Course Start Dates
Course dates are flexible; please get in touch for the next available date.
About the Course
This unique green woodworking stool making course is an opportunity to 'unplug & slow down' & take a step into the rural life of an old fashioned village carpenter. During this very 'hands on' experience you will learn many traditional carpentry skills & techniques using a selection of beautiful old hand tools.
You will walk away with a beautiful solid oak stool with a high quality finish (good enough to sell!) and made to last. Oak is used most of the time but sometimes there will be elm and ash timbers too.
The course fee is £100 per person for small groups of up to 3 people, so that everyone has plenty of time and space.
The Rustic Carpentry workshop is an historic old tithe barn on a farm which is 5 mins drive from Loughborough train station (we can collect you from the station!) and right in the heart of The National Forest. We specialise in the ancient and traditional art of green wood working & rustic carpentry, coppicing and bush craft skills.
Ian Varley is a rustic oak furniture maker so most of his time is spent on commissions such as rustic benches and seating for parks and woodlands, play structures, cleft fencing and oak timber framing. Ian specialises in creating handcrafted unique pieces and use only timber sourced from sustainably managed woodlands within the boundaries of the national forest. Please click through to our website above to see examples of our work.
'I look forward to teaching you the way of the grain and you will leave my workshop with a fabulous rustic hard wood stool.'
If booking with a CraftCourses voucher for part or all of the course fee, please fill in the contact form above. Your voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.
What's included in the price?
All materials, tools and hot drinks & as many biscuits as you can eat.
We had a wonderful time on Ian's green woodworking course making two stools. We have no previous woodworking experience but were keen to learn how to make something useful as a starting point. Ian was so enthusiastic and patient with our never-ending questions, and it was lovely to spend a day at his workshop isolated from technology. Would thoroughly recommend to anyone with an interest in woodworking, and we'll hopefully be back for another course in the future!
Lucy - - #29738
We had an outstanding day with Ian making an oak stool yesterday. Following a stroke my husband is unable to move his right arm and can struggle in company with his speech. We met with Ian a couple of months ago to discuss the possibilities. By the time we arrived yesterday Ian had everything in place to make this a perfect day, even designing new tools with friend Henry to ensure Rob could make a stool under his own steam and independently (apart from a small amount of axe work!). As we relaxed in such good company both the stool and easy conversation grew. My husband has a beautiful stool he crafted himself and enjoyed an experience that was truly accessible. Thank you Ian for going that extra mile!
Oak stool making - - #28571
We had such a great day crafting our wooden stools with Ian. Me and my fiancee haven't done any woodwork before, though both of us have an interest in it. Ian was so patient, explaining and showing how to use the traditional tools.
Thank you for everything Ian. It was such a fulfilling day. We came home with 2 stools we are so proud of and happy memories of a great day spent working and chatting.
Sirle - - #28412
What an enjoyable day! And such a sense of achievement at the end, having made, with Ian's expert and encouraging help, a presentable 3-legged stool! I've done a little bit of woodwork before (with more enthusiasm than skill) but nothing like this. From Ian, I learnt traditional techniques and tools which were new to me. I thoroughly recommend the whole experience.
Sue Letts - - #28075
What a wonderful day. We started with some logs and ended up with a mallets and 2 rustic bar stools. Amazing. Neither my wife or I had done anything like this. Ian is patient, accommodating, and such a good teacher.
We can highly recommend this course having left thinking what can we make next. A big thanks to Ian who is such an interesting guy.
Martin Lovell - - #27932
I received Ian's workshop as a Christmas gift, and had an excellent time. Ian's enthusiasm and passion for green woodworking was evident, and he carefully guided us through a day of learning about and using traditional hand tools with locally sourced wood; resulting in some beautiful Oak and Ash stools and very (!) sturdy mauls.
The workshop was perfectly suited to all ability levels, as Ian was thorough and helpful in his guidance at each thoughtfully planned stage. He was patient and encouraging, and made it easy to gain a respect and appreciation for a style of woodworking that has been a fundamental part of local communities for centuries.
A thoroughly enjoyable experience with a fantastic end product that will be cherished and will probably outlive me!
Ben Wolff - - #27418
A truly excellent day creating a mountain of wood shavings, whilst having a brew.
Ian is not only incredibly knowledgeable but also very patient.
The day flew by and to top it off I have an oak stool which is undoubtedly less wonky than anything I would have made without supervision.
Cracking fun I highly recommend it!
