Green wood chair making - 6 day woodworking course in Devon



Starting with an unseasoned log you will learn how to create a beautiful and unique chair which will last for generations. This is one of the most satisfying green wood projects and the course is suitable for complete beginners and experienced woodworkers alike. The "post and rung" construction uses the natural properties of green wood to produce incredibly strong, glue-free joints. During the course you will learn to split wood accurately, and shape it using draw knife and spoke shaves.

Using the unique qualities of unseasoned wood and following a drying schedule we will ensure certain components are dried out more than others prior to assembly, allowing confidence that all joints will remain sound for a lifetime or longer. You will learn how to steam bend components and assemble a stunning, light and practical piece of furniture to take home and enjoy. You will also be able to take away complete plans to allow you to make more chairs at home. As with all my courses, there is plenty of scope for individual design on this course and any number of ways to personalise your chair.

On days 1 to 3 you will shape the components, on days 4 and 5 you will assemble your chair, and on day 6 you will learn how to weave the seat in a choice of seating materials. There is an optional 7th day for those wishing to also learn the skills of traditional rush seating.

Peter Lanyon lives on the edge of Dartmoor and works from his workshop on the beautiful south Devon Coast. He has been making furniture for over 20 years in hardwoods, softwoods and reclaimed woods. Peter specialises in working with coppiced wood i.e. freshly cut unseasoned 'green' wood to make contemporary, high quality bespoke furniture.

Having trained trained as a fine furniture and cabinet maker at Rycotewood college, Peter subsequently gained an MA (with distinction) in Furniture Design and Technology from Bucks. Peter's work and teaching reflect the need to create a sustainable and healthy relationship with the environment we are a part of. Peter's current work in greenwood explores the use of locally grown and sustainably harvested coppice woods, combining these with other materials to create contemporary furniture from what is considered a traditional woodland craft.

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?

Tea, coffee and fine sweet things are included in the price. Please bring a packed lunch.

There is an additional charge for seating materials, usually of between £15 to £20. There are various local accommodation options. Please contact me for details.


Peter at Peter Lanyon Furniture


Devon Green Wood Centre
Lambside Farm
Newton Ferrers, Plymouth
Platinum Badge
What does this mean?

This craft course provider has been awarded Platinum status for receiving 50 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.


In-person course
Corrie Oliver - - #32863

I feel very fortunate to have spent 6 days in the company of such lovely people, willing to give their support and expertise enabling me to make a very cute chair. In spite of being a novice I learnt so many new skills and was enthralled by the whole experience.... a retreat from the everyday, totally inspiring and balm for the soul! Thoroughly recommend it to anyone and feel enthusiastic to try another course.

Response from Peter Lanyon Furniture:

Thanks Corrie, for taking the time to write a review, and for being great company for the week. I look forward to meeting you again one day. If you need any help or advice on your green woodworking journey do let me know.

In-person course
Julia Brooker - - #29695

I had always wanted to make a chair- and after 6 days with Peter and his assistants and the other makers.. I came away with a beautiful chair I'm proud of. I got lots of friendly help- I'd never used a chisel before. We used mainly ash with cherry wood or oak details. Green wood ash has a lovely almost silvery sheen.

This course is for everyone who wants to start with an axe and ivy clad log and ending up with a hand made and amazingly comfortable chair that will surely become a family heirloom!

See my chair on Instagram atJuliaBrookerStudio- if you like wood you'll love it

In-person course
Jill Cannon - - #29693

What a week that was! An absolute delight working in my favourite material with like minded people. Peter is the most sensitive, patient and skilful tutor with a lovely sense of humour and a band of dedicated helpers including his lovely family. This is more than a craft workshop; it is a retreat, a meditation in wood and a joyous social experience with a lasting practical outcome.

In-person course
Neil Kingsnorth - - #24970

Excellent, inspiring and thoroughly enjoyable. I learned an enormous number of new skills and techniques and built my confidence in working with green wood. Peter is a brilliant, highly knowledgable and patient tutor who guides you through calmly and with clarity. It's also a beautiful venue, and the tools provided were excellent, which all helps. I ended up with a beautiful chair but also much greater knowledge and skills, which I was looking for. Highly recommended.

