Course Start Dates
Course dates are flexible; please get in touch for the next available date.
George Foweraker runs this one day wood turning course from his well equipped workshop in Burnham-On-Sea, Somerset.
Each course is specifically designed to meets the students needs, so that you obtain the required skills to take away and progress within the craft.
The emphasis remains on the correct use of tools and techniques to use while practicing the craft of wood turning.
Whether you are starting out on your first step in woodturning or would like to delve into hollow forms, turning from green wood through to the finished item, or learn to texture, embellish and add colour to your work each course can be tailored to suit your requirements.
Possible components of the course can include (depending on your level of experience and preference):
Texturing skills such as:
Texturing and Spiraling systems
Texturing using conventional turning tools
A member of the Register of Professional Turners (RPT), George is an innovative professional woodturning tutor and maker from Burnham on Sea, Somerset.
George draws his inspiration from the natural and architectural environment in and around Somerset. George is currently interested in texture, form and colour as a way to add interest to his work.
Rarely turning exotic timbers, George wants to be certain that the wood he uses are taken from a sustainable source, and favors native timbers obtained locally.
George is currently the author of articles as well as being featured within woodworking magazines within the UK. As well as membership of the RPT, George is a member of The Association of Woodturners of Great Britain, The Pembrokeshire Woodturners and has recently been invited to join the Somerset Guild of Craftsmen. He is also a founding member of the Burnham on Sea Woodturning club.
What's included in the price?
Refreshments, lunch, turning smock, safety equipment and all tools and materials are included for use during the course.
This price is for one-to-one tuition. If two people would like to come the total price will be £220 00 (£110 each).
Good, reasonably priced accommodation can be found within 400 yards of the workshop - just ask George for details.
Thank you George for an interesting day re-learning tooling techniques and learning some new ones too. Nice lunch and plenty of coffee makes for a good day! Never planned on making anything just happy to turn a lump of wood into a pile of shavings to practice creating a finish straight from the tool. Didn't quite get there on my own but almost so not too much sanding to do.
Thanks again George for a nice end to the week!
I attended a one-day woodturning course with George today. Although I have some ability with DIY I should admit that woodturning is a very different skill. George’s explanation of the direction of grains was important for me to understand the skill of the turner and the wood selection. It helped, too, to realise which direction we turned from. We discussed the tools, sharpening and type of lathe suitable for a beginner.
George was a patient instructor and, as we agreed, teaching a headteacher is not always an easy thing to do! We got on really well and shared many views, stories and laughs. The day was hugely rewarding and something I have wanted to do for a long time. The session was well-paced and the end result very gratifying. George gauges his sessions to the ability of his student and the length of day, instruction and atmosphere were all first class. As with all good teachers, George left me proud of my achievements and wanting more! A ten out of ten! Thanks, George, a great day.
Andy Giles, 15th June 2017
I had a fantastic time on a one-day course with George. I arrived having had some limited experience on a lathe, although my efforts to date left much to be desired, which George will vouch for! George and Susan were very welcoming from the outset, and we spent a little while chatting before cracking on with it!
Immediately, I was learning all sorts of tips which would make my future woodturning better, beginning with the origins of the timber and sourcing and treating timber blanks. We then spent the morning running through the series of tooling and finishing processes, to form the bottom of the bowl.
After lunch, we flipped the bowl and played around with some decorative techniques before finishing the top of the bowl.
George was a great teacher and made the whole process clear and memorable, giving brief demonstrations before letting me develop the techniques myself.
I left with a big smile on my face and my wife was very pleased with her bowl!
Obviously you can only learn so much in a day. However I have come a long way from where I was and am eager to get practising my newly learned skills.
Having just experienced the most enjoyable three day course with George I felt it deserved to be recorded so that others may benefit and be made aware of an opportunity to get a marvellous treat in the art of woodturning. George’s methodical and professional approach to instruction is an art in itself. His technical ability and skills are second to none and he is blessed with the added ability to put the topic across to students with consummate ease. All aspects were covered, health and safety, machinery, tools and an in depth knowledge of the material to be worked. This gives any student lucky enough to participate in one of George’s workshops a great platform from which he or she can thereafter travel through the wonders of turning, colouring and texturing wood.
