Course Start Dates
Course dates are flexible; please get in touch for the next available date.
Come and enjoy a week in the woods learning how to make your own chair. Suitable for all levels of experience. You will take home the chair you’ve made!
Beginners can choose to make a single bow Windsor or the Continuous Arm Windsor, more experienced makers can make a Welsh Windsor, Child’s Chair, or give us your ideas and we’ll try and incorporate them!
You will start by selecting the 'right log' for you from locally harvested, green (unseasoned) Ash. You'll split (cleave) your log, axe and draw knife each billet before learning how to turn ‘bamboo style’ legs on the pole lathe, perfecting the gouge and smoothing chisels.
You’ll learn how to cleave both short spindles and a longer piece for the steam bent back of your chair and then join in the excitement of steam bending. The parts you've made are then seasoned while you shape your Ash seat using traditional adzes, inshaves, travishers and scrapers. The final day is spent assembling the parts before you take home your very own chair you have made.
Day is 9.30 - 4.30 approx with a lovely campsite just a couple of minutes’ walk from the centre, it's a small friendly site with room for camping, caravan, camper van or hire one of their great wooden 'pods'.
Price of the course includes:
The use of all the tools you’ll need.
Copious amounts of tea, coffee and biscuits.
A lovely lunch with fresh home-made bread, soup of the day followed by fresh fruit.
All meals are vegetarian but do let us know if you have any other dietary requirements.This course gives you a thorough grounding in Windsor Chair Making. We focus on making a classic Windsor side chair.
What's included in the price?
Everything apart from accommodation is included in the price. That's all materials, the use of all the tools you'll ever need to make a chair, tea, coffee, biscuits, a hot lunch cooked in our woodland kitchen. This can be soup, ploughmans or maybe a hot pizza from our wood fired oven.
What a lovely way of spending a week!
I had never picked up a chisel, let alone a wood shaver, yet after 7 days working hard ,in a beautiful wood I have a fine windsor chair at which I stare lovingly, at the end of each day.
Peter is great teacher , incredibly patient and good humoured . What he achieved with this student is quite astonishing.
Add to this ,being under the trees all day, the best home made bread & soup for lunch and countless cups of tea and you have a perfect relaxing ,as well as very productive, holiday.
I had been looking for a quirky kitchen high stool and couldn't find one so when I found Peter Greenwood through Art in Action festival, I approached him with my request. Peter was supportive immediately even though I was going to be doing something different to the group I joined. I had no previous experience but a lot of enthusiasm.
Peter is a natural teacher with bucket loads of experience. He makes it easy to learn and can adapt to different levels of students. I had a wonderful time learning and making my high stool. Working with natural wood and tools brings us back to our essential nature and is just so good for the soul. I highly recommend this course for anyone wanting to try their hand at crafting wood and with a willingness to let go and surprise themselves!
I had a hugely enjoyable week on the Windsor chair making course. As a beginner I was a little apprehensive when I first arrived, but this soon passed as Peter explained each step of the process and was always on hand to help. Although it was hard work (I found muscles I never knew I had) it was also very relaxing and satisfying to take home my chair at the end of the week. In addition the woodland location is beautiful, the lunches are tasty, and there is a constant supply of coffee and biscuits. All of which make this a great course I would highly recommend.
Excellent course, the best I have been on so far, very good tutoring on a tricky design of chair! Do expect to work hard, but hugely satisfying to take home your dream chair. Lovely lunches, and most important plenty of tea and biscuits. Try a course, you will not be disappointed!
Peter Wood is one of the best craft teachers I have experienced. His Windsor chair course is educational, fun and immensely satisfying. I was a little apprehensive before the course with the prospect of using "primitive" tools (pole lathe, draw knives, adze, etc.) to make the chair but with Peter's guidance and a bit of work I am extremely proud of the end result.
