Spoon carving at Walderchain Wood, Canterbury

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Description

Your tutor will guide you through the process from selecting a log through to a completed spoon.

Mark Saich

Originally trained as a carpenter/joiner, Mark has worked as an eco-builder, sustainable construction consultant and trainer. He has a degree in Environmental Sciences, obtained a post graduate diploma at the Centre of Alternative Technology.
He now owns and lives in 23 acres (the venue) of woodland practicing green woodworking and sustainable woodland management.

The session includes:

* Tool review - an overview of the various tools available for spoon carving and similar projects
* Timber selection - what type of wood and what parts of the log are best and what to avoid
* Spoon design - overview of the proportions and features of spoons for different uses
* Cleaving/splitting timber - use of axe and froe for reducing thickness of wood
* Safe and effective axe and knife skills - demonstration and practicing numerous axe and knife techniques to enable you shape timber
* Finishes - information of various types of product to protect

At the end of the session you will leave with all your fingers, a spoon and the confidence to carve on your own. The classes are hosted within an ancient woodland site. The class is a perfect starting point for anyone thinking about taking up green woodworking or spoon carving and for novice spoon carvers wishing to improve.

There is a maximum of 4 places per class. If none of the dates suit get in touch as we can often arrange bespoke classes.

About the venue:

When the weather permits the classes will be held in a semi-covered woodland clearing, at other times in a well equipped workshop, situated in 23 acres of ancient woodland in the Elham valley area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB).

The woodland is managed to continuously supply timber as a material and fuel, to enhance biodiversity and natural stability and for amenity value.

Booking:

Please click the "Chat with the maker" button to get in touch for booking details and to enquire about the availability of places.

I typically reply within hours - please check your spam folder if you don't receive a reply.

Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 4 weeks before the course starts. Start dates may be amended on request.

What's included in the price?

Use of tools
Wood for carving
Refreshments - Tea, Coffee, Biscuits etc
Lunch - Homemade and local produce, will cater for dietary requirements

Maker

Mark Saich at Walderchain Wood

Venue

Woodland Farm
Walderchain
Canterbury
Kent
CT4 6NS

Suitable for

  • Accommodation offered
  • Adults
  • Corporate days out & team building
  • Easter
  • Engagement, birthdays & anniversaries
  • Fathers Day
  • Intermediate level
  • Mothers Day
  • Parking provided
  • Seniors
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Teenagers
  • UK Holiday

Duration

1 day (9:30am to 5:00pm)

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.


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Reviews

In-person course
Lisa Cullingworth - - #34193

James and I had a wonderful time learning the skill of spoon carving at Walderchain Wood. It is a beautiful, tranquil setting and with Mark's expertise we were able to go home with a freshly carved spoon each and the confidence to give it another go on our own! Christina provided us with a beautiful homemade veggie/vegan meal and a delicious chocolate cake for afters! This really is a wonderful setting to reset your mind and channel your focus on something new in the great outdoors. We are excited to get stuck in on other projects and will definitely be back if future courses are available. Thank you both!

Response from Walderchain Wood:

Lisa,
Thank you for the lovely feedback.
Glad you both had such a good day.
Look forward to seeing your future creations.
ATB
Mark & Cristina

In-person course
Sandra kerns - - #33873

We did this class as a family of four. We had a brilliant day in the woods,under a parachute tent, with a log fire and our teacher Mark. Mark was very knowledgeable and gave us great instruction to be able to make our spoons. He was very encouraging and took us through each step so that we felt we could achieve the result we wanted. Lunch was a wonderful meal of fresh bread and lovely home made salads, with coffee and cake for dessert. All in all a great experience that I would thoroughly recommend.