In-person course
Michael King - - #22360

It was a terrific course that joined 5 members of our family; our differing ages (33 to 71) and differing levels of apparent experience in amateur and conventional woodworking, which made not a jot of difference to our enjoyment and the quality of the chairs we each took home.
"Peter's non-interfering teaching style, his honesty, gentleness and experience enabled me to learn so much."
" I was really chuffed to come away with an attractive chair, having started with no experience or knowledge of green woodworking. I loved making my chair, every stage of it, and have returned home feeling very excited and motivated to do further projects."
We can each highly recommend this course - it is hard work but the need to focus and concentrate (albeit with support when needed) means it is also successful in lifting you completely away from your mainstream work and home distractions. Do this course, especially if you are otherwise busy!

In-person course
Alastair - - #21916

I had made Windsor chairs before, so I was looking forward to learning about ladder backs and woven seats. It was a lovely week, great company, very friendly and generous help from Peter. I liked my finished chair too. I would highly recommend this course and will likely return next year for another week.

In-person course
Chas Walton - - #21833

This was my second green woodworking course with Peter. It was extraordinarily hard work and all the more rewarding for that. From the moment you arrive, you're in the world of wood, immersed in grain and knots, and grappling with tricky 3-D visualisations of how your growing pile of shaved timber pieces could come together to create a chair.

The chair you come home with is all yours. That's the good thing about this course: you have to work at it. Peter is always there with tips, advice, tea, and biscuits – and on Friday evenings, a barbecue – plus a helping hand if things really start to go awry. That's where his experience counts: when you think you've taken a wrong turn, he knows how to get your project back on track.

I've learned loads about the tools you need for green woodworking, and my finished chair is really comfortable.

In-person course
richard croft - - #21773

Friendly supportive tutoring in a relaxed small group setting. Beautiful area of the country. I have been inspired to try the methods taught at home and hope that the beautiful chair that I made might be reproduced.

In-person course
Roger Lear - - #18555

I came to the course with some basic woodworking skills, but during the week these improved significantly. Peter’s calm patience meant that everyone could use the basic introduction to the tools to develop their own designs. Make no mistake, it is a full on course, so be prepared to work hard. However I found the week to be mentally relaxing and fun. I can thoroughly recommend the course in a delightful part of the Devon countryside. I can assure anyone thinking about it - just do it. You will come away refreshed with a chair you will de delighted and proud to have made.

In-person course
Paul Burry - - #18162

Thank you Peter for a wonderful, if strenuous, 6 day Green Wood chair making course. I had previously attended Peter's introductory course and wanted to try something more ambitious. There were 6 of us on the course of differing experience and ability and Peter ensured that we all went home with a completed chair, additionally I decided to make a child's chair with the attendant recalculations of sizes etc. but with the necessary guidance managed to complete the task.
It is hard work but very rewarding working in such a wonderful medium.

In-person course
Mary Widger - - #17938

Fantastic. Six wonderful days. Having never worked with wood before I was introduced to some of the tools and skills needed to work with green ash, with infinite patience, care and attention. The process was fascinating. Although still very much a beginner I am delighted with my truelly comfortable chair. Added bonus is that I have returned home very much more relaxed. Thank you so so much.

In-person course
Digger Harris - - #17892

I have just attended Peter's spectacular course on chair building. Along with my five fellow participants we have returned home with a much greater understanding of working in green ash and each of us has a beautiful chair which we know intimately as we personally transformed the green ash logs into objects of craft and beauty. Peter was our guide through the process, he explained the plan and the way we could succeed, the priorities and the pace we needed, he helped us understand and avoid pitfalls, make the right decisions and understand why they were right. He encouraged us to make creative decisions to include in the design. I was very impressed that he was able to naturally give the appropriate level of support to each member of the group so we all arrived at the end with a tremendous personal success.

In-person course
christina young - - #14480

This is much more than a 'learn how to make a chair course'. You do, of-course, make a beautiful chair, but in addition Peter has created a workshop which seems rather other worldly. You can park the day to day niggles of life at the gate and spend a fabulous week being gently guided through the various steps needed to transform a log into a beautiful piece of furniture. Along the way there is opportunity to chat, to learn about greenwood work generally and to improve and learn skills. The whole experience is therapeutic and great fun. Do it!