Mr Peter Savage - - #27021
Fantastic course, would highly recommend. Ian is an amazing teacher and with no experience whatsoever, with his guidance, I crafted a beautiful stool. Superb day.
Jess - - #26763
I was bought a craft voucher when I retired after 32 years as an Art teacher. Browsing the various possibilities, I came across Ian's course and my daughter who was looking over my shoulder, said that she fancied making a stool too. We booked the course and arrived at 9.30 on a cool November morning.
Ian greeted us and we entered his workspace; an old tithe barn filled with impressive pieces of timber and woodworking tools and equipment. He gave an interesting short talk about the place of green woodwork in farming communities of the past and showed us some photographs and actual examples of his contemporary furniture and other work.
We began by making a simple ash mallet using a saw, a hand axe and a draw knife, then selected our wood and began the process of making our stools. The seat was oak and the legs ash (its low moisture content would avoid problems with shrinkage). We split a length of ash using a free, then used hand axes to begin to shape the legs. We then sat at a draw horse and used draw knives to refine the shapes of the legs.
Throughout these processes, Ian gave us clear and simple explanations and demonstrated what we had to do. He was calm and enthusiastic, and had a nice gentle sense of humour which made us feel quickly at ease. He always seemed aware of what we were doing and was ready to jump in and give further advice, when he sensed that we needed it (and also reviving tea and coffee).
When the legs were all suitably shaped, we set about joining the legs to the seat. The legs were inserted into the angled holes and knocked in firmly. Protruding wood was then trimmed flush using a Japanese saw. We then drilled holes for decorative oak pins which were tapped into place to strengthen the joint between the legs and stool. After some careful measuring, we marked out and trimmed the length of the legs to get a level seat, and the main construction was complete. The recently cut bottom edge of the legs was chamfered using a spoke shave and the stools were oiled to protect them and bring out the grain.
We both stood back and admired our work.
The stools were incredibly strong and solid and they looked better than we could have hoped for. My daughter has never really done any serious work with wood, and I would say her stool was just as good as my own. We drove home with two beautiful stools which I am sure will last a lifetime.
Thank you Ian ! We both really enjoyed our day and would recommend the course to anyone.
David Rigg - - #26397
This course is one of the most relaxing and enjoyable courses that I have ever done. Ian puts you at ease throughout and takes you through everything in a very logical manner. Very rustic and gloriously natural, you are at one with yourself and the wood you are working with. I can still smell it now as I type this review. To think that with Ian's help I produced a gorgeous stool, totally practical and made by me...... Who would have thought it! A big thank you to Ian for his patience, and would I recommend this course? Most definitely yes, go on give it a go, you will not regret it!
Michael Gaadt - - #26215
Ian is an excellent teacher, his easy manner and knowledge of his craft makes this an enjoyable and rewarding day. Ian is very welcoming and guides you expertly through the process of making a rustic stool, so that at the end of the day you leave fulfilled and with a lovely piece of furniture. I heartily recommend this course.
Thank you Ian.
Gareth Jones - - #26095
Ian is a very personable, friendly, enthusiastic and knowledgable teacher. He provides depth and history behind the skill and teaches some of the basic and more in depth skills to create your own home's furniture. I couldn't recommend this course enough whether you're a beginner or have reasonable experience working with tools, you're sure to learn something!
Sam Henson - - #26070
What a great experience! The course exceeded my expectations and was a great blend of learning a new skill, which fused physical activity and mindfulness. Ian is a fantastic teacher and a great and very interesting bloke to spend the day with. I can't recommend this course highly enough and I'm very proud of my stool!!!
Ben Dawson - - #25954
What a great day! As a fine furniture student, it was wonderful to spend the whole day producing a rustic stool. Ian, a fabulous teacher, goes through the whole process using only traditional tools and techniques. It is a great introduction to green woodworking.
I have definitely got the bug. I can't wait to try making a shaving horse on the next course.
Mohammed Alam - - #25832
Brilliant day! I got this for my girlfriend for Christmas last year and it far exceeded our expectations. Ian was very accommodating when I contacted him to arrange the course with quick and informative responses.
Ian was mega friendly and put us at ease as soon as we arrived, he is very genuine and likeable. He is incredibly knowledge and was always excited to answer any questions we had, we came away with a solid foundation on green carpentry as well as some beautiful stools that will last us a lifetime.
Super chilled atmosphere throughout the day and I would highly recommend this course to anyone looking for a fun day working with your hands.