Response from Walderchain Wood:

Sandra
Thank you for the feedback, much appreciated.
Glad you enjoyed the day.
All the best
Mark and Cristina

In-person course
Kate Hickey - - #33867

Absolutely loved spending a day in the beautiful Walderchain woods (June 2021) and hope to go back for another course one day. Mark was an excellent teacher - super knowledgeable and friendly. The peaceful camp, tea brewed on the fire, sounds of the woodland - all made for a fantastic experience. I would thoroughly recommend to anyone who is curious about spoon carving or has already had a go and wants to improve. Lunch was also top class :)

Response from Walderchain Wood:

Hi Kate
Thank you for the kind words - and do come back for more!
Mark

In-person course
Sylvia Mann - - #33456

A great day. Friendly and relaxed atmosphere and a lot of help and support carving the spoons using an axe - a very different technique for me having only used knives. Thoroughly recommended.

Response from Walderchain Wood:

Hi Sylvia
Thank you for review. Glad you enjoyed the day. Keep on whittling!
All the best
Mark and Cristina

In-person course
Helen - - #33401

I arrived as a complete beginner, after a day of tuition from Mark I feel confident to purchase some tools and start carving spoons at home. The whole day was fantastic, Mark is an excellent teacher and explained every step of the process very clearly. There was plenty of opportunity to try a variety of different tools and Mark gave good advice on how to use them correctly and safely. I look forward to learning more if the opportunity arises for a follow on course.

Response from Walderchain Wood:

Hi Helen
Thank you for the feedback.
You produced some very neat work, stick at it. New classes are on the cards, and we'd love to see you back.
All the best
Mark

In-person course
Adam - - #33384

Did this course today and would fully recommend it. Mark is extremely knowledgeable and was able to work with multiple students all having different abilities and strengths.
The day goes so fast being set in a beautiful woodland where you can concentrate on carving and take on the instructions that Mark gives you to improve your technique.

The lunch provided was amazing, always eat the cake :D

Response from Walderchain Wood:

Adam, thank you for taking the time to leave feedback. Glad to hear you enjoyed the day.
Keep at the carving, spoon by spoon it gets easier...

All the best
Mark and Cristina

In-person course
Martin - - #33242

Secluded wood, 50 mph winds with strangers euipped with axes and knives. Not a horror story but just a great day of spoon carving with Mark Saich.
Course moved into the barn with a wood burner. Mark is an excellent tutor allowing the delegates to get on with their spoon. Clear explanations and always emphasising the safety aspects of using the various tools.
Mark was also very mindful of covid regulations.
No hesitation in recommending this course to anyone who is interested in working with greenwood or just looking for a new hobby that allows you to unwind.
Cristina provided an excellent lunch, thank you.

Response from Walderchain Wood:

Martin

Thank you for taking the time to review the class.
It was a bit breezy wasn't it. Glad you enjoyed the day. Keep up the good work and hope you're getting some use of your new tools.

All the best
Mark and Cristina

In-person course
Katherine Trotter - - #33146

I really enjoyed this spoon carving day course. Mark the instructor is a wealth of knowledge on the subject and I had a great day. Would recommend and do it again.
All the best from Kat Trotter

Response from Walderchain Wood:

Katherine, thank you for joining us and glad you had a great day.

All the best

Mark and Cristina

In-person course
Lynn and Chris - - #33127

Fantastic course in a beautiful place with excellent tuition. Mark is a very experienced and attentive teacher with a real passion for his craft. As beginners, for us it was an excellent introduction to using a range of tools and working with greenwood. Lunch was delicious. We came away very inspired to do more. Would highly recommend.
Lynn and Chris

Response from Walderchain Wood:

Hi, thank you for joining us and glad to hear you enjoyed the day.
Hopefully you'll be viewing the branches in a slightly different way when you are on your woodland walks...
Keep at it you both made great spoons.

All the best
Mark and Cristina

In-person course
Liam - - #32951

Both myself and my girlfriend had an an amazing day carving spoons with Mark. It was both our first time trying this out and we fell in love with it!! Everything was very well organised, professional and very safe. We would definitely recommend it to anyone looking to immerse themselves in nature and experience a rewarding activity. We hope to go back ASAP!!

Response from Walderchain Wood:

Liam

Thank you for the review. Happy to hear you both enjoyed the day and that you're up for more.

All the best
Mark and Cristina

In-person course
Louise - - #32947

I spent a wonderful day in Walderchain Woods with my dad, learning to carve spoons. Mark was a fantastic host and led the day with just the right mix of safety warnings (axes/knives....!) and chilled attitude. We learnt some tricks and tips.