I have been messing around on the pole lathe for many a year but never got round to actually making a full Windsor chair. I visited Greenwood Days about 3 years ago on the day of a sharpening course and was immediately impressed by Peter and his facilities. I came all the way from Northern Ireland special to attend Peters 7 day Windsor Chair course because of how highly I rated his knowledge skills and experience. I am so glad with the whole experience and the chair I made is now proudly housed in my brother's sitting room in London. I waited 15 years to actually go on a proper Greenwood chair making course, if you have an interest then don't make the mistake I did in leaving it so long. Book on the course today! I couldn't speak highly enough of this course or of Peter and would recommend it to the novice, improver or expert. Alexey Janes
Well where can I start
My children bought this for me as a 60th birthday present. Something I have always wanted to do . Peter is a well know teacher in his craft . Peter is a very patient person as you can imagine he has some character s on his course . Set in a wonderful woodland
It was also handy for me as I stayed in my camper right next to the wood , which I can Recommend
Food a variety of Peters soups or his daughters, 7 days of none stop graft but the reward of making this fine Windsor chair will stay with me . I can say to my grandchildren I made that and plan to hand it down . Now looking at which course to go on with Peter again , Thanks Peter
Kind regards Tony Hutchinson Stafford
I have done 3 courses with Peter including the Windsor chair-making and have thoroughly enjoyed them all. My chair now has pride of place at the head or our dining table and is admired by everyone who visits. Peter is a great tutor who passes on his knowledge in friendly and accessible way, without any fuss. I have been able to use the skills he taught me on other projects. The environment of the workshop in the woodland setting is lovely and Peter's wonderful home-made bread and soup lunches are memorable too. I intend to return to learn more.
It was everything I expected. I came away with a chair that is not only usable but of which I am actually very proud. You work in the outdoors (under cover if it rains), which is tremendous, and everything is provided (although bring your own pencil, as they vanish constantly). I hadn't appreciated how different working with greenwood is from the woodwork I'd done before, so that was interesting. Whether you've done courses like this before (as most of those I was with had) or it's something completely different (like me), I'd really recommend it.
I'd recommend Greenwood days to anyone with an interest in woodland crafts; Peter runs a variety of courses from shorter 'taster' events right up to week long chair making courses. During my week making a child's chair, other people made a stool (over a weekend), or even turned their hand to using scythe.
Courses take place in the woods near Melbourne with tools, lathes and seating under canvas shelters. A wood fire burns all day for tea, coffee, warming soup and, of course, heating water for steam bending.
Peter is an excellent, enthusiastic, tutor and he appeared to be as excited as we were when our lengths of ash were turned into legs, spindles and finally part of a complete chair.
I saw an article on Greenwood days in one of the craft magazines and the idea of getting back to basics in the woods really appealed.
I booked in for the Windsor Chair course in August 2016 wondering if I would be out of my depth, Would I be able to split that log? Would I be able to operate the pole lathe? Of course I would! The clear instruction from Peter soon alleviated any fears. The week was full of fun and the learning of new skills And I took home a fantastic Windsor chair at the end of the week. The fresh bread and home made soup were delicious too. I enjoyed myself so much that I immediately followed up with Peter's sharpening course. I have already booked in for another Windsor Chair course in 2017 and also a willow weaving course for me and my daughter in 2017. This says it all.
I have been on a couple of chairmaking courses with Peter - the first some years ago. It is always fun to be with a group of keen, like-minded people and the October 2016 course was no exception. Peter has a gift for encouraging all levels of skill: from complete "woody beginners" to more experienced folk. Peter shared his own knowledge and skills freely, and in a way which encouraged the whole course to benefit, with no one feeling left behind - though the days are sometimes pretty intense!
Home made soup and bread, and a constant supply of tea and coffee kept us all going.
I highly recommend Peter's courses - whatever your knowledge and skills of green woodworking are and I will be booking a further course for 2017.
Jen and I absolutely adored our course, Peter is a great host and more importantly, a great tutor. He leads by example and is always on hand to lend a hand. He has a tool for everything and knows a way to fix everything. The woodland setting is simply stunning and with homemade bread and soup for lunch, we wanted for nothing with ample tea and coffee regularly supplied. The location on the Leicestershire/Derbyshire border is a beautiful part of the country, with great village pubs for the evening. My wonderful armchair sits proudly in the kitchen and reminds me of one of the greatest weeks of my life. The best bit was when my daughter asked to inherit it, although I hope to spend many years sitting in it first!
I have been of several courses with Peter at his place in the woods, staying on the excellent camp site adjacent. Peter is a superb teacher and mentor ensuring that you become competent and skilled at pole lathe turning, using chisels, spokes haves, draw knives and other traditional tools. At the end of any course you take away a chair or stool to be proud of and something that will become a family heirloom. As well as having fun learning new skills you will eat delicious home made food, and new tire of enjoying fresh brewed tea or coffee.