I personally benefitted from George’s great knowledge in all these aspects. His patience is unlimited and the one quality which makes the difference between someone who mechanically instructs and a great teacher.
I hope to be lucky enough to return to Burnham to reinforce the skills and theory collected in the last few days, perhaps I may see you there.
My fiance and I attended the course to celebrate my 50th birthday - we are both novices; George was simply amazing - not only is he an excellent teacher he also gave us so much valuable information regarding what to look for in tools and equipment..........we both enjoyed ourselves so much, I can't recommend the course highly enough. We will definately be back for stage two as soon as we can manage it!!
A brilliant day, I went in barely knowing a thing about woodturning and came away knowing lots along with a beautiful coloured bowl that everyone who has seen it has complemented. I started off nervous but progressed to being much more confident with using the tools, his patient manner is great as it makes you feel at ease and he doesn’t grumble if you forget something or need assistance. What really made the finished article stand out was the colouring which everyone has said how incredible it is. Also thank you very much to his wife Susan for the cups of tea and a delicious lunch. I would definitely recommend this course to anyone thinking of having a go.
A wonderful first experience of woodturning, something I have always wanted to try. The day exceeded my expectations and really brought home the importance of learning with a professional - so much information and so much to learn. I am delighted with the bowl, which has been admired by quite a few already. I hope to practice what you have taught me in the next few weeks and I am fairly sure I will be back to learn more very soon. Thanks to Susan for making me feel so welcome, and for lunch and the numerous beverages.
What a lovely long weekend, which all started with my better-half - Terri stating, that as she could'nt knit and did not enjoy it,she would like to try weaving and had found a course run by a renowned weaver Janet King in Nether Stowey in Somerset.
To make a trip of it,I thought I'd look for any woodturning or woodcraft courses available in the area and found that George Foweraker, a professional turner, ran courses in Burnham-on-sea,just down the road from Nether Stowey and would be able to give me 2 days one to one tuition at the same time that my wife's course was being run.
I was'nt sure what to expect or achieve, having seen examples of George's work on his website which was all of an extremely high standard and quality,such that I could never achieve with my small experience in the 2 days!
Well, I was delighted. From the moment I met George and his lovely wife Susan, despite his insistence in calling me by the wrong name- Nigel for most of the first day,I knew we would have fun and I could learn a lot from him.
Having decided to go for turning a platter or bowl and learn different texturing and decoration methods rather than hollow work we set too in his very impressive workshop.
George's easy tuition manner was great,his course content and attention to detail, theory and particularly of safety, was a pleasure to work with, and I was very grateful for his patience of ny inexperience. Despite continuing to call me Nigel (my brother in Australia) and moaning at me in his broad Somerset brogue,for costing him a plaster from his first aid box, when I nicked my finger, I really enjoyed my new found abilities!
Coffee and teas and the nice lunches supplied by Susan,all added to the hospitality.
I came away tired but very satisfied with the work done, having learned a lot and realising there's a load more to learn but its great fun in doing so.
Weaving in Somerset looks as though it will continue at a pace,so,George and Susan,I shall be after Hollowing techniques next if you will let me!!
Thank you George for a very enjoyable day's wood turning tuition. The relaxed but very thorough way of teaching made learning easy, despite one of us being a complete novice, and we went home with two beautiful bowls and eager to continue the craft. You and Sue made us welcome throughout the day and lunch was delicious.
Great tuition last Saturday, I arrived a complete novice, but left with a bowl beyond my expectations. It was an interesting day and I learned a great deal, we may have even glimpsed George's inner tree hugger!
Many thanks to both George and Sue.
I had a great time and made very warm welcome with tea and biscuits!
George really knows is stuff and can get the best out of you whether you are a novice (like me) or a established wood turner,he explains every thing in a user friendly way so you can grasp the correct way to turn wood.
Susan provided a superb lunch and again backed up with tea and biscuits.
I will return later this year to get some more training and re enforce what he taught me.
Thanks George it was a blast see you soon !
I had a brilliant time with George today, this was my first proper experience with woodturning and really enjoyed going through the process of making my first bowl. George was an excellent teacher, he was patient and explained the reasoning behind the techniques used to shape the wood. I hope to visit again when I am able to set myself up with my own lathe!