Daniel Morriss - - #25751
I bought this rustic stool making experience as a gift for my husband's birthday. We absolutely loved it and had such a wonderful day. We learned a lot about carpentry, wood and different techniques. The best part is that we got to take away a pair of beautiful, handmade stools which are now stunning bedside tables in our guest room.
The whole day was thoroughly enjoyable with Ian and his partner, Sabina. Ian is a fantastic teacher. He explained everything we needed to do really clearly and was helpful and attentive throughout. We would highly recommend this course! We can't say enough great things about it! We loved every minute.
Kamal Bhana - - #25361
I would highly recommend Ian's oak stool making course - I took my Dad for his birthday and we all had a great time. Ian was very friendly and helpful and we all learnt new skills! It was very satisfying to bring an oak stool home. Thanks very much Ian!
Alex - - #25121
Ian's workshop was amazing, we took my father for his birthday and we were blown away by how much fun we had. Ian was very patient when showing us the different ways to create the stool and the day was paced really well. The stools we made were amazing quality and it was a really enjoyable experience! It was also really interesting learning more about woodworking and the different techniques involved, I would highly recommend this course! Thanks for an amazing day, we really enjoyed it!
Ranak - - #25074
We had a fantastic experience doing this course with Ian. Perfectly structured course, firstly learning how to make a mallet and then transferring the skills to making an absolutely beautiful stool each. We are so happy with our stools in our home. Ian is a fantastic teacher and a really interesting man - we really enjoyed his company for the day. Thank you again!!
christina chin - - #24352
Had a really enjoyable time crafting with Ian, would highly recommend this experience as even with no woodworking skills I came away with a lovely stool and a mallet.
Paul Butterworth - - #23536
Fantastic day with Ian who was a great instructor with patient advice, tips and a good sense of humour. Thoroughly recommend Ian and the courses he offers... and I have a great stool and mallet too!
Andy Baguley - - #22837
The oak stool making workshop was excellent. The entire day was paced well, with a nice balance of hands-on instruction and space to work. Ian's instructions were clear and straight forward, and he was very encouraging throughout. The learning curve was handled well, even for someone who hasn't really done anything like this before, and it was left up to us how intricate or involved we wanted our final design to be. The quality of the final product is very high; it would certainly be something I would have wanted to purchase in a shop, but with the added bonus that I carved it myself! I'm very interested in pursuing this craft further, and would definitely work with Ian on further courses.
Murphy - - #22719
We both had a great day and learnt so much. Ian was a really good tutor, very encouraging and helpful. I would highly recommend this course for its therapeutic effects as much as for the finished products which we were really pleased with. Thank you Ian!
Emma & Graham - - #21298
This half a day, short course is easily one of the best experiences I have ever had the pleasure of undertaking. Whilst growing up and being in the countryside I have always wondered what craftsmen are still producing this fantastic, rural woodwork. Ian is one of these craftsmen and has an impressive knowledge of 'the way of the grain'! Coming from a background in product design and typically working with machinery, it was an absolute joy to be able to connect with the materials on a more personal level and really gain a much deeper insight into what you are working with.
Ian was a brilliant and encouraging teacher who I am grateful to for opening up his rustic workshop to the public. I've left the course feeling inspired and can't wait to get back at it.
Sam - - #20981
An excellent day with Ian, making oak stool. Enjoyed meeting fellow 'trainees' Sam and Ian. Learned a lot, really practical day, and I really enjoyed Ian's teaching style, keep sit simple, is very encouraging and let us get on with it. Already planning what else I could come back and do. To cap it all, weather was magnificent for March, well worth the money and drive down from Manchester. Thanks Ian.
Tony Jolly - - #20969
Just back from making a oak stool, what a great day enjoyed every minute of it. And very pleased with the stool, Ian was very helpful and didn't rush us, fed us coffee and biscuits to keep energy levels up
Thank you for a great day
Margaret - - #20601
I have just spent the most fabulous day making my oak stool. Ian is the perfect tutor who shows you what to do then lets you do it. He is very gentle in his approach and not rushed, letting you take the time you need to complete each part of the process. He is very encouraging and helpful when you get stuck or as in my case need more muscle. I would highly recommend this course for its therapeutic effects as much as for the finished product. I had no woodworking skills before the course but I have learnt so much. Very rewarding, thank you Ian.
Kim Liggins - - #20594
Yesterday I spent a very enjoyable few hours with Ian and a couple of fellow gift voucher recipients. It was a great day, with a very knowledgeable Ian passing on some of his years of expertise. After making a mallet out of a log to returning home with a very robust stool...much to my family's pleasant surprise.
