Carving & sculpture workshops



Learn how to carve in a single day with one-to-one tuition.

A one day course specifically aimed at complete beginners with no previous knowledge. Learn how to carve a relief in wood in a single day, (the very foundation of all sculpture in the round) with highly personal one to one tuition in the beautiful surroundings of the Peak District National Park. One to one tuition is by far the best and quickest way to learn a new skill, without the usual distractions of a group situation. This is a serious course for those interested in art, and provides the first step to a more creative and artistic future.

Sculpture and carving have been a constant source of wonder and fascination for thousands of years and are especially relevant as a design statement in the 21st century, with its feeble, impersonal and sanitized design paralysis. Carvings are like a magnet, and in any design, they always become the focal point to which people gravitate.

Perhaps the enchanting and magical nature of carving has something to do with the mystery of the process, and that only certain gifted artists posses this great esoteric knowledge. Fortunately this is not the case, and a complete beginner with no prior knowledge can understand and master the basics of relief carving in one single day session. The key is one-to-one tuition offered personally by Gareth.

Tuition includes:
- How to use and sharpen carving gouges
- Principles of drawing and the creation of movement
- How to carve the shape of the subject with various gouges
- The principle of emphasis to create life and drama
- How to carve without breakage
- Undercutting to create shadow lines and the illusion of depth
- Working up the background for greater clarity of the subject
- Appreciation and study of the difference between carving wood and stone

At the end of one day the client will have completed, and will be able to take home a relief carving of a couple of oversized ivy leaves carved in oak, sycamore or lime, along with photos for social media and bragging rights for friends.

The participant will also be taught the six keys to engender a creative mind set -
- Meditation
- Exercise
- Embracing nature
- Positive affirmation
- Doodling
- Visualization

Relief carving is the basis of sculpture and without its mastery, sculpture in the round will always be unconvincing and inadequate. So, make the first step and embrace this wonderful art form, release your creativity and become the envy of your friends.
One day workshops held at the 16th century farm, nestled in the beautiful Peak District National Park, Cheshire, where you will be inspired by nature and taught by a true master of sculpture.

Full day workshop

£280 per participant for a one to one workshop
£230 per participant for a one to two workshop.

Why not take advantage of the discounted rate for two, and share the experience with a partner or friend.

Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 2 weeks before the course starts. Start dates may be amended on request.

What's included in the price?

All tools and materials provided.

Copious amounts of tea/coffee/biscuits and banter.


Gareth at Carved Wood Design


Nether Carr Farm
Kettleshulme, Macclesfield
SK23 7RG

Suitable for

  • Suitable for beginners


1 day (flexible times to suit)

Gold Badge
What does this mean?

This craft course provider has been awarded Gold status for receiving 10 or more 5 star ratings from previous students.

The Students' Choice award ensures that course providers get recognised for their efforts in the teaching and practice of UK craft.

They also allow tutors to gain valuable feedback on their courses and for new students to find the course that's right for them.

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In-person course
Nick Treble - - #35029

As birthday presents my cousin and I were treated to the training day by our wives as we are both interested in woodwork but had no previous carving experience. No really knowing exactly what to expect we were both delighted with the day's training provided. Gareth is clearly in a league of his own as and sculptor, artist and trainer. As a retired surgeon I was particularly impressed to find Gareth's house strewn with anatomy books which, as did the old masters, he used to understand the underlying structures before producing the most amazing anatomically accurate pieces of art.
The training we received was thorough as well as clearly and patiently conveyed. We were both proud to present really quite acceptable works to our wives which we had, to a large extent, carved ourselves.
I would without hesitation recommend this day to anyone who wishes to take up, or indeed improve their, wood carving

In-person course
Trisha Nicholson - - #30937

I attended the course with Gareth on a 1-1 basis. Having read the reviews, I was hoping that what I read was not over exaggerated but can honestly say that the course surpassed my expectations. Gareth's knowledge of carving is extraordinary and he is not at all a "showman" in his manor. What a wonderful course in a wonderful setting. Thank you Gareth for helping me to think outside the box, for guiding me on techniques and for helping me to re-ignite my dormant passion, but most of all, for making the day a truly memorable experience.