Awesome day. Didn't think I'd be able to complete a lovely piece so quickly. Trying to persuade wife to do a course too as it was a great day and well worth doing.
Thanks Sue (Mrs George) for food and drink :)
Had a very enjoyable day learning from a Professional..very interesting and certainly different from the sort of carpentry I've done before. Would recommend to anyone looking to learn a new skill. Very pleased with the bowl I produced, just in time for Fran's Birthday present ! Also thanks again to your Sue for all the coffees and lunch
I was a little apprehensive when I arrived-being a self taught turner I knew there would be bad practices to sort out and I had no idea how bad they would be.
It was a good idea to use my own Beech Burr lump of timber as it meant we were starting right at the beginning,and I was pleased that George's assessment of how to cut it was very close to my own-we were off to a good start.
My knuckles were white as I started making my first cuts, but George's quite gently firm ways of correcting firstly my stance and then how I held the tool and presented it to the work had me relaxing as the morning went on.The occasional theory breaks were well timed and reinforced what we were doing on the lathe.
By the time we stopped for an excellent lunch prepared by Susan the bowl was well under way-and so,also were the re-grinds to my bowl gouges.
Afternoon and we finished sanding and put a finish on the outside then started on the inside. The turning was interspersed with gems of information about all sorts of aspects of turning,finishing,holding work on lathe,friction chuck making,putting a sanding arbour on lathe.basically lots of stuff that quite often a turner will say "Oh make a friction chuck from some scrap wood" George actually showed me how it was made etc.
As we got deeper into the bowl and encountered the voids etc, George's comment that this was probably the most difficult piece of wood I would turn made me feel quite pleased with the achievement.
I was quite tired by the time we finished and my brain was working overtime processing all the data it had absorbed during the day.
The finished bowl is a thing of beauty and I have a fantastic sense of achievement-once I have consolidated everything I learnt,I will be back for more !!
My only regret is that I didn't take up turning until late in life-at 79yrs I've got a lot to get learnt,but if anyone can teach an old dog some new tricks it's George-thanks a lot.
What can I say? Brilliant, informative, inspiring! I really enjoyed my day yesterday and I really appreciated George's patience, experience and diligent teaching. I have always loved the elements: water, rock and wood. George has shown me how to make wood ‘speak’ and how to turn it with ease to produce beautiful forms. The decorative effects were the icing on the cake. Simple yet effective and I can see the thought and attention to detail that really pays off. Many thanks to George again for the course and his wife Sue for keeping me fed and watered on such a cold day! I highly recommend it to anyone reading this. I will definitely be back!!
Firstly I must thank George and his wife for making me so welcome to their home and for providing a lovely luncheon and copious cups of coffee.
I have to admit that initially I was a little hesitant in getting to grips with handling the gouge. However, Georg's patience, watchful eye and guiding hand enabled me to make what I felt was a reasonable start. (It was over 50 years ago that I last did any woodturning!) The afternoon session progressed well and I felt much more at ease with the tool handling. Not so many ‘white knuckle’ moments! With a more relaxed hold things progressed well. With the final process of sanding completed and the application of a sealer finish I had made (with assistance at critical points) a unique memento of the day.
I now have a lot to think about and have quite a few decisions to make. Selling my motorbike to make some space being the most difficult for me. Before I jump in with both feet I will take some more of Georg's professional advice so that I don’t end up with unsuitable equipment. It’s all down to me now.
Thank you again George for your patience and skill at imparting some knowledge into my brain.
Many thanks for your clear instruction and endless patience. I am also grateful for many suggestions for my future workshop plans. I am really pleased with my bowl which is hopefully just the start of a new hobby. Health and safety instruction and equipment provided was spot on, as was lunch and drinks ( thanks Susan ). A pleasure to meet you both. Cheers
I would like to thank George (Sir ) for a wonderful day , I really enjoyed making my bowl that now sits in pride of place on our dining table.
George is a patient, informative and very safety conscientious tutor with more than a sense of fun thrown in for good measure.
I would happily recommend George to anyone thinking of giving wood turning a go .
Thanks also to Susan , George's wife who kept us supplied with coffee and biscuits and provided a light lunch.