I would recommend the course and enjoyed meeting my fellow stool-makers too.
Stuart - - #20199
My other half bought me this as a Christmas gift. I didn't know what to expect really, but Ian's passion was a joy to see, he was very informative and helpful, and the course was great fun, I really enjoyed the whole experience. The stool I made now takes pride of place in our living room. Thanks Ian. PS would totally recommend this workshop.
Karen Hall - - #19385
We’ve just got back from spending the most amazing day with Ian in his beautiful barn crafting our 2 Oak/Elm stools. As soon as we drove up to the farm, Ian was there welcoming us with a big smile and a wave and put us at ease straight away.
We were complete novices and we still can’t quite believe we’ve managed to make real pieces of furniture, and that they actually look really really good!
Huge thank you to Ian. It was brilliant to spent the day with you and Becky - we’ve caught the carpentry bug!
Natalie Cunningham - - #19140
I have just spent the day with Ian in his beautiful old barn (wearing many layers) and made the most lovely bespoke stool, a thing of real beauty. Ian is very laid back, but his knowledge and enthusiasm shine through, his positive encouragement makes you want to deliver the very best stool, his technique to get you to make an extra item (secret) to practice the skills required is really very beneficial and a total add on to the day. I can't recommend highly enough as a novice I have amazed my self at what I have produced, I will be going back to make a garden bench. Ian thank you.
Annie - - #18918
I had a great day with Ian teaching me to create a truly unique stool. He is a genuine and enthusiastic exponent of his trade and it was a privilege to have his mentorship. Would thoroughly recommend the experience and my little boy loves his new stool too.
Chris - - #18822
My wife and I both thoroughly enjoyed the day' course with Ian. He is a really friendly guy with bags of experience, enthusiasm and encouragement. It was very satisfying to make the stools and mallets from raw wood with basic hand tools. Both stools look great at home and are useful furniture to have a round. I would recommend this course.
Robert Kemp - - #18576
Just enjoyed a 'mother and daughter' day making lovely oak/ash stools' at Ian's workshop. It was a truly brilliant day learning this craft, which we both thoroughly enjoyed. Even though I was a complete beginner working with wood Ian was very patient and supportive throughout the process and we came away with a treasured piece of furniture and the memory of a fabulous day. Thank you Ian!!
Lesley W - - #18148
I have just spent the day making a carved wooden stool and mallet - which I am incredibly proud of. This course was excellent. Ian is very knowledgeable and an excellent teacher, he is very patient. Thank you for a great experience.
Johnathan - - #17800
This was a great session!
Ian's enthusiasm for his craft shone through and his patient and gentle teaching provided great encouragement. He made sure that I achieved a fantastic result that I could be (and am!) proud of!
It was fabulous to work with traditional tools, well loved and maintained; to be shown how to use them properly and then see the results.
I would strongly recommend this course to anyone wanting to liberate their inner crafts(wo)man! You will be amazed at how well you do, and you will take home a completed piece of furniture that will last a lifetime.
Thank you Ian for a great time!
Stella Blay - - #17678
A great experience, a real break from the stresses of my day to day work.
Ian’s workshop and approach to his craft is a real pleasure to be part of, his knowledge and passion make the day fly by, so much so that it’s not until the stool is made that you realise just how much your muscles ache!
This would be a great team building experience, with the opportunity for developing both team work and a little healthy competition too!!
Like many before , my stool has pride of place in our home, next stop garden bench !!
Thank you Ian for a great day 😊
Debbie Bennett - - #17533
My husband and I have just spent a fantastic day making a stool each with Ian. It was a birthday present which I didn't realise I even wanted to try. Can't thank ian enough, I really enjoyed the experience and found it very enjoyable and a complete break from everyday life. What an absolute treat. Thank you
Sara hill - - #17519
This was bought for me as a gift and it could not have been better - an excellent and inspirational experience . Ian’s enthusiasm, knowledge, skills, friendly attitude and patience were exceptional throughout. He teaches you the skills and guides you through the whole process of creating a piece of furniture you can be confident you’ll be proud of. A thoroughly rewarding day and highly recommended experience!
Pete - - #17392
Ian's course was a fantastic way to switch off from the everyday pressures of normal life and lose yourself in the simple pleasure of green woodworking. The location was superb and working in the early autumn sunshine was such a tonic compared to my usual desk-bound work. All in all a very good day and I walked away with what is now used as a small side-table to boot. Thanks Ian.
