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Turn a wooden bowl on a traditional pole lathe

Traditional Bowl Turning Lathe

About the Course

All courses up to the end of June are currently postponed due to Covid 19 virus. Please contact me via this website or my email if you are interested in courses in the future.

Please contact me via my website to discuss dates before booking.

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 either email or phone me for more information or to arrange a time.

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.

Adults only

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.

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.


Stephen Ridd at Northern Wood Monkey
27 Guessburn
NE43 7QP
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Suitable for

  • Public transport
  • Suitable for beginners

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9.30 am - 5 pm

Available dates:


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!

In-person course
- - #29194

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

In-person course
- - #29080

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In-person course
- - #28584

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!

In-person course
- - #27464

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In-person course
- - #23624

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.

In-person course
- - #22179

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.

In-person course
- - #20675

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.

In-person course
- - #20648

Fabulous afternoon. Great encouraging atmosphere. Everyone smiled from start to finish! Very pleased with the finished Fan Bird.

In-person course
- - #20634

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.

In-person course
- - #20330

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

In-person course
- - #19946

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!

In-person course
- - #18378

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