In-person course

One-day woodcarving for beginners



Are you a beginner wanting to learn the basics of woodcarving and create your very own carvings? This one-day course provides a fun and relaxed way to learn this ancient craft with award-winning local woodcarver William Barsley. You will take home your own carving of a decorative leaf or flower to proudly show friends and family. Group size is limited to 5 participants to ensure you feel fully supported throughout the day. You can either book as a private group of 5 or join an existing group as an individual. Minimum class size of 3. This course is aimed at the complete beginner - you really don’t need to have any experience of woodcarving at all. It’s also suitable if you’ve dabbled in carving before - we can focus on building on your existing skills. The course is carefully structured to build your confidence throughout the day and you will leave feeling that you can undertake your own carvings at home. It is always amazing to see what can be achieved in a day! WHAT YOU WILL LEARN - How to sharpen and use carving chisels most effectively - How to draw and transfer your design onto wood - Which type of wood to carve when and why - Carving techniques to bring your work to life, with the focus on shallow relief carving, which enables you to decorate any surface - Tips to reduce mistakes - Different ways to protect and seal your carvings Course tutor William Barsley has extensive woodcarving experience including working on the Houses of Parliament restoration. William was classically trained in Historic Woodcarving and Gilding at the prestigious City and Guilds of London Art School. Passionate about teaching, William enjoys nothing more than helping others to learn the beautiful art of carving. His friendly and open approach allows students to ask questions, develop their abilities and - most importantly - to enjoy the process. The course is run at William’s workshop in the heart of Dartington in Devon, with the famous Dartington Hall Estate and Cider Press just a 10-minute walk away and the beautiful town of Totnes only a 5-minute drive. You will leave the course understanding the basics of woodcarving and knowing how to further develop these skills safely and effectively in your own time. You will also, of course, take home the piece you will have made during the day.

What's included in the price?

All timber and tools required on the day. A limewood blank to take home and a series of design ideas to help your practice. Cakes, tea and coffee to keep you fuelled throughout the day. Besides an open mind and plenty of enthusiasm, the only thing you need to bring is a packed lunch which, if weather permits, can be enjoyed on the green just a stone’s throw from the workshop.


1 day (10:00am to 4:30pm)

Cancellation policy

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



William Barsley

with Craft Courses since 2021

Message the tutor


Unit 4, Webbers Yard Industrial Estate, Dartington, TOTNES, Devon, TQ9 6JY

Suitable for

  • Adults
  • Seniors
  • Teenagers
  • Christmas
  • UK Holiday
  • Corporate days out & team building
  • Easter
  • Stag dos
  • School holiday workshops & activities
  • Hen dos
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Father's Day
  • Public transport
  • Romantic
  • Intermediate level
  • Mother's Day
  • Engagement, birthdays & anniversaries
gold badge
What does this mean?
Message the tutor