John - - #17317
This experience was given to me as a birthday present. It was an excellent present. The course was fully hands on and extremely rewarding to attend. Ian is very knowledgeable and very friendly. The course was relaxed and there was plenty of time to complete each stage of the project without feeling rushed. The stool I made now has pride of place in my home and I sincerely look forward to visiting again for another one of his courses. I would recommend his courses to everyone.
Richard David Way - - #17023
What a brilliant experience! Ian is so passionate about his work and is a wonderful teacher. He took us through some of this history of wood working before showing us the traditional way to make two beautiful stools. It was hard work but we absolutely love the end product and they are now looking great in our home. We have learnt new skills and have a new found respect for this craft. We would like to thank Ian for a wonderful experience (and for all the cups of coffee) and would highly recommend this course to everyone-thank you!
Clare Mellor - - #16994
An absolutely amazing experience. Really enjoyed the workshop. Ian has done an excellent job of introducing the variety of traditional woodworking tools and techniques, and guiding us through various stages. Brought home with me a high quality stool, and a mallet that I made during the workshop.
Esin Esat - - #16423
Wasn't sure what I was letting myself in to - but I shouldn't have had any reservations. It was exactly what I wanted. Ian was both welcoming and understanding and his obvious passion for the craft is infectious. Given the time limitations I felt we achieved a great deal, with Ian's help and guidance. To come away with a mallet and an oak seat stool was very satisfying.
If you want to learn basic geenwood skills, then this is an excellent introduction to the craft. With people like Ian around, the skill, knowledge and appreciation will hopefully never fade.
Wahid Khan - - #16422
This was an amazing thing to do. I bought it as a gift for my younger son who is an artist and loves working with natural materials. I tagged along, more to spend some time doing something with him without the mayhem of the wider family. Ian was so friendly, knowledgeable and helpful that the hours went by really quickly. My stool has pride of place in our conservatory, where we spend most of our time now that we are retired! An added bonus is that I now have lots of Christmas present ideas for that son because he wants to do more woodcraft.
Erika Lax - - #16379
I was bought this experience for Christmas from my wife and took my dad on the day. It was great! Ian is very knowledgeable and very friendly and the class is very informal. Plenty of time to ask questions and try techniques out. We both had a great day and were VERY pleased with the stools we took home. We would highly recommend this course and I have mentioned it to some colleagues already.
Dean - - #16375
The day was like being at your mates workshop, having a good chat and creating some amazing work. Ian is incredibly competent, passionate and has a deep understanding in the history of the craft. Amazing practitioner too as I was able to have a nosey around his workshop at some of his projects. The day unfolds at a good pace and Ian is never more than a wood shaving away for some advice or keeping you moving in the right direction. A great day with a great guy (tutor).
Krishan Vara - - #16309
We had the BEST day making a mallet and stool each with Ian. The barn is perfectly in keeping with the traditional tools and feel of the day. Ian was great and taught us a lot. We are so pleased with the beautiful stools we have taken home and can’t wait to try another course with Ian! Thank you again for a lovely day :)
Katherine and Luke - - #16050
First course I got for my partner was the stool making, based on my partners experience and the excellent hand crafted stool he produced and the whole experience of being taught by a true craftsmen who is a mind of information and and is of a wonderful disposition, I decided to purchase the Bench making day for my adult son who has never put his hand to this sort of thing before,working as a manager and with a very busy home life with three children, time to just lose yourself in this craft for a few hours was the best experience of relaxation albeit physical but totally rewarding work to produce the most amazing Bench which is pride of place in my sons garden waiting to have its very own area to sit proudly in. Cannot praise Ian enough for the way he is in his patient and informative teaching manner, my son thoroughly enjoyed his experience (especially as I'd arranged it as a surprise for them both to be working on something together) and he was amazed at how it took him away from the rat race for two minutes and has learned a valuable pratical new skill and is already thinking of what he could do next. In short, give this course a try, you wont regret it and you'll have a life long memory of a wonderful day making something in the traditional way with excellent tutelage and be very proud of your work. Truly worth every penny.
KC Constantine - - #15511
What a fantastic day! Ian is a fabulous host/teacher, who is clearly passionate about green woodwork. His craftmanship is simply amazing, and the pieces of work that he produces, anyone would be proud to own. Right from the start he makes you feel very welcome, including providing you with a lovely cup of tea. For a novice who is keen to have a go and learn new skills, Ian is extremely patient. He guides you without being overbearing, and allows you the time to create your very own handcrafted stool. What can be better, than to have a day learning traditional skills, and to go home with a beautiful piece of furniture. Would highly recommend! Thank you Ian.