A delicious, warming, homemade soup was just the ticket at lunchtime (thanks to Mark’s wife), along with a very tasty cake!

I can’t recommend this course highly enough, it was absolutely fabulous- we all came away with all the fingers we had arrived with and with a newly crafted spoon each! We’ll be back again in the future, that’s for sure.

Response from Walderchain Wood:

Louise

Thank you for the kind words. Glad you both had such a good day.
Look forward to seeing you back here and good luck with the forest school.

All the best
Mark and Cristina

In-person course
Julie - - #32944

Sooky and I went and spent a lovely day with Mark amongst the glorious bluebell wood setting.
We both came away with all our fingers, two spoons and an insight into axe crafting.
The day was paced beautifully,informative and Covid aware.
Mark was a great instructor,and had patience with our lack of skill with an axe or blade, and Christina's food delicious, and we also had the company of Ted the dog.
Would highly recommend this day to friends and family.

Response from Walderchain Wood:

Thank you for review.
Glad you both enjoyed it. It was a great day and group - especially when the rain blew away.

All the best
Mark and Cristina

In-person course
Blaise - - #32763

My partner surprised me with this course for my birthday and we had a phenomenal time crafting in Mark’s magical woodland!

Mark is a highly knowledgeable and engaging instructor who made learning proper axe and knife skills fun. His teachings coupled with Christina’s scrumptious homemade soup and cake made for a marvelous day. Can’t recommend this course enough!

Response from Walderchain Wood:

Blaise,

Thank you for taking time to review the class. Glad to hear you had a good time. It was a great spoon by the way.

All the best
Mark and Cristina

In-person course
Greg - - #32760

It was my second trip to Mark and Cristina's in Walderchain Wood. Had another great day. A day in the woods with Mark and a handful of like-minded souls was just what I needed at what is hopefully the end of lockdown.

If you have any interest in this kind of thing please just book and go. You'll have a great day. Great instruction and a lovely lunch from very kind lovely people.

Response from Walderchain Wood:

Greg

Nice to see you again and glad to hear you enjoyed the day.

All the best

Mark and Cristina

In-person course
Chris - - #32724

My wife brought me the course as a Christmas present. I had an absolutely brilliant day - thanks to you Mark and Jill for your great teaching and super hospitality. I'd love to repeat the day or a parallel course when one is available! I'll lobby my wife!

For everyone else, this course could be for you - that is, ; if you'd like to learn how to safely use woodcarving axes and knives; learn about wood; spend the day away from your work and focus on something else; oh, and to make your own spoon !

Response from Walderchain Wood:

Chris

Thank you for your review. Great to hear you enjoyed the day.
Do come back for another session. There are a few places left in the autumn and next year I should have extra dates and new classes.

All the best
Mark and Cristina

In-person course
Adrian Joy - - #32714

Fantastic day. Been looking forward to it since my wife gave the day as a gift. We were lucky with the weather, Mark was a great teacher, showing every step of the way with a good range of tools to test / try. I can’t recommend this course enough. I want more!

Response from Walderchain Wood:

Adrian,

Thank you for the review.
Glad you enjoyed the day and found it useful.
Do come back for more :)

Mark

In-person course
James Bellinger - - #29658

Really good day out. Excellent instructions and genuine hands on experience from log to spoon. Really fun and would recommend.

Response from Walderchain Wood:

Thank you for your review. Glad you enjoyed the day.
All the best
Mark

In-person course
Diego - - #29651

Excellent day at Walderchain Woods, everything was explained well, great tools and environment to do the course. Strongly recommend.

Response from Walderchain Wood:

Thank you for your review. It was a great day, glad you enjoyed it.
ATB
Mark

In-person course
Kate Barnett - - #26073

I booked the course as an anniversary present for my husband and I. We had an absolutely fabulous day out in the woods spending some quality time together!
Mark and Jill are brilliant teachers, sharing their skill and knowledge. We had a great time picking up a new craft surprisingly quickly! We both headed home with spoons to be proud of and all of our fingers still in place!
The food was lovely, the setting authentic and the company friendly! Brilliant day! Would recommend to anyone!!

