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Pole Lathe Bowl Turning - Your First Bowl

Pole Lathe Bowl Turning - Your First Bowl

About the Course

This workshop is suitable for complete beginners or those who only have experience of pole lathe turning on a spindle lathe. Adults only, or over 16 when accompanied by a paying adult.

This workshop will be limited to 6 participants.

The workshop will focus specifically on the following areas:
• The different types of lathe used for turning
• Suitable British timbers for bowl turning
• Selecting appropriate sections of a log for bowl turning
• Roughing out a bowl ‘blank’ using an axe
• Safe and effective axe technique
• Mounting the blank on the lathe ready for turning
• Using home made hook tools to turn your first bowl
• Trimming up, drying and finishing your bowl

You will be turning your bowl on an historic Viking style bowl lathe. There will be lots of time for you to develop and practise new skills. Whilst the main focus of the workshop will be about process and safe technique you should still look forward to producing your first bowl to take home with you at the end of the day. This will be a perfect sized bowl for you to eat your breakfast out of every morning, or your hot soup at lunch or your curry at the end of the day! By the end of this workshop you should feel confident to be able to have a go on a lathe on your own at home.

This tends to be quite a physically demanding workshop. There will be plenty of breaks and stops to talk about process and technique but a reasonable level of fitness is required to make sure you get the most out of the day.

To be held in our farmhouse workshop in Dundraw, Cumbria.

Further information will be sent via email upon confirmation of booking.

Workshop bookings are non refundable.
Workshop dates cannot be transferred once booked.

If you will be redeeming a CraftCourses gift voucher on this course, the voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.

What's included in the price?

All tools and materials are provided but you may bring your own if you have them and we can advise on their suitability.

The workshop cost includes a simple ploughman’s type lunch. This will normally be homemade soup, freshly baked bread, local cheeses, salad, pickles, chutneys and free-range eggs from our flock of hens as an example. If you have particular dietary requirements then you should advise us beforehand so that we can try to make sure we provide for you appropriately.

Free flowing tea, coffee, water and fruit cordials will be available for the duration of the workshop, and home-baked biscuits and cake will be provided for morning and afternoon breaks.


Adrian Lloyd at Adrian Lloyd
The Lilacs, Dundraw
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Suitable for

  • Engagement, birthdays & anniversaries
  • Parking provided
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Tutor can travel

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1 day (09:30 – 17:00)

Available dates:


In-person course
- - #24219

Very informative and enjoyable with close attention to everyone's individual needs.
Very hot day and so very hard work but very pleasing (and surprising) to end up with a bowl which just needed final finishing.

In-person course
- - #23854

Had a fabulous day in the woods pole lathe bowl turning. The tutoring was excellent.
The equipment was first rate - it was the first time I had turned on a pole lathe so it was a steep learning curve made much easier by Adrian's guidance and support.
Great company of fellow turners and as usual the lunch was lovely and the setting at Greenwood Days was perfect.
I love my finished bowl and its bumps, ridges and imperfections make it unique!
I'd highly recommend this experience.

In-person course
- - #23670

I had a brilliant day learning how to turn and carve the wooden bowl and will definitely build on the skills. I'm already looking forward to attending more courses!

In-person course
- - #23649

Ade is an excellent teacher. I learnt a lot during the day and always felt confident that he would guide me through making my first bowl. It is very much a first attempt and I can see how it could be improved but I am delighted with what I have achieved. I certainly recommend Ade's course.

In-person course
- - #23642

Thanks Adrian, Greenwood Days and the beautiful and forgiving wood of the Alder. Great course, great venue and great teacher. What else would you want to do on hottest day in July?

In-person course
- - #23639

A very enjoyable day with excellent tuition. Thank you Adrian for sorting me out when things didn't go quite to plan!

In-person course
- - #23638

Had been to Greenwood Days to do a chair making course and so had used a pole lathe before. When I saw the bowl turning course I was keen to try that.
It proved an excellent decision. Super equipment, very patient teaching and stunning demonstrations. Came home with my own bowl (of which I'm very proud) but would be keen to improve my skills.

In-person course
- - #23446

Simply excellent. Adrian consistently delivers a quality experience. It was a long tiring day for me but the enjoyment of coming home with a completed bowl, mixing with like minded people and the pleasant expert guidance of Adrian made it a very rewarding experience that I shall be repeating.