Karen M - - #15433
We spent a fantastic day in the sunshine making stools under Ian's expert guidance. It is obvious from the start that Ian has a passion and knowledge of green woodworking and with his friendly and relaxed teaching style makes for a wonderful day and you end up with a lovely stool to take home. Would fully recommend this workshop
Andrew & Geraldine - - #15041
What a fabulous 5 hours my son and I had. Ian is a brilliant teacher & his passion shines through. It is so theraputic & you end up with a beautiful & unique piece of furniture. Totally recommend. Thank you Ian for a splendid time
Jackie Cable - - #14385
Ian is very obviously passionate about wood and it's impossible not to have some of his enthusiasm rub off on you. With his instruction and support we produced lovely and useful oak and ash stools.
Thoroughly recommend this 1 day course as an introduction to working in green wood.
Bob Halsey - - #14294
Ian is very knowledgeable, interesting and a good teacher. We had an extremely enjoyable day. I would recommend this course to anyone.
Mike Dunn - - #14292
An excellent day. I really enjoyed learning from Ian, who is encouraging, knowledgable and clear in his guidance. It was fascinating to hear a bit about the history of the craft and see the tools, and very cool to end up with your own hand-made stool! Highly recommended.
Danielle - - #14193
Great course! Ian was an excellent teacher, patient, friendly and knowledgeable. And we came home with a lovely stool made of quality materials! Thoroughly recommend.
Liz - - #14161
I bought for my boyfriend for Christmas present. He absolutely loved the lesson and the end product. He learned a lot and cannot stop talking about it. Highly recommend Ian’s workshop.
Joanna - - #13793
A really enjoyable day, lots of interesting things to learn plus, because Ian is very passionate about his craft and the importance of maintaining these rural skills, that adds value to the time he puts into teaching them. There is also the bonus of walking away with your own stool.
If you need to find someway to break free from the pressure of a hectic work schedule, spend a few hours in Ian's workshop, it may help put things in perspective!
David Cox - - #13650
This course is great, I enjoyed it very much. I had no experience at all of working with wood beforehand, but with Ian’s patient and encouraging tuition I was able to take home a very strong, attractive and useful stool, with which I am delighted. I went to the course on my own, there was one other student on the day, and it was a very relaxed and comfortable atmosphere with plenty of one-on-one instruction. Thank you, Ian.
Valerie Faulks - - #13421
I Bought my partner a half day course (4-5) hours at £95 as a birthday gift. He has talked of doing woodworking crafts in his retirement in May and although only having done your usual DIY projects, he'd never done anything like this. This quite simply was the best present he'd ever had (his words), so without hesitation I'd recommend Ian and his workshops to anyone who wants to learn rustic and traditional carpentry skills using traditional methods and tools.
Ian is a natural teacher with a friendly disposition and helpful hints and tips. He is knowledgeable, patient and easy going, his passion for his craft is evident. He a very skilled person, my partner learnt a lot from him, this has certainly given him the excitement of retirement to look forward to to crack on with his own projects, he came away from the day with not only a mallet he'd made and a stool (very impressive, I must say) but also full of enthusiasm.
There is no doubt I would recommend his courses to all.
You can't go wrong by having this delightful man show you how he will give you the time and patience to explain the various stages of construction, using his wonderful high quality woodworking tools.
This is excellent value for money, learning so much and coming home with your very own quality hand crafted stool and tool. My partner already wants a longer session next time the all day bench making I think at £280, and at least I know every single penny is worth it.
What more can I say, I Highly Recommend.
KC Constantine - - #13371
I really enjoyed the stool making course with Ian Varley and another 'student', Helen. We were picked up from Loughborough rail station, which made the whole thing possible for me, which was great. We spent alot of time learning to use tools such as a fro, a side axe and a draw knife. We first practised by making a mallet, to learn how to use the draw knife, which we got to take home as well as the stool, so that was great. Ian was very friendly and encouraging and helped boost our confidence during the learning process. Ian reinforced the learning through repetition which really helped. The whole day was very informal, and we were able to take breaks when we wanted. Tea and biscuits were provided too. we also learned alot about Ians work and the place where he works which was interesting. It was a great day out, which I would repeat again at some point, to make a different object and learn how to use some other tools.
Ali Clark - - #13188
I actually live in London but decided to travel up to Leicestershire do this course after seeing all the recommendations and I'm very glad I did. The experience of learning to use the different woodworking tools was really enjoyable and I was really happy with the end result.
