One-to-one woodcarving tuition (one day)

Having fun carving


What better way to learn the ancient art of woodcarving than through a one-to-one course where you’ll have the tutor’s undivided attention? In this one-day course you will learn the foundations of woodcarving from award-winning local woodcarver William Barsley and come away knowing not only how to carve in relief (a quick way to detail to surfaces), but also how to sharpen your chisels and select the correct timber for carving. You will take home your own carving of a leaf or flower to proudly show friends and family.

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!


- 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.

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?

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.


William Barsley


Unit 4
Webbers Yard Industrial Estate, Dartington

Suitable for

  • Adults
  • Christmas
  • Corporate days out & team building
  • Easter
  • Engagement, birthdays & anniversaries
  • Father's Day
  • Hen dos
  • Intermediate level
  • Mother's Day
  • Public transport
  • Romantic
  • School holiday workshops & activities
  • Seniors
  • Stag dos
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Teenagers
  • UK Holiday


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

Gold Badge
What does this mean?

This craft course provider has been awarded Gold status for receiving 10 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
Scarlet Hodge - - #34730

Will was extremely welcoming upon arrival and held a very thorough yet fun course. Techniques and equipment explained well and great attention to detail regarding covid regulations. We enjoyed every minute and time flew by! And what an amazing location!

Response from William Barsley:

Thanks so much Scarlet. It was good fun and great to introduce you to the art of woodcarving!

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