In-person course
- - #23410

The course ran at a nice relaxed pace and Adrian was a calm and knowledgeable teacher. We all completed bowls, despite concerns that we wouldn't complete them. We did so comfortably. An excellent course that i would highly recommend.

In-person course
- - #22186

I arrived with a fair amount of pole-lathe turning experience but new to bowls. The intention was to learn enough to be able to build a new lathe or adapt my lathe and turn bowls myself.
Ade was brilliant at getting concepts and processes across, demonstrating at logical stages, and then monitoring our efforts and providing guidance where necessary. The day which ran from 09.30 to 17.00 was hard work but great fun. Ade is very relaxed and sympathetic, generous with advice, sharing information and ready to answer questions however biff they might be.... I was able to use one of Ade's lathes a couple of days later to turn another bowl which provided timely and most valuable reinforcement of the key elements taught on the course - elements that might have disappeared with time. All round a cracking day.

In-person course
- - #22177

I really enjoyed making my first turned bowl with the excellent tuition provided by Ade. Every aspect of the course is well organised with good equipment, well paced tuition and interesting semi-prepared materials to work with. Ade is clearly experienced at working with diverse groups of people and was always available to assist when help was needed. Thanks for providing a great experience Ade!

In-person course
- - #22122

Who would have thought that a complete novice on any form of lathe would turn out a bowl in one day? I was uncertain, but with Ade's very clear step by step tuition, plus a bit of help now and then, I managed a bowl. I'm only sad that we didn't have a little more time, but the course has left me wanting to try again. Most importantly, the course was great fun and Ade is a very good humoured teacher.

In-person course
- - #22105

My bowl is now drying with its shavings in a paper bag on my wood store.
The course was brilliant. Relaxed, informative and productive. I came away with the knowledge to do it again a.s.a.p., and the first bowl I’ve turned of which I am so proud of, thanks to you Ade. Such a pleasure to meet you.

In-person course
- - #20486

What a revelation! Having done 'electric' lathe wood turning before I found Ade's course inspirational, the feel and control you can achieve between your own foot power and the tool on the green timber is great. Ade's wonderful tuition and humour throughout together with the 'soupberb' lunch all made for a excellent day.

In-person course
- - #20430

What fantastic course...
To be able to start with half a log and turn it into a useful bowl in a few hours and without any pressure was very satisfying.
Adrian knows his craft and is willing to share his vast knowledge and help you along the way.
I thought I might struggle with the treadling versus my old plumbers knees but there are plenty of breaks and a filling lunch.
I'd recommend to anyone.

In-person course
- - #20419

Adrian was extremely patient with putting my mistakes right. Willing to share his skill and knowledge. The food was wonderful and well needed to keep the lathe going. Thank you for a wonderful day.

In-person course
- - #17741

Adrian was an extremely good teacher. Very knowledgable and very helpful. I very much enjoyed his course. I would definitely attend a future course. Thanks Ade!

In-person course
- - #17694

Ade had set up a great workshop for making bowls on a wooden lathe. I really enjoyed it, especially when I realised what I had been doing wrong! It was a lovely atmosphere with the other participants too.

In-person course
- - #17693

Teaching was very clean and well paced, including students with a variety of abilities. We produced a bowl and it was a most enjoyable day.

In-person course
- - #17688

I really enjoyed my bowl turning course and Adrian's relaxed but incisive tuition. I doubted we could complete a bowl in the time but we all managed it with a bit to spare. Quite an achievement I think but one Adrian seemed to have no doubt we could do and did. Great fun.

In-person course
- - #17636

An excellent day starting with wood selection right through to a completed bowl. Each step was clearly explained and demonstrated. Advice and help were available whenever needed. Ade is a skilled, thorough, engaging instructor, perceptive of individual skills and progress throughout the day.
The regular food and drink breaks were most welcome, homemade soup and cakes a lovely treat.
Once my muscles have recovered I can't wait to try and make another!

In-person course
- - #17613

Brilliant to watch so many bowls being turned in one day. Adrian's calm and confident style puts everyone at ease, even when you're doing something quite hard! Amazing skills to make that all happen.