It was very gratifying to start the day with some branches of wood and go home with a hand-crafted piece of furniture at the end of it. Ian was a fantastic and enthusiastic teacher and I would recommend his courses without hesitation. I felt that the course was also very good value for money considering you get several hours of one-on-one tuition and a beautiful piece of furniture to go home with. I was also good knowing that you are helping to support a countryside business.
Helen M - - #13085
Great day and fantastic stool at the end of it!
Tom - - #13050
Excellent course! We spent the day making 2 beautiful oak stools. Ian welcomed us warmly and is an absolute gem! What a wonderful person and craftsman. He is passionate about his craft and is a great human being. We have left his workshop inspired and are grateful to have our furniture as a memory for this day! Thank you so much Ian.
Asli - - #12504
Had an incredible time with Ian hand crafting our very own rustic coffee table! Ian was so great to work with and we learnt so much from our 5 hours with him about different types of wood and all the many traditional tools. I booked this as a christmas present and it truly couldn't have been any better. Thanks Ian, we will be recommending to all our friends!
Hannah and Rob - - #12455
Ian was a fantastic tutor - passionate, knowledgeable, skilled and patient. For 5 hours I lost track of time and was immersed in a very different and new (to me), but ancient, skill. Both the mallet and stool I created have been in use today!
Mark Parsons - - #12446
Best 4 hrs course I've been on. So interesting excellent teaching style. Highly recommended.
Nick Smith - - #12373
My husband and I had an excellent day crafting a beautiful stool each which now take pride of place in our home! Ian was fantastic, full of patience, enthusiasm and knowledge. Highly recommended!
Charlotte Behan - - #12264
What an amazing day. Ian is a great teacher and I love my stool. To make something with traditional tools and my own hands has been so satisfying. I highly recommend Ian’s course to anyone looking for authentic traditional wood working. With natures magic - wood.
Rebecca - - #12128
Great time. Ian very patient and informative, taking through the whole process and learning all sorts of things. And you leave with a lovely stool that it's totally unique to you. We had a great time. Would definitely recommend.
Miriam - - #11763
Ian is a top bloke very patient and knowledgeable. It was a relaxed day working with my hands to create something myself with Ian's guidance that I could take home at the end of the day. Highly recommend.
Bryan Rampton - - #11655
We spent an absolutely fantastic half day at Ian's workshop making a pair of rustic stools. With little prior knowledge of the skills involved, Ian taught the basics of green woodworking, and through his gentle guidance and demonstration, we learnt so much from the day and returned home with two beautiful stools that we are so proud of. Ian's workshop is wonderful - full of interesting bits and bobs, and it was great to spend time with someone so dedicated and enthusiastic about his craft. We hope to return soon on another of his workshop days - and would highly recommend Ian's courses to anybody- keen woodworker or complete novice. Thank you Ian!
Olivia & Liam - - #11644
This course given to me as a gift from my daughter and my son in law. I had a really enjoyable and productive time with Ian in his workshop. I made the stool using the techniques taught and had the pleasure of learning about tools to not generally used in furniture production today. In the end I produced under Ian's guidance a very rustic stool.
Mike - - #11484
I attended this course with no previous experience of green wood working and it was an excellent introduction to a wide range of skills. Ian is patient, friendly and highly experienced in his craft. The course is also a great opportunity for a digital detox, time to disconnect from the world and focus on making something beautiful, we should all do a bit more of this! Mary
MaryEluned - - #11389
Ian's work shop was absolutely brill! Great vibe. Great skills to learn. Ian really knows his stuff and leads the course great. Would highly recommend t0 anyone considering a good day out with friends or family.
Will diffidently sign up for Ian's future wood working courses.
Patrica Ovens - - #11381
Truly amazing session. Wow!
I've no knowledge or skills in traditional wood working and want to learn from Ian who has been highly recommended.
I really liked the talked about traditional wood working skills. I would well recommend Ians workshops. 5 star. Amazing. :)
stefan Thomas - - #11338
We had a great time woodworking with Ian, my children (7 & 10) made walking staffs which are now regularly used on walks. They learned about the traditional tools they used, the different types of wood and found themselves immersed in 'the making'.
Ian is a natural teacher with a very gentle & patient manner and his passion for the craft is inspiring.
Renee Brailsford - - #11319
Wow, I have just spent an afternoon with Ian. I am exhausted and elated!! I left with my beautiful stool and a mind full of greenwood working advice. I hope to return soon to learn more from this amazing craftsman. Thank you so much, our time together was truly inspiring.