In-person course
Luke Johnston-Smith - - #25575

The day was fantastic and the team were brilliant. I have not only gone out and bought my own axe and bits but have treated my brothers to the same fun. Wonderfully relaxing and a great environment.

Thanks to all the team.

Response from Walderchain Wood:

Luke
Thank you for your review, glad you enjoyed the day and have caught the bug...
Looking forward to seeing the fruits of your labours...

ATB
Mark, Cristina and Jill

In-person course
Aileen Rowe - - #24953

I purchased this as a gift for myself, and could not have made a better choice. The venue is is beautiful and very relaxing. Mark and Jill are very friendly, welcoming and generous with their instruction and advice. The whole day was one to remember. I have learnt a set of new skills, and have the confidence now to continue independently. I highly recommend this course.

Response from Walderchain Wood:

Aileen,
Thank you for taking the time to review the class.
We're glad you got so much out of the day. Looking forward to seeing your next spoons.
Have fun.
ATB
Mark, Cristina and Jill

In-person course
Ben Glazebrook - - #24936

Read more

Response from Walderchain Wood:

Ben,
Thank you for such a nice review.
It was a great day spent with lovely people, so glad you enjoyed the day.
ATB
Mark, Cristina and Jill

In-person course
Fiona - - #23392

I bought this as a present for my husband, Kevin. We both had a great time. The location makes for a special setting to learn wood carving.

Mark was very good and very generous with his knowledge. He was patient throughout and ensured everyone had something resembling a spoon at the end of the day.

There was something very restful about working in the woods and all you could hear was the tools tapping on wood. With the smell of wood smoke coming from the fire pit (on which your elevenses was brewed) just added to the whole atmosphere.

I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in learning how to wood carve.

Response from Walderchain Wood:

Fiona,

Thank you for your review. We're glad you both enjoyed your day here and that Kevin is keen to continue with the spoon carving. Maybe we'll see you back here sometime.

ATB
Mark

In-person course
Greg Shimmin - - #23390

I had a brilliant day and can't recommend this enough.
Mark and Christina are great hosts. You learn so much in a fantastic setting. Mark knows his stuff and passes it on in a very relaxed but informed way.
Lunch was brilliant too. I loved it. If you've any interest in this kind of thing just book it. You won't be disappointed.

Response from Walderchain Wood:

Greg

Thank you for your review and so glad you enjoyed your day.

All the best

Mark and Cristina

In-person course
Tony - - #22981

My son, his partner, my best friend and me all have a birthday within a couple of weeks of each other, what better way to celebrate than spending a day in the woods with Mark and Christina learning to carve spoons. They are wonderful hosts. The course is very gentle and Mark's is a brilliant teacher. It was nice to meet the other carvers, the food was delicious... And we made some surprisingly reasonable spoons. We would all come back again and thoroughly recommend Walderchain Woods.

Response from Walderchain Wood:

Tony
Glad to hear you all enjoyed the class. It was a lovely day and group did great.
Hope to see you here again..
ATB
Mark

In-person course
Hatty - - #22632

Some friends arranged for my husband and I to participate on this course as a wedding present. We went as a four, without much expectation nor any experience in carving wood..and we had the most amazing day! It was a brilliant gift idea, extremely therapeutic, satisfying and fun to do with good friends in an incredible setting. Mark is a fantastic teacher. He is calm, patient, very knowledgable yet relatable. He really encouraged us to become confident with our equipment, and each one of us made a beautiful hand carved wooden spoon as a result! Cristina was also warm and welcoming, and made us a delicious lunch during our midday break. Walderchain Wood is a beautiful, natural environment where the birds sing and the leaves are green. I couldn't recommend more. 5 stars!

In-person course
Dan Emmerson - - #22606

What a great experience! Mark was a very attentive and patient teacher, we came away from the course having gained many transferable craft techniques.

The 'king' provided was absolutely delicious, with lots of fresh produce and a cake!