In-person course
Vanessa Bashford - - #14423

What a week. It has been a privilege to have spent time being so expertly taught by Peter, and in the company of a lovely group of people. The Workshop is a world away from the more usual stresses of life, it is a great working space and has everything you need (…somewhere). I went along to make a chair. I came home full of smiles about the laughter and stories that were told as we worked away, an amazing sense of achievement, and a fantastic chair. Thank you, Peter, and thanks to everyone for all the encouragement and camaraderie.

In-person course
simon miles - - #14366

I have just arrived home after 6 days making a chair . A unique experience with a wonderful man. Having never worked with green wood before I have walked away with a beautiful chair and spent a great week with some interesting like minded people. Read all the reviews they are far more eloquent than me. I feel truly privileged and very proud of my chair!!

In-person course
Liz Lewis - - #14353

This is a great course for anyone (and I mean anyone!) who has a desire to make their own chair. There is absolutely no experience necessary to complete this course and come home with a unique piece of furniture. Peter has a great depth of knowledge which he is happy to share. He guides you along the process from log to chair in a very relaxed manner, offering advice all the way.
I spent a lovely week in great company, with lots of laughter and a desire to make more chairs!! Everyone helped each other out and we all came home very pleased with our work.
I cannot recommend this course enough. If you are unsure, my advice would to be just go for it!!

In-person course
Tony Baker - - #14348

Have just returned home after a 6 day chair making course - and my chair is stunning. But so were the chairs of the other people on the course, and no two the same. The sense of camaraderie that Peter fostered on the course made the whole experience deeply satisfying. There were no tears, but much laughter - and to come home with a beautiful piece of hand made, unique, green wood furniture is deeply satisfying.

I can thoroughly recommend the course to novices and experienced woodworkers, who will be taken on a journey from a log to a chair.

Thanks again Peter for a great week.

In-person course
Christina Young - - #8731

This is a fantastic course. Peter's approach is relaxed but all the while founded firmly in an impressive depth of knowledge of his subject.
I came away with a chair I love, an improved skill set and feeling much more confident about tackling future projects. I would recommend anyone with an interest in green woodwork takes a trip to Peter Lanyon in his idyllic workshop.

In-person course
Tom Mansell - - #6716

Fantastic couple of days and I am happily typing this while sitting on my new greenwood stool. Peter is a great teacher - a good soul and one of the natural artists we need more of. A wonderful way to spend a weekend and I am planning my next course already.

In-person course
Spaul - - #6657

The course Peter gives is great - it gives you an overall understanding of how to make your own green timber chair yourself when you go home and a good understanding of how to use the tools to do it and I'm looking forward to coming back one day to do another one ..

In-person course
Jason - - #6607

I have to thank peter and joe and my fellow chair makers for a great week. It is a great boost to the soul to produce something by hand.
peter teachers you every skill needed to turn a freshly felled tree into a piece of furniture you can take home and cherish.

In-person course
David Fenton-Jones - - #5317

An amazing course - what more needs saying? Peter is fantastic and encourages you all the way and the chair I have taken home will be treasured for the rest of my life and doubtless passed on through the family - A true heir loom - May-be I should make some more!! Thank you Peter you have enabled me to achieve a dream.....

In-person course
Peter - - #4939

This course was an inspiration to me. I have very limited woodworking experience, and going from a log of ash to a chair in 6 days is a steep learning curve, but completely absorbing. I was very happy to end the week with such a lovely chair, all of which I had made myself, and I am now planning to go on Peter's shave horse course and to have another go at chair making at home.

Peter is an excellent teacher and his workshop is in a wonderful location only a few minutes walk from the South Devon Coast Path. I highly recommend this course.

In-person course
Adamina - - #4933

This course was absolutely amazing. I still cannot believe that I made a chair which proudly stands in my leaving room. Peter is a wonderful passionate and generous teacher. I would strongly recommend this course, I am already planing to return for another course.