In-person course
David - - #30596

I had a fantastic day with Gareth learning the principles of wood carving and came away at the end of the day with the confidence to explore and tackle the ideas that I have racing around in my head. The setting of the course out in the county has a very relaxing affect making the day more enjoyable. Gareth’s house and his work that he has done is amazing. Truly a memorable day and highly recommended to anyone who wants to learn or improve a beautiful skill

In-person course
Anne Granby - - #25988

Gareth was absolutely lovely, he re-organised his busy schedule at short notice so that I could have this course on my birthday.
I am very grateful for that, it was the best birthday I have ever had. Everyone has been impressed with the carving I came home with. I have never carved before but now I feel I can go ahead and just play with wood. His home is unique, it was a bit like being in a hobbit house, it was a magical day away from civilisation, tuning in to nature. Gareth was so interesting to talk to about all-sorts of topics. I came back from that day so happy and calm, thank you so much Gareth,

In-person course
John Forbes - - #25752

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In-person course
Sarah James - - #24102

I bought this wood carving day as a present for my mum who has always loved wood sculptures and was keen to learn some carving skills herself.

Gareth was brilliant to spend the day with. Patient and enthusiastic, he made learning fun and explained everything very simply so we both created gorgeous leaf carvings and had a really enjoyable day. Both bitten by the carving bug now!

The house is filled with beautiful sculptures and furniture in wood and marble which added to the relaxing pastime and made the experience just perfect!

In-person course
Steven Kwong - - #24078

An excellent day of thinking outside the box to have the creative mindset before delving into the wood carving lessons.
We talked nearly non-stop and pondered over the many philosophical topics all of which helped towards the journey of a creative thinking process.

My grateful thanks to Gareth who gave such a warm wonderful welcome and enlightening moments and for his teaching guidance.
I learnt a great deal and will be carrying on to start on my own journey to wood carving, life drawing and become a better observer.

Gareth’s house in the rural settings is a wonderful place . For me, It’s a step back in time before all computers have intrude into every aspect of modern lives. His art sculptures and art works are just simply delightful and uplifting and vibrant but sends a serious message us all to look after and treasure our planet and nature herself.
Mr Jones is simply an amazing teacher and an extraordinary craftsman.

In-person course
Ian - - #23515

Gareth is “as mad as a box of frogs”! Like a box of frogs, he is fascinating, pleasing, natural, constantly in motion and bright green (well not that last one..). He is a unique individual with a true passion for teasing art, emotion and life-like movement out of wood and stone and other inanimate things like you and I.

I had the privilege of spending several days with Gareth and tackling a more complex project which I have brought home to complete. It strikes me I have probably packed months of experience in what we christened “co-carving” where Gareth would demonstrate, I would try to repeat, he would adjust/fix and so on until I found I was actually producing results that were very (very) pleasing.

I can thoroughly recommend Gareth, his amazing house, his very tasty cooking and even his choice of biscuits to you. Bring a Sat-Nav and enjoy your journey to middle-earth, once you are there you’ll realise it was worth the effort.

In-person course
L and D Ryder - - #23228

D: This was great; I had a lot of fun and learnt a lot of techniques. The workshop has helped me understand art in a different way. It improved my own woodwork and drawing skills significantly. I really recommend it!

[L: I got the full-day woodcarving workshop with Gareth as a present for my husband (‘D’). He’s been interested in whittling and woodwork for some time, but is still a beginner and looking to learn more. He had a fantastic time, learned a lot, came home excited to do more, and was extremely proud of the carving he made!]

In-person course
Andy - - #23053

An incredible and magical day. I came with only a little whittling experience but Gareth made me feel very relaxed and opened my eyes to the world of wood carving and sculpture. We had some really interesting conversations and the whole day tapped into a creative resource I never knew was within me. My creative taste buds are now alive and I'm looking at various ways to express my innate creativity.
What's more, Gareth's home is a real gem and looks like something out of Lord of the Rings! The baroque/gothic furnishings remind me of Harry Potter/Edward Scissorhands... truly amazing! I was also fed with a delicious stew of organic vegetables, beans and lentils. All this set in the quietude of the most fabulous English countryside.

In-person course
Guy Davis - - #22574

I had a great day with Gareth at his remote farmhouse. I found him a excellent teacher and came away with a relief carving of vine leaves in lime wood. Lunch was also excellent.

In-person course
Cheryl Greenwood - - #21321

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In-person course
Victoria Whittell - - #21228

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