An instructive and enjoyable days woodturning. Really nice to be able to produce such an impressive bowl in the short time we had. A great, well equipped workshop - good lunch too! As well as the actual woodturning, the advice on equipment selection when setting out in woodturning was very eye opening. Thank you very much.
I spent a really good day with George and Sue on Friday 4th November. I had not done any turning for the best part of a year but Georges patience and excellent tutoring skills soon got me back in the swing. I explained that I needed the day to also assess my personal requirements regarding tools etc. I explained that I now had a lathe at home with a few chisels so the first thing we did was to assess these tools and we soon realised that some were not up to scratch.
George was suffering from the lingering symptoms of a cold and although he was in some discomfort at times his tuition never faltered. His patience is endless and by the end of the day, with Georges help I had not only managed to turn a bowl I am very proud of I had also completed some spindle turning plus spent time assessing all my machinery and tools needs. George even had time to furnish me with further advice on extra items I will need and where to source them.
Sue provided refreshments and a lovely lunch and this coupled with Georges easy going and patient approach the day remained totally relaxing whilst very informative at the same time.
I would whole heartedly recommend these courses with George and look forward to increasing my knowledge further on the next one.
As a complete (not so young) novice I was a bit apprehensive when my son told me he was treating me to the course. Even though I had always been interested in it as hobby I was a not sure how I would fare in practice but came away with both a good basic understanding of theory and some useful practical experience.
I am delighted with the bowl I produced which far exceeded my expectations of what I would achieve in a single day. At no point did I feel rushed or overwhelmed and appreciated George's down-to-earth approach to training.
I would recommend his course to anyone with an interest in woodturning as a way to ‘give it a go’ without paying out for loads of equipment.
Many thanks again for a very enjoyable day.
Well what can I say? We had a super day with the talented George and his lovely wife Susan!
This was a birthday present for my hubby (who suffered a stroke 3 years ago) and I was a last minute ‘add on’. Neither of us had done anything like this before – I had never seen a lathe let alone used one! George was a great tutor with an abundance of patience and managed to watch over us both – teach us and keep us entertained all at the same time. We not only learned how to use a lathe – we made a beautiful bowl each – mine was a lovely sycamore bowl and my hubby’s was a beautiful beech bowl – we were both thrilled to bits with our makes!! George had lots of stories to tell – with a great sense of humour and his lovely wife supplied us with tea and biscuits during our breaks and a lovely sustaining lunch at lunchtime!
Our day was very special and very much enjoyed! George’s wood turning tuition days are 5 staras far as we are concerned and highly recommended by us!!
Alice and Graham Reeve
Never having done any woodworking I was very apprehensive but George and his lovely Wife Sue made me feel very relaxed and after a coffee I was introduced to woodturning.
With Georg's guidance I woodturned a beautiful Ash Bowl something I never thought possible.
If I can talk Hubby into buying a lathe and equipment this will be the hobby for me.
Thank you George and Sue it was a wonderful day and you will be seeing me again in the future.
Thank you for the day yesterday – it was really rewarding. You were both very welcoming and your knowledge and enthusiasm are infectious. It’s easy to see how you could get the bug and I’m eyeing up my shed jealously now. Everyone was very impressed by the bowl
Just wanted to let you know that I had a great day on Tuesday. It was very informative and has given me lots of ideas on where to go with my equipment and methods of turning. Having started my wood turning path without any experience it was good to meet with a master turner. My wife loved the bowl and xmas tree decoration.
I would certainly recommend anyone who is just starting out or wishes to further their expertise to go for a day.
Thank you again for a superb day last Friday. Absolutely blown away with your practical skills and the way you undertook to improve my turning skills. As I mentioned, your skill is in NOT teaching but helping your students to learn -a rare gift and you do it so well. I took lots of useful information away with me so now the rest is up to me. I do hope i can get the opportunity to have another day sometime; you're great fella with a great talent.
What can one say? A first class day's instruction removing countless wrinkles in my admittedly pathetic bowl turning technique. George's expertise and robust sense of humour made for a thoroughly productive and enjoyable day. You can always measure the quality of this kind of experience by whether ones first impulse on arriving home is to go straight to the workshop or tackle a rather fine sirloin steak. I'm afraid to admit the steak won but only under the extreme duress applied by my better half. Thank you George, I will be back- you have been warned!