In-person course
- - #17585

A wonderful day with lovely people and a great teacher. Ade's experience really shows, not only with his own skill and passion for green wood craft, but also his ability to teach others well and at a level tailored to everyone's different experience and ability. He explained every part of the process clearly from selecting wood right through to how to dry the finished bowl carefully to avoid splitting, with lots of demonstrations and help in between. The pace of the day was just right, allowing for regular breaks which I really needed as it's pretty hard work for specific muscles that aren't used to it!
Good value for a day of great company, lovely food, new skills, a bespoke wooden bowl and a full body workout!!
Thanks Ade.

In-person course
- - #17574

I never thought it possible but I finished the day with a bowl I will treasure for life. Ade is incredibly patient, knowledgeable and a good laugh. I would have no hesitation in recommending attending one of his courses.

In-person course
- - #17570

Ade's one-day bowl-turning course using a pole lathe was excellent. He has a great teaching style that goes beyond mere instruction: he explains things clearly, introduces the processes in a logical step-by-step way, demonstrates very skilfully, goes round giving individual help and creates a lovely atmosphere. He also invites you to smell the freshly-split wood and feel the wetness of the shavings as they fly off the lathe! A complete beginner, I found myself amidst a group of experienced turners, however, with infinite patience, Ade helped me to produce a bowl. He pitched the course beautifully, giving other participants space to get on and turn in their own way. It was physically more demanding than I had anticipated, especially as I'd attended after a long week of taxing work, but it just makes me want to do another course with him - but when I'm less knackered! Thank you very much, Ade.

In-person course
- - #17551

Adrian's course was thoroughly enjoyable and he had such an obvious passion for the craft that was very encouraging for the whole day. The day was great for absolute beginners like me but others with more experience were also able to develop their woodworking skills further.
Although I struggled, I really enjoyed seeing the process from start to finish rather than turning a bowl from a blank and Adrian was very encouraging and helpful throughout.
Food provided was absolutely delicious and there was tea and coffee throughout so that was fab!
I would recommend this course to all people with any kind of quirky interests as even if woodworking isn't your passion seeing the traditional methods Adrian uses is a wonderful experience!

In-person course
- - #17547

A really lovely day!

I did the one day bowl turning course, Adrian broke it down step by step showing us the complete process. He was very supportive and helped with technique.

We were provided with some delicious food, and I felt very welcome. I would definitely come back for another course and recommend to others!

I started the day having never turned before and I have created a beautiful bowl!

Thank you

In-person course
- - #17546

I really enjoyed the day. The time seemed to fly by and everybody had fun. Adrian’s partner made us home made soup, bread, and cake which were all top notch
There are times that it’s hard work, as you’d expect, as it is definitely a skill requiring that you pay attention and put in a bit of elbow grease. I’m very happy with my bowl however and i’d recommend the course to anyone. Adrian is a charistmatic chap and patient teacher.

In-person course
- - #17520

I loved it
I love my bowl
Its still drying in my basement
The first thing I will eat from it will be porridge
It is a gift to myself for life – the bowl, and the experience
The lathes are a joy to experience
Adrian was a master at teaching, sharing, and passing his knowledge along
The setting in London Green Wood was enchanting
The weather was wetter than the wood
Thank you to the Adrian and the group!

In-person course
- - #17517

This was an excellent day, splendidly run. The whole experience was very relaxed and I only realized at the end of the day when
I produced my first time bowl how skillfully Ade had kept us all to keep up to speed with the various stages.He offered input and practical help at just the right time making everyone feel very valued.All done with a sense of humour and I would thoroughly recommend him as a teacher.What an excellent day I had.Thanks, Ade.

In-person course
- - #17505

Adrian was very engaging and knowledgeable, the set up with 8 pole lathes was excellent and we were guided through the process of turning a bowl. He gave us enough support to finish a nice -sized bowl without it becoming overpowering. A very enjoyable day

In-person course
- - #17503

This was a very good and fun course taken at London green wood
Ade was as good a listener as a teacher so was very helpful in the whole process of as he says bothering bits of wood

In-person course
- - #17501

A thoroughly relaxing and enjoyable day. My bowl is a source of joy to me, and I now know how to make more of 'em. I am bowled over by how good it was. Helpful in many ways, the day demonstrated that the right day course can make a person feel good, which showed me that I should see them as valuable experiences offered for sale, rather than money-making opportunism. Thanks for the lesson Adrian. Here's to all the gentle teachers out there.

