This is suitable for complete beginners but will provide enough challenges for people with some experience of wood turning.
You will be using a traditional foot-powered bowl lathe to turn a greenwood log into a bowl that will be just the job for your morning cereal or soups and stews.
Through the day we will discuss the build of the lathe, types of wood used and the variety of handmade tools that can be used to turn with.
We will begin by using safe techniques to axe out a 'bowl blank' from a greenwood log, mounting it on the lathe, then working our way through all the stages to complete your first turned bowl. There is ample time to get to grips with the different tools used in the process and to chat about the techniques used.
This is a one to one course in my workshop. The course dates are flexible depending on demand and can run on weekdays or weekends, so if you would like to discuss a date then get in touch.
It is a physically demanding process and a reasonable level of fitness is needed, and we will take regular breaks throughout the day. If you have knee, back or hip problems it may not be for you.
PLEASE CONTACT ME BEFORE BOOKING A DATE - I run these sessions on dates that work for both of us so please get in touch before booking to ensure your preferred date is available. Use the 'Chat with the maker' button to do this.
Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 4 weeks before the course starts. Start dates may be amended on request.
All tools and materials are provided.
I will provide a simple vegetarian lunch of soup and bread and there will be plenty of refreshments available throughout the day to keep you going.
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Superb tuition. Modelled each part of the intricate and challenging process with patience.
Plenty of time for coffee/tea. Soup and bread at lunch. A solid day's work. Really enjoyable.
I have a lovely beech bowl when dried for another 2 weeks and finished with walnut oil will be ready for some porridge!
I had the pleasure of attending this course recently. I'd never done anything like this before and hadn't worked with wood since woodworking class at school!
Steve was very friendly and talkative, full of knowledge and his passion for the craft showed. I was fascinated by the stories and facts that he shared and by the whole process of making a wooden bowl out of a seemingly unremarkable log.
I saw my skill with an axe go from zero, to almost competent and I managed to take a small gouge out of my finger (my own fault, the tools are sharp!), but it was worth every moment.
Ironically, the little wooden bowl I came away with is now not only the most expensive bowl I own, but one of my most cherished possessions! I can't wait to get some walnut oil on it!
I've already recommended the course to a few friends, I'd recommend it to anybody
Thanks again Steve
I had spent the last 2 years building things out of wood - after watching a wood turning video on YouTube I’d mentioned that I’d like to give it a go.
My wife booked me a course with Steve in February 2020 as a Christmas present.
After a very nervous and excited drive to Steve’s house I was greeted warmly and he chauffeured me to his workshop which sits neatly in an allotment plot.
As soon as you walk in - it is clear that you’re going to be going back to you’re roots the hard way.
Everything is covered in the course - from knowing what you’re looking for in a quality piece of greenwood, sawing the log to shape, manually chopping the wood to a shape that somewhat resembles a bowl (with a sharp hatchet) to actually turning the wood.
Steve doesn’t stand over you're shoulder and encourages you to get stuck in.
Be prepared for hard graft.
Wood turning on a treadle lathe is a challenge but very rewarding and with Steve’s help I managed to “turn” out with a Beechwood bowl.
Thanks Steve - I’m already looking at adapting my garage to accommodate a lathe.
I had a really fantastic day learning how to turn a wooden bowl. Steve is a great teacher and the course provides just the right amount of challenge while not being too overwhelming for a beginner. Highly recommended!
I can heartily recommend doing one of Steve's (Northern Wood Monkey) courses.
I have done two courses with Steve . The first was a spoon making day with my wife and a few others. This was great fun and we came away with two serviceable rough spoons which we have since finished off at home, with guidance (and some sand paper) from Steve. Throughout, Steve gave good guidance and helped out when we agreed it was needed (quite often in my case). Steve also provided refreshments and soup / bread at lunch time from wooden bowls and spoons of his making.
Drinking soup from Steve's bowl prompted me to do an individual day's course, turning a bowl using a pole lathe in Steve's little workshop in the Tyne Valley. We started with a half log (!) which Steve helped me axe down to a good shape to then turn on the pole lathe. Again, Steve gave just enough help throughout - leaving me to work (slowly!) away for most of the time and provided refreshments and more soup and bread. Having started with the half log, I went away with a bowl I could finish with a little hand carving (smoothing the internal and external bottom) and then removing the rough bits before sanding and oiling.
I am very proud of my lovely bowl (and spoon) and look forward to using them for years to come.
However, the main thing is I had this massive sense of achievement - completing something of beauty with my own hand and muscle and using a lovely simple set of tools to do so.
Just done this course yesterday and with Steve’s excellent guidance managed to make two birds during the afternoon! It was great fun and felt wonderful to be working with wood, so I’ll be back for the spoon-making course. Highly recommended.
Although I am not at all ‘crafty’, I managed, with Steve’s wonderful guidance and help, to make a presentable fanbird, and only 4 plasters required. It was great fun and I felt I learned a lot.
Steven is a patient teacher who makes you feel at ease learning a new skill. The course is challenging, entertaining, relaxing (sort of!) and you end up with an excellent product to show off and amaze your friends with.
Fabulous afternoon. Great encouraging atmosphere. Everyone smiled from start to finish! Very pleased with the finished Fan Bird.
It was an absolutely wonderful and engaging course where I was able to produce work I was proud of. Everything was well explained, step-by-step and I've taken away a lot of new skills. I can't wait to continue making these lovely Fan Birds at home.
A highly rewarding and relaxing afternoon. Just the right level of challenge and a finished product to be proud of. Steve's directions and support throughout the session were patient and clear. patient
A great course and excellent value for money
Fantastic course delivered by a superb tutor! Really enjoyed the process and making something unique by hand. The Fan Bird already has pride of place hanging in my hallway!