In-person course
Tim - - #4758

The course was absolutely brilliant. Peter is super friendly and has an immense knowledge of furniture making and working with green wood. There is a lot to get done, but the atmosphere is relaxed, allowing you to absorb the techniques you are learning as you go. My favourite aspect of the course is that you are able to modify the design of the chair to reflect your own personal style. Highly recommended!

In-person course
Jeremy - - #3658

This was an excellent course. I have worked with wood for many years, but never with green wood, I think I am probably now hooked. Peter's teaching was very clear, he was always on hand to help, and every single member of the course left there with a beautifully constructed chair. I very much hope to attend another of his courses one day.

In-person course
John Sweeney - - #2936

What a wonderful week! Peter's experience and knowledge as a craftsman were a privilege to work with. The location in south Devon is fantastic and very picturesque. I'm so happy with the chair and the course has inspired many more ideas and more chairs to make. I highly recommend the course, the tools were also great.

In-person course
Ian Whitehead - - #2587

What a week! I came to this course pretty much as a novice on the shave horse, having had a great day, also with Peter, producing my own shave horse. The course gave me the flexibility to produce the chair that I wanted, not only in terms of design but also wood selection. Peter's expert guidance and support throughout the week enabled me to craft a chair with character, encouraging me to go on and make more at home.

In-person course
Anne - - #2505

A really good week starting with logs and ending up with a unique functional chair! Peter's calm patience made it possible. All new ways of working- very hard work but at the same time removed from every day life so releasing and relaxing, leaving a feeling of being more in touch with life. Highly recommended.

In-person course
Rachel Bush - - #1757

This course was one of the best things I have ever done. I came to this as a complete novice and ended the week with a beautiful chair and an incredible sense of achievement. Lovely location, great teaching, wonderful people, I would recommend it to everyone.

In-person course
Phil Helmore - - #1713

I have wanted to do this course for quite some time and after finally finding the time I was worried that my expectations would exceed reality. I need not have worried, reality far exceeded expectations. Peter's workshop was the perfect venue tucked away in beautiful South Devon, it is the perfect location. Peter's calm instruction and patient coaching make him the ideal teacher. He conveys his passion for greenwood with enthusiasm and great knowledge.
Two enhancements I would suggest would be:

In-person course
Bob - - #1711

Have wanted to make some greenwood chairs for ages, glad I chose this course as a starting point. Peter is an excellent tutor, unflappable, and has an answer for every 'challenge' (mistake). Lovely setting, a thoroughly enjoyable week in good company, the end products were really impressive!

In-person course
Simon Evans - - #1710

An excellent course in a lovely setting. Peter's skill in teaching, patience and depth of knowledge make for a great week of hard work and good friendship! And I've come home with (though I say it myself) a fine chair and a burning ambition to make some more. Highly recommended!

In-person course
Matt - - #1373

Thoroughly enjoyed the course and I can wholeheartedly recommend it. Peter is a natural teacher who can impart a great deal of knowledge and help, and he maintains a relaxed, fun atmosphere. You'll be amazed at what you can learn in just a few days. The outcome is a fantastic, unique chair - I use mine everyday - and have made myself a shave horse so I can continue using the skills that I have learnt.

In-person course
Roger Petit - - #841

An excellent and rewarding course. Peter is an exceptional teacher of all things wood and has the natural ability to create a relaxed and fun environment, whilst all along imparting the green woodworking skills necessary to make a unique and individual chair.

In-person course
Adam Vevers - - #833

From an Ash log to a comfy well designed chair in 6 days. Brilliant,and now for a snooze by the fire!

In-person course
Ambrose Vevers - - #832

highly recommend Peter's courses. He has converted me to green wood!

In-person course
Andy Wells - - #830

Beyond excellent

In-person course
Katherine Giles - - #829

This course was truly awe-inspiring. Peter's depth and breadth of knowledge within the fields of green woodwork and furniture making is unsurpassed. He has a solution and workaround for any and every eventuality working with such a naturally unpredictable material as green wood. Having done only a small amount of green woodwork before and no furniture making I found the course to be really accessible and great fun. This is all down to Peter's attentive and natural teaching style. It's like catching up with an old friend (and you get to take a chair home!) I have the bug. And have since made my own shave horse so I can continue building on the skills learnt on the course.

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