Make a Spindle-back Chair

Duration: 5 days

Price: £400

Run by: Peter Young
at Green Ash Chairs


Broughtonknowe Woods
South Lanarkshire
ML12 6HL

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About the Course

A 5-day course, from tree to chair

Starting with a freshly cut log you will make your own chair and, at the end of the course, take it home with you. Hopefully it will be a friend for life and something to bequeath to future generations!

If you are looking for a digital de-tox, a few days in the woods and learning something new, this course might be for you. By following a few commonsense rules, anyone can work with greenwood tools safely and proficiently. If you like working with your hands you can discover for yourself the joy of making something useful and beautiful from green wood. No previously learned skills are required.

However some may find the course physically taxing. The working day is long, from 9.00 am till 6.00 pm each day.

The course instructor is Peter Young. Peter recently retired from directing a study retreat centre in the Scottish Borders. He is passionate about green woodworking and has learned yurt-making from the legendary Hal Wynne-Jones and chairmaking from the equally legendary Mike Abbott. Mike has done more than anyone else in the UK to rescue green woodworking from oblivion, and is supportive of these courses.

Peter feels deeply that this traditional type of work has wisdom in it, respecting both the materials and ourselves. 'We can learn a lot from it,' he says. 'We work with nature, not against it. We use only local, sustainably grown timber, often from coppiced woodland. Every bit is used and nothing wasted. But more than this, we try to see what the particular log is doing, how the grain is flowing and from this we learn what part it wants to play in the whole chair.'

The primary course venue is Broughtonknowe, a privately owned wood, 25 miles south of Edinburgh on the A701. By car, it is within easy reach for commuting daily from Edinburgh (45mins) and 75 minutes from Carlisle.

The course takes place in a woodland glade, under a tarpaulin shelter. In extreme conditions we can move operations into a shed.

From 2018 courses will also take place at Beechwood, Gorebridge, EH23 4QG. This is a reclaimed pit-head site within easy reach of Edinburgh on the Waverley Line or by bus.

What do you need to bring? Several layers of clothing for a changeable climate. Midge repellent possibly?

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?

All tools and equipment are provided. The green ash and seat weaving materials for making your chair are included in the course fees.
Tea, coffee, cake and biscuits are included as well as a light lunch - bread, soup, cheese, olives etc. or we might cook something, depending on how we all feel.

Want to review this course?

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- - #13392

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- - #13223

This course in Greenwood Chair making allowed me to deepen my understanding and appreciation of woodworking and the art of 'going with the grain'. I came to the course with no previous experience in woodworking, but the pace and intimacy of the course accommodated my skill level, and I was able to absorb as much learning as I could. The location was peaceful and green, and the quiet of the surroundings made for a heightened level of awareness, as we were fully immersed in the tasks at hand. Peter is a clear and responsive teacher. He offered good direction, whilst allowing room for the creativity of each student. The course allowed me to develop craft skills and to take a step outside of my routine to see things differently. And I also made a beautiful chair!

- - #13189

Making my chair was a challenging undertaking as I had never done anything like this before. Peter was very patient in introducing and helping me with the new skills needed.
It was inspiring to make a beautiful object starting from a log of wood and using traditional tools.
The woodland setting is perfect for this course.
I am delighted with my chair.

- - #13055

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Course Start Dates

Monday 7th May 2018
Monday 4th June 2018
Monday 18th June 2018
Monday 9th July 2018
Monday 6th August 2018
Monday 10th September 2018

Browse all UK Furniture making courses, Traditional woodland crafts & green woodworking courses, and Woodwork courses

  • Accessible by public transport
  • Suitable for beginners

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