Green Wood Chair Making in Suffolk
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About the Course
My Chair Making Course is held over five days and you'll learn all the skills needed to make your very own chair to take away at the end. You do not need any previous experience and all timber and tools will be provided. The chair you'll make is a simple spindle back frame chair with a woven seat in danish cord. Due to the methods used to dry the wooden components you will fashion joints that require no glue or wedges. Such is the magic of green woodworking!
You'll use traditional hand tools such as drawknife, froe and spokeshave and develop skills such as cleaving, shaving, tenoning, steam bending and weaving. You'll also experience that wonder of low tech, the shavehorse . During the first two days you'll make the chair's components, assemble your chair over the next two days and on the final day you'll weave a seat.
Apart from the obvious aim of completing a chair to take home, the course is intended to be a memorable experience in the beautiful Suffolk countryside with like minded individuals, enjoying the peace and tranquility that green woodworking offers.
If booking with a CraftCourses voucher for part or all of the course fee, please fill in the contact form above or telephone us. Your voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.
What's included in the price?
Course cost includes all timber and materials
Lunch will be provided each day and there will be excursions to local hostelries, farm walks and a celebration high tea on the last day. Camping is available nearby and I will provide a list of local accommodation for those less hardy types!
Courses will each be for a maximum of four students to ensure you get the personal attention you deserve.
At the slightly more mature age of 71, this was the first craft course I have attended. When it first caught my eye I wondered whether I should afford it. I can now say to anyone who may have a similar thought to not hesitate - you cannot afford NOT to do it!
Under the relaxed and expert guidance of Stewart and carried out in his delightful cottage and workshop surroundings, I found the 5 days to be totally enjoyable and rewarding. The obvious benefit is ending up with the fruits of your labours which exceeded my expectations. My family have been very impressed by my "skills" and have said "didn't know the old man was that clever". Praise indeed!
I should end by saying that I have only modest DIY skills and have not previously handled the tools used on this course.
Graham Haerle - - #17155
I would whole heartedly, without reservation, recommend that Stewart’s five day chair making course be available on prescription to reduce stress and enhance well being. The increase in blood pressure experience during the drilling and weaving is a small price to pay and thankfully short lived due to expert tuition.
The fruit of the labour is most satisfying. The chair is 100% hand produced and the daunting prospect of replicating one of Stewart’s examples is dispelled in a most inclusive instructional style.
The transformation from a few ash logs to a supremely attractive finished article takes place in and around Stewart’s workshop barn. The cottage setting, rural surroundings and convivial atmosphere makes for a most pleasant way to spend a few days. As a bonus the calories ingested during the excellent lunches and cake breaks are neutralised by energy expended. Stewart and Belle are excellent hosts and make a great team - almost by design advice to combat creakiness incurred from the shaving horse is dispensed by Belle, the resident Pilates instructor and purveyor of excellent refreshments.
I would recommend a cushion or padded cycling shorts for those of a sensitive disposition but as has been previously mentioned in preceding reviews, the wow factor when presenting the finished article at home quickly puts things back into perspective.
Jon Duckworth - - #17049
From a solid length of green ash tree trunk with its bark still intact, to a finely crafted chair, complete with woven cord seat, this course allows a complete amateur to craft a beautiful piece of furniture that a pro would be very proud of.
The end result is a delicate, elegant looking chair that is insanely strong and hardy. …and practical for at least the next hundred years.
It’s made of ash; no glue or fixings of any type are involved. Only seriously solid mortise and tenon joints hold all the hand cut components in place. …to such a degree that the creators’ grandchildren be will still see benefit in bequeathing a chair to one of their children.
In terms of value for money, you will walk away with a chair whose market retail price (newly commissioned) will possibly exceed the price of the course. Add the five inclusive lunches to the deal plus the encompassing 5-day work-out that will transmute some of you unwanted girth into the lines of a finely crafted object - what’s not to like.
Good value; good company; good fun; in a countrified workshop setting that adds to a highly memorable achievement that you will be bragging about for many years to come!
Keith Higginson - - #17041
I have so enjoyed my week making a truly beautiful, elegant chair - from a log! Having started with no experience of the tools or methods needed, I finished the week feeling quite at home with a draw knife and spoke shave, and even felt well acquainted with a brace and bit hand drill! Stewart is a great teacher, providing lots of support and encouragement along with plentiful coffee, great homemade bread and clear instruction. It is an absorbing and satisfying way to spend a week, with an end product of which I am very proud. And if light entertainment is needed, there are the dogs! I'll certainly be going back for another go.
Mim Barnes - - #16631
What an excellent way to spend a week with wood. I had previous experience violin-making but this was a woodworking eye-opener with some roller-coaster moments. The top crest misbehaving was a drama for all of us. But what an achievement when it finally decided it was not the boss! Stewart is an excellent teacher and the cute dogs were a delight to work alongside. The chairs went from log to a final weaving day in no time, producing a fabulous seat design. There have been wows and gasps now we are showing off these chairs to anyone who visits. We went with the grain and I shifted from wanting a perfectly formed spindle to knowing what the wood wanted to look like. A truly unforgettable week and one with a stunning take-home prize.
Rob Barnes - - #16629
A wonderful way to spend a week learning a new craft under the masterful tutelage of Stuart and his easy to follow methods. The setting is idyllic, the workshop well equipped with everything you need, lunches and refreshments delicious and the company delightful. I had previously done quite a lot of cabinet-making but learned a whole new skill set. If that wasn’t enough Stuart’s friendly dogs are just so cute! Highly recommended.
Tom Taylor - - #16346
My most relaxing week this year according to my Garmin stress level measurements! I've done one or two chair making courses, and this one was excellent. A nice pace with good teaching and support to keep everyone on track without anything feeling rushed. Lovely lunches and cups of tea to keep everything moving along in lovely surroundings. Learned lots and finished the week with a lovely chair. Just need to go back another 5 times to make a set!
Senga Bennett - - #16114
Zen and the art of chair making. Relax, relax some more and end up with your own hand made chair. Under Stuart's calm, patient, attentive instruction you can't fail to make a beautiful chair. With the help of the beautiful Suffolk countryside, some like-minded souls, Belle's lunches, Fin and Flea's encouragement (their dogs) this is a totally immersive tonic for the soul. Can't recommend it enough.
stephen Hooper - - #15106
I have just spent a fantastically enjoyable, informative and, to my amazement, successful five days with some great people on Stewart's Chair-Making Course. As a total novice when it came to green-wood working, there was a lot to learn and tasks to perform in order to complete the project, but the atmosphere created was very calm and relaxed, and I had as much guidance as I needed when the inevitable questions came up. It was good not to have to aim for perfection, but to look at and go with what the wood offered. Apart from the enjoyment and skills I learned on the course, what did I actually achieve ? Well, I suppose the final word should come from the wife when I brought the fruits of my labours home. Simply - "WOW !!"
Ron A - - #14952
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Course Start Dates
Course dates are flexible; please get in touch for the next available date.
- Suitable for beginners
- Suitable for events & groups
- Teen friendly
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