Mart S - - #11286
I enjoyed the day from start to finish. Learnt some great new skills and have come home with a beautiful stool. I'd definitely recommend this course.
Jacquee - - #11012
What a great experience that turned out to be !.........enjoyed the whole day & feeling quite proud of myself for making a lovely stool.......looking forward to doing another one of Ian's courses....top bloke!!!
brian - - #11011
What a great course! Ian is a great teacher and loves what he dose. I really enjoyed it and would 100% recommend it! Thanks Ian!
Ben - - #10891
I have recently been on Ian's stool making course at his wonderful tithe barn workshop, just outside barrow upon Soar. From the offset it was a great experience. I was introduced to the concepts of greenwood working and the related tools and their use. He is a proper craftsman and takes the time and patience to explain the various stages of construction, using his wonderful array of high quality woodworking tools. I would thoroughly recommend Ian and his courses to anyone with an interest in this field. Plus you get to take home what you have made on the day!
Simon c Ford - - #10885
Ian is a master. He has the the skill of a hundred men. I made a stunning stool with no previous knowledge. I left after my time with ian on cloud nine. Id highly recconmend this course.
Alec pearson - - #10848
My wife was scouring the internet looking for a unique 5 year wedding anniversary gift and found Ian's website... and im very glad she did.
My brother and I met Ian at his workshop on the Saturday morning, and the first job was to make a wooden mallet out of what seemed an old tree trunk! That was hard work in itself, learning how to effectively swing a hatchet. We then spent the day using various woodworking tools to make a rustic oak table using traditional methods. With a hour or so ledt over, we were also able to make a walking stick each.
My table now has pride of place in my living room, the walking stick is used frequently when we're off rambling.
Would I recommend this course? Without hesitation! Ian was a great laugh, full of patience and funny anecdotes as we crafted away... oh and tea. Plenty of tea!
Robert Banks - - #10777
I have met Ian a few times at different country shows and I always show an interest in what he is making. Wood working is an hobby of mine and to my surprise my wife and children had booked me on to one of Ian's courses. I had a wonderful time. I learnt new skills and how to use the old traditional hand tools. I have since bought myself some. I had such a wonderful day that I have booked to go again in a couple of weeks time. Ian is a very easy going and skilled person, I learnt a lot from him. I would recommend his courses to all.
Darren White - - #10728
Such a good experience. Ian is knowledgeable, patient and fun. The time he spent showing us how to make our stools was impressive. He really felt for the wood and our hands working it and managed to pass on that empathy.
The finished article is saleable yes, but its going to stay with me to remind me of an ace day. Thanks Ian!
Phil Leng - - #10711
This was a lovely surprise gift from family. The experience was very enjoyable and engaging creating this beautiful oak stool using traditional methods by hand. Ian was a relaxed, friendly and helpful teacher with good hints and tips on using the tools. It was a great experience to receive and I would certainly recommend this experience to all.
Martin - - #10635
I attended one of Ian's workshops a couple of weeks ago with my daughter as a friend recommended him to me.
I was slightly apprehensive as I've no knowledge or skills in traditional wood working and didn't no what to expect.
On our arrival we were both greeted by Ian who was a softly spoken very welcoming gentleman, he explained what he did for a living and talked about traditional wood working skills.
Whilst there my daughter and myself made stools under the watchful eye and guidance of Ian, the whole experience was amazing for both of us and Ian amazing workshop just added to the feel of such a creative process.
I would strongly recommend this to anyone, great day awesome Guy.
We will definitely be back soon.
Mick - - #10634
Ian was excellent throughout the workshop and showed patience, understanding and a great attitude to my 10yr old daughter. He encouraged her with how to use the tools correctly without being over-bearing and was patient with her when she complained about it being hard work!
Ruby came away with a great stall she made with Ian and has been very proud to show and tell every visitor to the garden about how she made it from just "lumps of wood".
I'd recommend Ian and his workshops to anyone who wants to learn rustic and traditional carpentry skills using traditional methods and tools.
Alan Ranger - - #10579
Ian's workshop was absolutely brilliant - I bought it as a gift and couldn't have been happier with how well it went down! My husband learnt so many new skills and crafted his own stool which is now a favourite piece of furniture in our home. Ian was so incredibly friendly and helpful, he really does offer a warm and inviting experience which you won't forget. I'd highly recommend his workshops!
Kathryn Pattison - - #10571
Course dates are flexible; please get in touch for the next available date.
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