Would highly highly recommend to anyone!

10/10

Response from Walderchain Wood:

Dan, thank you for the review. The day was a blast, I had a wonderful time. You all made great spoons.
Long live the king ;)

In-person course
Isabelle Sporidis - - #22520

You guys! I nearly cried. Not because I was sad but because you actually helped me get over my fear of very sharp pointy knives. So if you think you are too weedy to handle a whacking great axe or deal with sharp tools - think again. I have a genuine phobia and the patience and care I was shown was worth 3 years of therapy! I also made a pretty nifty spoon and enjoyed a hilarious lunch with fellow spooners. You only get nice people doing this course. You will make a spoon. You will have fun. What's not to like?

Response from Walderchain Wood:

Isobelle, now you have got a 'handle' on the blades there will be no stopping you! Great to have have you here and glad you got so much out of the day.
ATB
Mark

In-person course
Iain Sutherland - - #22477

A very enjoyable day, in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. The instructions were clear, concise and to the point.
I feel it is necessary to have reasonable manual dexterity to get the most out of the day.

Response from Walderchain Wood:

Thank you for your kind words. Glad you enjoyed the day. You're right a reasonable level of manual dexterity is required but no super human skill or energy...
ATB
Mark

In-person course
Luke Mansell - - #22468

Read more

Response from Walderchain Wood:

Luke,
Thank you for the review.
Youtube vids can be great as long as you watch the right ones. Hopefully the links I sent you will help develop your technique further.
Great spoon from you on the day, we have high expectations for you and look forward to seeing your next creations.
TTFN
Mark

In-person course
Jenny Day - - #21565

What a fantastic day! Thank you so much Mark and Jill for providing such an inspirational course. Your enthusiasm, thoroughness, patience and support gave me great confidence and I was so proud of what I achieved. And to be working in such magical surroundings in the middle of a bluebell wood. It was a very full day, so much excellent advice on techniques, types of wood, tools, health and safety.Thank you too Christina for a feast of a lunch and cake! I could not recommend this course enough. This would make a memorable and superb gift. Just loved it.

Response from Walderchain Wood:

It was a great day, so glad I held the class outside - the weather so much better than the forecast. Glad you enjoyed it all.
All the best
Mark

In-person course
Katia - - #20215

Thanks a lot for a great day, it was thoroughly enjoyable and I am proud of my efforts and resulting spoon (though my kids are less impressed ;-). The setting is spot on, the teachers are knowledgeable and super friendly and the tools very sharp indeed (lol!). I will be back with my friend for sure. If anyone is reading this comment, do not hesitate, do this workshop, you won't regret it one bit, I give you my word!

Response from Walderchain Wood:

Thank you for your review.
We're glad you enjoyed the day. Love to see you back here, if you come in the summer months we should be out in the woodland teaching area.
ATB
Mark

In-person course
Jenny - - #17860

I’ve just had a fantastic day, thank you Mark! I absolutely loved it and am seriously keen to continue carving! The setting was perfect, and for the first time in a long while, I completely lost track of time. Wonderful!

Response from Walderchain Wood:

Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed the day and glad to hear you want to do more. Spending the whole day in the wood was good 'de-compression' for me too. All the best, Mark

In-person course
Jim - - #17159

What a fantastic day in a beautiful setting with such friendly, patient, passionate and knowledgeable teachers. I can't wait to it again!! Not because I was particularly proud of my spoon but because I had enjoyed the process and methods of making it so much. By lunchtime you become completely immersed in the craft and switch off from the outside world. Thank you Mark and Jill

Response from Walderchain Wood:

Thank you for you review.
Glad you enjoyed your day.
Lots more classes next year if you do fancy a return trip.

In-person course
Richard Hawkes - - #17156

I've now done this course twice, which I guess says something in itself !
The first time was with my 8 year old son. Mark & Jill were (rightly !) concerned about an 8 year old doing the spoon carving course given how sharp the tools are and the coordination required. They remained immensely professional about it but facilitated making it possible for Oscar to take part just like any adult. Both he and I has such an amazing day. I couldn't recommend it highly enough. Just DO IT ! 2 years later and following a 2nd trip where I brought our whole office to carve spoons out of logs we all still talk about it very fondly. I'm also pleased to say that 2 years later we're still using all the spoons we made :-) You can never have enough wooden spoons. Think I need to organise another trip . . . !

