafting your bamboo bow
Since you've learn some experience on how to use a knife on day 1, the host will let you work on your own bamboo bow under his watchful eye and he will constantly be correcting you if he sees you doing it the wrong way :)
10am - 12pm: Rope weaving
Host will show you how rope is weaved. The rope is made from a type of special tree bark. Plastic rope is not recommended because it's not flexible enough. Then you will weave your own rope following his guidance.
12pm: Lunch with your host
It is time for lunch with the local family, to enjoy traditional Hmong dishes preparing by your host. After lunch, you can take a short break with host. You can spend 15-20 mins visiting the neighbourhood, getting closer to the local community's life.
1pm - 4pm: After that we will go back to the workshop and complete the crossbow with the last step: making arrows.
Once you finish, you will learn how to assemble and reassemble your crossbow, and practice shooting a target with your new handmade crossbow. You will also have the chance to go to the forest nearby to see the tree from which we got the bark for rope weaving. And if you are lucky enough to find your target you can even do hunting there.