Stool making experience - rustic carpentry & green wood work
Contact course provider
About the Course
This unique green woodworking stool making course is an opportunity to 'unplug & slow down' & take a step into the rural life of an old fashioned village carpenter. During this very 'hands on' experience you will learn many traditional carpentry skills & techniques using a selection of beautiful old hand tools.
You will walk away with a beautiful solid oak stool with a high quality finish (good enough to sell!) and made to last. Oak is used most of the time but sometimes there will be elm and ash timbers too.
The course fee is £85 per person for small groups of up to 4 people, so that everyone has plenty of time and space. If you would like to come one-on-one then the fee is £95.
The Rustic Carpentry workshop is an historic old tithe barn on a farm which is 5 mins drive from Loughborough train station (we can collect you from the station!)and right in the heart of The National Forest. We specialise in the ancient and traditional art of green wood working & rustic carpentry, coppicing and bush craft skills.
Ian Varley is a rustic oak furniture maker so most of his time is spent on commissions such as rustic benches and seating for parks and woodlands, play structures, cleft fencing and oak timber framing. Ian specialises in creating handcrafted unique pieces and use only timber sourced from sustainably managed woodlands within the boundaries of the national forest. Please click through to our website above to see examples of our work.
'I look forward to teaching you the way of the grain and you will leave my workshop with a fabulous rustic hard wood stool.'
If booking with a CraftCourses voucher for part or all of the course fee, please fill in the contact form above or telephone us. Your voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.
What's included in the price?
All materials, tools and hot drinks & as many biscuits as you can eat.
Great time. Ian very patient and informative, taking through the whole process and learning all sorts of things. And you leave with a lovely stool that it's totally unique to you. We had a great time. Would definitely recommend.
Miriam - - #11763
Ian is a top bloke very patient and knowledgeable. It was a relaxed day working with my hands to create something myself with Ian's guidance that I could take home at the end of the day. Highly recommend.
Bryan Rampton - - #11655
We spent an absolutely fantastic half day at Ian's workshop making a pair of rustic stools. With little prior knowledge of the skills involved, Ian taught the basics of green woodworking, and through his gentle guidance and demonstration, we learnt so much from the day and returned home with two beautiful stools that we are so proud of. Ian's workshop is wonderful - full of interesting bits and bobs, and it was great to spend time with someone so dedicated and enthusiastic about his craft. We hope to return soon on another of his workshop days - and would highly recommend Ian's courses to anybody- keen woodworker or complete novice. Thank you Ian!
Olivia & Liam - - #11644
This course given to me as a gift from my daughter and my son in law. I had a really enjoyable and productive time with Ian in his workshop. I made the stool using the techniques taught and had the pleasure of learning about tools to not generally used in furniture production today. In the end I produced under Ian's guidance a very rustic stool.
Mike - - #11484
I attended this course with no previous experience of green wood working and it was an excellent introduction to a wide range of skills. Ian is patient, friendly and highly experienced in his craft. The course is also a great opportunity for a digital detox, time to disconnect from the world and focus on making something beautiful, we should all do a bit more of this! Mary
MaryEluned - - #11389
Ian's work shop was absolutely brill! Great vibe. Great skills to learn. Ian really knows his stuff and leads the course great. Would highly recommend t0 anyone considering a good day out with friends or family.
Will diffidently sign up for Ian's future wood working courses.
Patrica Ovens - - #11381
Truly amazing session. Wow!
I've no knowledge or skills in traditional wood working and want to learn from Ian who has been highly recommended.
I really liked the talked about traditional wood working skills. I would well recommend Ians workshops. 5 star. Amazing. :)
stefan Thomas - - #11338
We had a great time woodworking with Ian, my children (7 & 10) made walking staffs which are now regularly used on walks. They learned about the traditional tools they used, the different types of wood and found themselves immersed in 'the making'.
Ian is a natural teacher with a very gentle & patient manner and his passion for the craft is inspiring.
Renee Brailsford - - #11319
Wow, I have just spent an afternoon with Ian. I am exhausted and elated!! I left with my beautiful stool and a mind full of greenwood working advice. I hope to return soon to learn more from this amazing craftsman. Thank you so much, our time together was truly inspiring.
Mart S - - #11286
I enjoyed the day from start to finish. Learnt some great new skills and have come home with a beautiful stool. I'd definitely recommend this course.