In-person course
- - #17329

This was my first time on a pole lathe and Adrian is a very clear, patient experienced instructor. All processes were explained well at the right place for all the group. When Adrian could see me struggling and at times frustrated by my attempts he got me back into the groove and I completed two bowls. Looking forward to going on another if Adrian's courses soon.

In-person course
- - #17046

Course was paced very well, excellent tutor and delighted with my first pole lathe turned bowl

In-person course
- - #16984

This course was held at the Bowl Gathering 2018. A great lesson from Adrian has helped me improve my turning skills and I'm excited to do more now I feel more confident in the process. Very knowledgeable tutor - beautiful setting!
Thanks Adrian

In-person course
- - #16939

What an excellent event from beginning to end, from the excellent directions and signage to the venue to the warm welcome on arrival. The organisation although appearing laid back was first class, non bureaucratic, and functioned smoothly throughout the event. The instructors needless to say were all superb, representing as they do the pinnacle of the wooden bowl world. The pre-fest courses that I attended were well structured, super informative, helpful and most of all good fun. The event providers, volunteers, instructors and of course the participants were without exception friendly, helpful interesting people.
I sincerely hope that this event runs again to help people along their journey with wooden bowls, to promote the craft, and to foster the companionship of the " woody" community as a whole.

In-person course
- - #16933

This was to be my first attempt at wooden bowl lathe turning.
Under the supervision from Ade, all safety and tool techniques were covered durning the day.
Ade has a great happy and relaxed style of teaching, both being professional and fun. I was shown everything I needed to understand and continue with the more difficult processes of bowl turning. I had a enjoyable day and came away from the course with my own wooden bowl, what more can you ask.

In-person course
- - #16916

Adrian is a supreme instructor (notwithstanding his teaching background) and instills a real sense of empowerment and ‘can do’ attitude in his students - resulting sense of achievement in creating a new and unique bowl is priceless.
Thanks again Ade.

In-person course
- - #16901

I managed to get onto Ade's two day bowl turning course at the second attempt at Woodland Pioneers so knew to expect a high level of preparedness in terms of tools and equipment.

Ade is a skilled and experienced teacher, differentiates extremely well between experienced and less skilled attendees and at no point made any one feel that their questions or concerns had no value.

He is extremely knowledgable and skilled yet manages to make one feel as though such skills are attainable by all.

This was a thoroughly enjoyable and inspiring course and I look forward making more bowls with and without Ade in the future

In-person course
- - #16900

Ade's teaching was top notch. Very personable and constantly moving roind the grouo. Spending time with those who needed it most and knwing when to come to our aid and guide us.
I thoroughly enjoyed the whole day and the whole experience has helped find a better understanding of bowl turning.
Thanks Ade.

In-person course
- - #15197

Ade is an excellent teacher! I've turned a handful of bowls before with little success, but this workshop answers so many of the questions I would have taken months to figure out myself. Very very worth while and thoroughly enjoyed it.

In-person course
- - #15038

At the Bodger’s Ball I was very lucky to get a last minute place bowl turning with Ade. He has a calm and thorough approach taking you through all the stages from log to bowl. Regular pauses to demonstrate the next stage or answer questions helped split up the physical activities in the bowl production.

Not only did I come away with my first bowl and the basic knowledge to have a go on my own lathe but I also had a nice bag of wood shavings to use for smoking food, an excellent bonus day at the Ball.

In-person course
- - #14997

Well taught, well organised, well demonstrated, well done!

In-person course
- - #14996

I did Ade's intro bowl-turning course at the Bodgers Ball in 2018, and it was excellent. Ade was a very capable teacher, and by the end of the day everyone in our group had a product they were pleased with, and had had a great time doing it.

Some standouts for me:
* Ade was very adaptable at helping people who needed a bit of extra attention, while giving others space to "get on with it" when they were in their flow, and issuing challenges and stretch goals to people who were ready for it.
* great attention to health and safety, which is really important when you're handling super-sharp tools
* clear process for everyone to follow from "log" to "bowl"
* excellent tools and equipment. No wobbly lathes or blunt tools here!

In summary, I was really happy with my day, and would heartily recommend Ade's course.