My deepest thanks to George for his excellent tuition, and for his patience with me. Thanks also to Sue for keeping me fed and watered.
I had a great day, and will now look at my equipment needs to take my wood turning skills forward.
Terri loved the bowl I created - with more than a little help from George - which will be a permanent reminder of my 65th birthday celebration.
I wanted to thank George and Sue for a very enjoyable two days spent with them this week.
They made me felt at home as soon as I arrived and set to work on a project for the day.
It was obvious from the moment we entered you workshop that I was in the presence of a master craftsman and the valuable tuition and the benefit of his experience will stand me in good stead as I embark on my new-found hobby.
His enthusiasm and passion for the craft shines through with every kind word of advice that he gives and I cannot recommend his course highly enough.
I can only hope that one day I will be able to turn wood with the technique, skill and attention to detail that he would approve of. As we discussed, if it was easy, it wouldn't be worth doing. Practice makes perfect but even a novice like me came away with a spalted Beech bowl that anyone would be proud of.
When I have my own workshop ready I will be back in touch and I look forward to booking another day with him so that I can keep learning this rewarding and absorbing craft.
Thanks again George (and thanks Sue for the supply of coffee and sandwiches) and see you at your next BoS WTC open day.
Many thanks and best regards,
Today has been an amazing day with great tuition from George and great hospitality. George and Susan are very welcoming and warming. The tuition provided has been relaxed and very informative with a good direction in woodturning basics in view to making a very splendid bowl that looks professionally made. To be able to go from novice, to being able to turn a bowl within a day shows the quality and professionalism of George's teaching. I look forward to booking further lessons so that I can progress my skills in bowl turning and other future project ideas.
Thank you for a really great wood turning experience day. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed the day or how pleased I am with with my bowl, but I will try.
I arrived feeling quite anxious about being able to produce anything at all, as I had no experience and had never been anywhere near a lathe.
Your explanations, demonstrations, patience and guidance gave me confidence.
Along with the excellent tuition it was a really enjoyable and fun experience, we had a great time with you and Sue, you both made us feel very welcome and comfortable.
We were well looked after, Sue made us a lovely lunch which was much appreciated and we were kept going throughout the day with regular cups of perfect tea.
On top of all of that I am now the very proud owner of a bowl that is of a much better quality and more beautiful than I ever thought I was capable of making. I will treasure it.
Thank you very much George and Sue
Just arrived home after a really good day wood turning with George and his lovely wife Susan. The amount of information that George gave us was spot on. It started with an outline of the health and safety to be complied with whilst in the workshop. There was an explanation of the make up of the wood we were going to use and the way it reacts on the lathe. It wasn't all instruction , it was also a really good laugh as George is a natural entertainer . But as a result we came away with two really nice fruit bowls. Susan was lovely and looked after the refreshments for the day. Very important as you really do have to concentrate on what your doing. All n all a brilliant day, and I would really recommend it. Thanks to Susan and George.
Thanks once again for the great wood turning day that myself, Stephen and David had. It was most enjoyable and everyone has been very impressed with the bowls that we made. Our appetites have been wetted and I am sure that we will take it up as a hobby once we can finance the necessary equipment.
What can I say, a really enjoyable day and a pleasure to be taught by a very knowledgable tutor. The course gives a great insight into basic wood turning and at the end of the day you end up with a work of art. Thank you once again for a fantastic day (Bev loves the bowl)
A most enjoyable day's woodturning tuition. Having not used a lathe since leaving school over 50 years ago I wasn't sure how I would manage but was put at ease very quickly and during the day I learned a lot and ended with a lovely bowl to take home.
I would like to thank you for the wood turning tuition today. It was the first time in 44 years that I have stood in front of a lathe and I had a thoroughly marvellous time. Your guidance and help were brilliant and the bowl that resulted exceeded my expectations, Liz finds it hard to believe that I had any hand in its manufacture!
I'm really looking forward to practicing what you taught me today and I'm sure that we will be meeting again once I have perfected these basic skills for you to teach me some of the more sophisticated techniques that you showed me on your own work.