Jacquee - - #11012
What a great experience that turned out to be !.........enjoyed the whole day & feeling quite proud of myself for making a lovely stool.......looking forward to doing another one of Ian's courses....top bloke!!!
brian - - #11011
What a great course! Ian is a great teacher and loves what he dose. I really enjoyed it and would 100% recommend it! Thanks Ian!
Ben - - #10891
I have recently been on Ian's stool making course at his wonderful tithe barn workshop, just outside barrow upon Soar. From the offset it was a great experience. I was introduced to the concepts of greenwood working and the related tools and their use. He is a proper craftsman and takes the time and patience to explain the various stages of construction, using his wonderful array of high quality woodworking tools. I would thoroughly recommend Ian and his courses to anyone with an interest in this field. Plus you get to take home what you have made on the day!
Simon c Ford - - #10885
Ian is a master. He has the the skill of a hundred men. I made a stunning stool with no previous knowledge. I left after my time with ian on cloud nine. Id highly recconmend this course.
Alec pearson - - #10848
My wife was scouring the internet looking for a unique 5 year wedding anniversary gift and found Ian's website... and im very glad she did.
My brother and I met Ian at his workshop on the Saturday morning, and the first job was to make a wooden mallet out of what seemed an old tree trunk! That was hard work in itself, learning how to effectively swing a hatchet. We then spent the day using various woodworking tools to make a rustic oak table using traditional methods. With a hour or so ledt over, we were also able to make a walking stick each.
My table now has pride of place in my living room, the walking stick is used frequently when we're off rambling.
Would I recommend this course? Without hesitation! Ian was a great laugh, full of patience and funny anecdotes as we crafted away... oh and tea. Plenty of tea!
Robert Banks - - #10777
I have met Ian a few times at different country shows and I always show an interest in what he is making. Wood working is an hobby of mine and to my surprise my wife and children had booked me on to one of Ian's courses. I had a wonderful time. I learnt new skills and how to use the old traditional hand tools. I have since bought myself some. I had such a wonderful day that I have booked to go again in a couple of weeks time. Ian is a very easy going and skilled person, I learnt a lot from him. I would recommend his courses to all.
Darren White - - #10728
Such a good experience. Ian is knowledgeable, patient and fun. The time he spent showing us how to make our stools was impressive. He really felt for the wood and our hands working it and managed to pass on that empathy.
The finished article is saleable yes, but its going to stay with me to remind me of an ace day. Thanks Ian!
Phil Leng - - #10711
This was a lovely surprise gift from family. The experience was very enjoyable and engaging creating this beautiful oak stool using traditional methods by hand. Ian was a relaxed, friendly and helpful teacher with good hints and tips on using the tools. It was a great experience to receive and I would certainly recommend this experience to all.
Martin - - #10635
I attended one of Ian's workshops a couple of weeks ago with my daughter as a friend recommended him to me.
I was slightly apprehensive as I've no knowledge or skills in traditional wood working and didn't no what to expect.
On our arrival we were both greeted by Ian who was a softly spoken very welcoming gentleman, he explained what he did for a living and talked about traditional wood working skills.
Whilst there my daughter and myself made stools under the watchful eye and guidance of Ian, the whole experience was amazing for both of us and Ian amazing workshop just added to the feel of such a creative process.
I would strongly recommend this to anyone, great day awesome Guy.
We will definitely be back soon.
Mick - - #10634
Ian was excellent throughout the workshop and showed patience, understanding and a great attitude to my 10yr old daughter. He encouraged her with how to use the tools correctly without being over-bearing and was patient with her when she complained about it being hard work!
Ruby came away with a great stall she made with Ian and has been very proud to show and tell every visitor to the garden about how she made it from just "lumps of wood".
I'd recommend Ian and his workshops to anyone who wants to learn rustic and traditional carpentry skills using traditional methods and tools.
Alan Ranger - - #10579
Ian's workshop was absolutely brilliant - I bought it as a gift and couldn't have been happier with how well it went down! My husband learnt so many new skills and crafted his own stool which is now a favourite piece of furniture in our home. Ian was so incredibly friendly and helpful, he really does offer a warm and inviting experience which you won't forget. I'd highly recommend his workshops!
Kathryn Pattison - - #10571
Review this course
Course Start Dates
Course dates are flexible; please get in touch for the next available date.
- Accessible by public transport
- Child friendly
- Disabled access
- Suitable for events & groups
- Teen friendly
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.