In-person course
- - #14990

I was keen to try one of the courses available over the Bodgers' Ball and I am very pleased that I picked the Bowl Turning course with Adrian Lloyd. The instruction was excellent and I received preferential treatment as I had a ferry to catch back to Ireland (where no similar course is available). I have done some turning on a powered lathe when I have much preferred spindle turning over bowl turning. However, Adrian has inspired me to consider following up with perhaps one of his lathe making courses with further bowl turning instruction. A very enjoyable day.

In-person course
- - #14988

Excellent from Go to Wo.
The right kind of teaching and intervention when useful.

In-person course
- - #14987

I attended Adrians workshop at the Bodgers Ball and came away with the skills and knowledge to confidently start turning bowls once home. Adrians relaxed fun approach makes the whole day go well with excellent tips, demonstrations and advice throughout the day. I particuarly liked Adrians passion and enthusiasm to the craft.

In-person course
- - #14986

Can't recommend this course enough! Highly knowledgeable, Adrians teaching style was in depth, informative and relaxed. The course covered all the essentials of bowl turning on a treadle lathe, from selection of wood right through to finishing touches and after care. I came away from the course inspired to try more turning, with a beautiful wooden bowl to boot. 10 out of 10 for value and content!

In-person course
- - #14977

I'd turned bowls before but lost the enthusiasm to turn more. Attending Adrians "handled bowls" course at the bodgers ball 2018 has given me renewed enthusiasm. Great teaching, a relaxed approach & good group of fellow learners. I recommend you seek Adrian out if you want to learn any green wood craft.

In-person course
- - #14976

I went to both Adrians bowl turning and bowls with handles courses. Two really great days! Ade explains things with a simple and relaxed appraoch and nothing is too much trouble. Ade has a very high skill level which shows in his teaching. My aim was to learn how to turn bowls, so that I could take these skills home to start turning bowls myself, I now feel I have the confidence and knowledge to do this. Highly recommended!

In-person course
- - #14973

Excellent course, Had a lot of fun learning from Ade. His demonstrations showed us everything we needed to know to get from log to bowl. Making this bowl was a lot easier than I though. Gave great advice on all aspects of working with greenwood and technique with tools. Would highly recommend this course.
(Bodger's Ball 2018)

In-person course
- - #14972

The course was well organised and well presented. Ade was very patient, knew his stuff and was approachable and good at explaining how to use the tools etc and correcting your mistakes. Also very good at demonstrating each stage of the process.
All aspects of safety were covered and well explained and appropriate gear available as required. The equipment was well maintained and the tools were very sharp - essential for this sort of work.
The whole process of making a bowl using green wood was explained, from choosing your wood right through to which tools to use and when, including the idiosyncrasies of the tools being used. Good instruction given for how to dry out your bowl on returning home.
Would really recommend the course, I loved it - now I need to build my own bowl lathe!

In-person course
- - #14969

This was a course for turning the first bowl. Organisation was excellent and the tuition was spot on as far as I was concerned. Ade was very knowledgeable about all aspects of bowl production and full of good bits of advice. He was also very able to demonstrate technique very ably when and if any of us struggled. I have no hesitation in recommending his courses which, to my mind, represent very good value. I need to apply what I learnt now and improve. Regardless of flaws my bowl will be proudly displayed.

In-person course
- - #14882

This course held as part of coppice association north west weekend in the woods was an excellent introduction to bowl turning on a pole lathe. Adrian clearly explained the bowl making process from lathe construction to timber selection through blank preparation to the turning of my first bowl and then a second. I was amazed at what could be achieved with two relatively simple tools and leg power. I came away a with a sound base to allow me to develop my turning skills further. Adrian is a master at his craft and enthuses his pupils with his clear passion for green wood working.

In-person course
- - #14839

I thoroughly enjoyed this course. Adrian is a great teacher with infinite patience and a very clear and logical delivery style that really helps in understanding the process from tree trunk to finished bowl. Adrian has a wealth of knowledge and an infectious passion for wood craft. I can't recommend this course highly enough.

In-person course
- - #13915

I went to Adrian's to further improve my bowl turning. His knowledge, skill and tutoring are excellent. We went through the whole process from start to finish with Ade showing me how he approaches each stage. I came away much more confident especially with feet and rims that had caused me previous problems. Lunch is also superb!! Thanks Adrian.

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