Once again, thank you for an educational and extremely enjoyable day and thank you to Sue for the lovely lunch.
A proper workshop with a lot of character. George was full focussed on me and quickly understood my capabilities and perhaps potential. I felt that the day was well paced in line with my level of concentration i came away determined to take things further and will most certainly return to George for further tuition. I was a little apprehensive to begin with but was immediately put at ease with a coffee and chat .More than anything it was fun and I came home buzzing with determination and excitement.
Just a note to say many thanks for the wood-turning tuition today. I had
a very enjoyable time - and Catherine was pleased with the end result
too. Thanks for taking the time to add the coloured finish.
You are a great teacher, having high standards but being patient when I
kept on holding the gouge at the wrong angle!
Please thank Susan for the drinks, biscuits & a very nice lunch.
I might take you up sometime on your offer of some advice on what to
buy. A workshop is high on the list of requirements for a new house.
I've been doing a good bit since my course with George and am really enjoying the improvements of technique he suggested. I've done several bowls since we met and they're much better than anything I've produced before, and the work is a great deal easier and more enjoyable.
Thank you for a great day and also for being so flexible at breakfast !! I very much enjoyed it and was amazed with the result, so much so I’ve been showing off at work this morning !!
I thought the course content was spot on and thanks to Susan for a lovely lunch and copious refills of tea !
Will plan to come along and see you during the ‘Somerset Arts Week’ !
Apologies for being slow to write to you after our excellent day on Saturday.
5It was both an enjoyable and an instructive day - I learned a lot. You looked after us well in every sense - proper attention to safety, consideration for our comfort and excellent food and watering! If I say that I walked back into the kitchen late on Sunday and did a double take on catching sight of my bowl, you will understand I am still surprised by what I produced under your expert guidance! I would recommend the day to anyone who wanted to try wood turning - they will not be disappointed.
I just wanted to say thanks again for a wonderful day. It was a real treat. Given that I have never turned before, I was amazed at the bowl I produced under George's attentive supervision.I would recommend a course with him without hesitation.
I just wanted to thank you for a great day yesterday, I really enjoyed it!
Starting the day as a complete novice and ending it with a turned beech bowl ,something to be proud of and a great feeling of achievement.
You teach very well, at the right pace to absorb what your learning to do for the first time.
Thanks Susan for the hospitality , altogether an experience to be recommended !
Thank you so much for such a fascinating day yesterday. I thoroughly enjoyed myself on your wood turning course. It brought back many great memories from when I briefly did turning at school.
The love and passion you have for the craft and the material itself was clear and your patient approach was inspirational. I am seriously considering taking it up as a hobby. If anyone needs to be inspired to take up a craft or skill, they need not look any further than you.
Thank you once again. I will be in touch soon.
With all best wishes.
Many thanks again for the outstanding wood turning tuition & one of the highlights of the training was definitely the excellent sandwiches prepared by Susan.
Very friendly and easy to follow approach to training
Wealth of wood turning knowledge readily imparted
Good mix of techniques & flexibility to introduce other relevant skill that arise on discussions with the trainee
Very useful advice on wood turning in general, pitfalls to avoid and exposure to the unlimited potential for creativity!
Possible improvement in skill development: if the objective is to learn & develop skills then it might be better to practice on a disposable piece of wood & repeat exercises until skills is better understood & mastered. e.g. my objective was to learn and hone skills not to produce a bowl. Having said that the unique beech bowl I came home with is stunning & an excellent example of what can be produced in a few hours!
I take delivery of my lathe next week & after spending a fortune on it , training & new tools I'd better start some intensive practising.
Anyway I thought your tuition was excellent & I'll definitely be in touch for a follow up tuition and an introduction to texturing techniques later this year.
We arrived on a blustery day at George and Susans home and were welcomed with a lovely cup of tea and relaxed and informative chat about what would be involved during the one-day woodturning course.
It was an amazing day and we came away with a fantastic bowl each a terrific feel good factor!
George explained everything very patiently and thoroughly and guided us through the process making it fun and creative.
Thank you to Susan for a lovely lunch and for giving up your day for us.
We really appreciated George's expertise and enjoyed looking at his collection of work too.
THANK YOU George, Susan and Tufty!
