Pole lathe bowl turning

Showing the details of technique and tooling.


Pole lathe bowl turning is one of our endangered crafts.
I have honed my skills for over a decade now and can offer the ideal space to teach this fascinating skill to others. You will receive a full day's tuition from a professional turner and will go home with your own finished bowl.

Experience days will be held in a dry and midge free environment in my workshop in Kielder. At present I have up to three spaces for a day on the lathe. The good thing about small size groups is that you get a lot of support and attention when needed.
You will be introduced to the ancient tradition of turning a wooden bowl or plate from green wood. The day will revolve around the lathe and I will be show you all the techniques you need to know to turn a wooden bowl.
I believe experiential learning is the best method to acquire this skill set and so we will be pedalling away for most of the day.
Polite note. If you are interested in a one-to-one teaching session, please get in touch to discuss price and availability. Thank you!

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?

Simple lunch, snacks, lots of tea whenever needed, all tools, lathe and materials,


Ralf Bidder at Made in Kielder


Station Garage
NE48 1EG

Suitable for

  • Adults
  • Hearing impaired
  • Learning difficulties (SEN)
  • Parking provided
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Teenagers
  • UK Holiday


8 hours (9:15am to 5:15pm)

Silver Badge
What does this mean?

This craft course provider has been awarded Silver status for receiving 5 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.

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In-person course
Marie Knock - - #29972

I have recently had the pleasure of attending a 1-2-1 woodturning course with Ralf. Under his expert guidance and gentle teaching, I created a stunning wooden bowl that far exceeded my expectations for a first attempt! Ralf is a brilliant teacher and a wonderful host. His passion and skills for his craft are both addictive and inspirational, and he is a lovely guy! If you're looking for a wood turning course, I cannot recommend him enough.

In-person course
Emma and S. - - #29971

A great day of turning with Ralf...

Seeing the bowl slowly evolve out of the bit of wood we initially installed felt great....Turning is definitely not as easy as he makes it look, but easy enough for complete novices to create something you can eat from and that – at least in the creators' eyes – actually looks very nice. Both of us woke up the next day very much wishing we could go back to turn another bowl.

In-person course
Hamish D. - - #29970

My day turning with Ralf was exceptional. Ralf's intricate knowledge of bowl turning really helped to equip me with the skills and techniques to progress myself. I was able to get past some big hurdles that have been holding me back. Ralf is clearly passionate about his craft and is a very good teacher. As an experience I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone else learning how to turn. It was time and money really spent well.

In-person course
John Beaumont - - #29324

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In-person course
Lorna - - #28630

I've used Ralf's bowls and plates for a few years and hate to eat off anything else now, so it was fantastic to take my boyfriend for a birthday course learning how to make them. We've both turned in the past but not for a long time and the skills were long forgotten. Ralf was incredibly patient, explained very clearly and adapted to our needs, so much so that he allowed us to split the experience into 2 days to accommodate chronic fatigue. The workshop set-up is very inspiring and the fruit pie from Ralf's local shop was delicious!
I would highly recommend spending a day turning with Ralf.

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