Response from Walderchain Wood:

Glad you both enjoyed your day.
Oscar did really well - amazing work for an 8 year old.

In-person course
Audrey Clarke - - #16786

I had a great day on Saturday in the woods carving my spoon, with some lovely company and great tuition from Mark. Lunch was good too! Wonderful opportunity to do something different in a lovely location. I would also recommend it as my fellow spooner has! I would love to have another go.

Response from Walderchain Wood:

Thank you for your review.

I'm glad you enjoyed the day and are up for more!

All the best
Mark

In-person course
Marie-Claire - - #16728

My 13yr old son Conor and I had a lovely day yesterday on the spoon carving course. Mark was a great, patient teacher who has a wealth of knowledge about carving and wood. We had a lovely walk around his woods which was very informative and a great homemade lunch of soup and cake. A great day that I’d highly recommend to anyone interested in outdoor activities.

Response from Walderchain Wood:

Thank you very much.

I'm glad you both enjoyed your day.

Lots of tool shopping next, I guess.

ATB
Mark

In-person course
Virginie Daniau - - #15756

My daughter attended the workshop this weekend and had a wonderful time. She has managed to carve a great spoon even if it was a beginner.

Response from Walderchain Wood:

Many thanks for your review.

We're glad Sara enjoyed the class. She did very well. We were particularly impressed with how quickly she took to the axe work.

All the best

Mark

In-person course
DAWN STOCKLEY - - #15734

Wow, what a day. Mark and Jill are amazing teachers in the art of spoon carving. The workshop is in the most beautiful location and a fantastic lunch was provided by Christina. We had been waiting for a date for a year to do the course due to other commitments but the wait was well and truly worth it. The course is about far more than learning to carve a spoon. You learn all about the tools and how to use them safely, information about what wood to use and a lovely walk around Marks woods. If you are considering doing the couse think no more, get on and book it. You will not be disappointed.

Response from Walderchain Wood:

Many thanks for your review.

We're glad you enjoyed the day.

Watch this page for future classes.

All the best

Mark

In-person course
Gary Bickmore - - #14501

Beautiful location and blessed with fantastic weather. I had a brilliant day and learnt so much that I can take away and apply myself at home. Mark and Jill are patient and expert teachers that support and guide you throughout the day. Excellent advice on techniques and equipment that you might want to look out for should you choose to take up this art. A delicious home made lunch and a nice walk through the woodland with advice on tree types and things like coppicing and woodland management. I couldn’t have asked for a better first experience spoon carving and have gone away with knowledge that will last a lifetime. Thanks to everyone at Walderchain Wood.

In-person course
Paula - - #12080

Mark very welcoming on arrival and very patient with his teaching. Very hands on and practical. Really had a great day learning how to safely use an axe and different knives. Lunch was wholesome and home made. The best bit was coming away with a spoon that I had carved myself.
Thank you for sharing your skills.

In-person course
Iso - - #11974

A great sunlit day with Mark and Jill at Mark's workshop in autumn-bright beautiful woodland. These two experts gave us excellent hands-on teaching of axe and knife work, tips on wood types and spoon design, plus plenty of tool envy opportunities - all accompanied by much good humour and Chris's fabulous lunch. Thank you!

In-person course
Barbara - - #11910

I was looking for an unusual early Christmas present for my partner and this course was brilliant. We had a very good time with Mark and Jill and thanks to their skills and patience, we both managed to carve great spoons, enjoy a delicious meal and have a nice walk in the woods.

In-person course
Emma - - #11868

If you love crafts and want to try something new, this is an unforgettable day’s course.

The skills Mark and Jill have are incredible, they taught me (a complete novice) to carve the most amazing spoon.

I’d thoroughly recommend you to sign up, I would definitely return to learn something else.

Carving is so good for the soul.

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