Fiona and Mike Smith
Thank you for a marvellous relaxing, interesting and productive day. I gaze at a beautiful beech bowl with pride and astonishment of what I (with a fair bit of your help) created. The day was a wonderful change from anything I had done before and only increased my fascination with wood and what it can become.
Thanks also for the coffees at regular intervals which kept me going and the lovely lunch.
I'm not going to rush out and kit myself out with a workshop yet but it's certainly planted a seed.
I booked this course primarily for my partner’s son, as he received a lathe for Christmas and we all felt he needed a little more help than his school were able to offer. Aside from anything else I wanted to make sure we both knew how to use a lathe safely.
Given that the address was in Somerset, I was fairly convinced we would be working in a traditional barn, with flagons of cider and a ploughman’s provided at lunch time, but as it turned out, retired Scaffolding Contractor George and his charming wife Susan live in a neat bungalow in a quiet residential street with a selection of large sheds to the rear, one of which contains a whole host of woodturning equipment.
George turns out to be a huge bloke, with fingers like Cumberland sausages, but don’t be deceived into thinking this is just another ex-tradesman looking to fill his twilight years with a casual hobby.
He has spent thirteen years honing his craft, and is clearly very dedicated to turning what are some really quite remarkable pieces. As well as being on the Register of Professional Turners and offering this tuition, he hosts the local turning club, regularly appears at craft fairs across the country demonstrating his art, reviews new turning equipment for craft magazines, and has created pieces for public exhibition.
He packs a lot into a one day session too, and each part of the process of turning a bowl is explained in rigorous detail.
At one stage he spent 20 minutes demonstrating how to achieve some stunning effects on the surface of the bowl, with a whole host of curious revolving tools coming out of the arsenal, as well as various abrasives, waxes and dyes, and even a blow torch.
Susan ensured we never far from a good cup of tea, and gave us some first rate homemade soup with warm rolls for lunch.
By late afternoon we had completed our projects, and I have to say I was quite surprised at the quality of the work we both turned under his supervision.
I was a jobbing carpenter for over 20 years, so I expected to turn out something fairly respectable, as I’m no stranger to wood and chisels, but I didn’t expect to be quite as pleased with the result as I am. He’s a very likeable chap too, and goes to great lengths to ensure his pupils get as much out of the day as possible.
If you are looking for an opportunity to try woodturning, then this course is a rare opportunity to learn from an extremely well informed bloke who is as fiercely passionate as any creative artist when it comes to his craft.
I had two days tuition with George
Foweraker, wanting to improve my techniques after about 10
years of largely self-taught turning. The course didn't
start too well for me as a left hander, who had always
turned left handed. George told me that I had to change to
using all tools right handed. I nearly walked out! However,
I decided to give it a try and the results, after a slow
start, more than justified the change. The speed and ease of
turning and the finish on the bowls I made under
George's careful guidance were a huge improvement on
what I had been able to do previously. I've now had a
chance to try his approaches out in my own workshop and have
confirmed their value. What with George's advice and the
wonderful soup made by his wife, Susan it was a great and
very worthwhile two days.
Thank you George and Sue for your very kind welcome and hospitality for my one day turning course. The whole day was extremely interesting and informative and George, you teach with a high degree of knowledge and humour and I came away at the end of the day with an even keener interest in woodturning than I had before. I had no idea the there was such scope to what could be done on a lathe.
To all those reading this testimonial, I would urge you to spend a day with George. You will not regret it.
Turned up with great trepidation, put fully at ease and was led gently into a great day.
As an MS sufferer, my hands shake quite considerably, and at one time I felt that I would not be able to continue the days course, but, George, very adaptable showed me various methods to overcome this difficulty, at the end of the day, a brilliant result with my bowel that I had made to prove it.
It was not just a woodturning course, it was also a day of "understanding wood"
Georges lovely wife, was a great hostess, tea/coffee and a nice lunch.
thank you for a wonderful experience
Just wanted to drop you a note to say a " Big Thank You " for a very enjoyable day.
It was my first attempt at wood turning and I really enjoyed the whole experience. You were very informative, patient and an excellent host, which made for a memorable day. I also came away with a very nice ash bowl which I was proud to show off to my family.
Thanks for a great day George, hopefully I will be back for more in the New Year.
Keep up the amazing work you do.
With kind regards,
PS : thanks also to Sue, for all the sarnies, biscuits and cups of tea !!!!
Many thanks for an educational and interesting day in your
workshop. As a complete novice I cannot emphasize enough the importance
to any beginners of going to a professional turner such as yourself to
get tuition before starting out. I am looking forward to practicing at
home the techniques that you demonstrated so clearly and with such
great patience. Being quickly " hands on " was a great help as well as
a confidence boost.
Once again many thanks,
beautiful bowl has been much admired.
What a great two days I had with you and Mark Sanger completing the box turning course. I was slightly nervous about it at first due to my inexperience but you and my fellow (more experienced) pupils soon helped me to dispel that. Everyone was great company and put me totally at ease. The whole experience was informative and uplifting and after coming away with a few boxes made me want to continue with woodturning as a hobby. I still haven’t bought a lathe but I know this will come in time maybe after completing a few more days tuition with you in order to feel fully confident before I get really stuck in at home.
Again, many thanks to you, Mark and the other guys (who I hope to see again) for a great couple of days. Please also pass my thanks to Sue for her catering and again just for being great company.
I hope to see you soon!
Thank you George and Mark for 2days of tuition on box turning, so much time and patience in showing what and how to use the tools in a proper and safe way. I learnt a lot, and the notes will help me at home.
Thanks to Sue for all the refreshment .
Look forward to the next course. Many thanks
Just a quick note to let you know how much I enjoyed my class with you yesterday. I came expecting to learn a little about woodturning, which I did, but I hadn't expected such a professional teaching session. I really appreciated you patience, your care re Health & Safety, the good lunch (please thank Sue for me ), the cups of coffee and, above all, the beech bowl you helped me to make.
I have just got home and have given Liz a full and detailed description of my 2 days with you,which can be described as 'fun','interesting' and more importantly an opportunity for an old dog(me!) to apply myself to something completely new.This turned out to be 2 days where I was able to forget that there is an outside world and spend time with you and Susan getting immersed in wood in all its shapes forms and potentials!
The smells of the wood and your workshop were great and I really appreciate the care and attention you paid to me in explaining and showing and guiding my hand.
Of course the 3 Bowls I brought home have been immediately put in pride of place as you come through our front door!
And I have to say that I have slightly exaggerated how much time I spent on on them..... but they do look great and I am ,I think rightly proud of them.
Thank you both for your excellent hospitality and some of the stories of your various 'rich' experiences,which I truly believe should be put into a book!
All in all a big thank you and I look forward to the next stage.
Hi George & Sue
I have wanted to try my hand at woodturning for years now and I have frequently considered buying a lathe and tools online and getting cracking.
Luckily I resisted the temptation to go it alone and after seeing you on the TV I made the decision to book a days course with you. What a smart move that was! My day with you last Friday was extremely informative and despite the rotten weather (or fantastic weather if you are a gardener!) I had a truly wonderful day.
I would like to thank you George for your patience all day especially when I repeated certain mistakes. Your knowledge is second to none and apart from ending the day with a beautiful bowl (which my wife had to tear out of my hands before we visited our local that evening as I wanted to take it with me!) I also left your house with a lot more of an idea of what to do than I arrived with. Having said that I realise this new knowledge is only the tip of a very large iceberg and I am keen to learn more. I will be booking further days with you again soon. I would also like to thank you for your kind offer to help in the future if I get stuck with sourcing tools or materials or when I need further information, that really makes a difference.
Thank you Sue for providing me with food and water throughout the day, it was a real pleasure to meet you and chat with both you and George when we were taking our breaks.
You have kick started a whole new interest for me now I have retired and I am looking forward to taking it further.
Again, many thanks to you both for making it a great day for me and I look forward to seeing you again soon.
I have had training with George 3 times so far, I say so far as I intend to return.
Passing on information, educating, isn’t always easy but George seems to do it with great ease.
I’ve enjoyed my time with George he is helpful and attentive, he will stand back but move in when required, he’s happy for you to learn at your own pace.
I would recommend George, and I have done.
I’ve learnt loads.
Thank you once again for another great day of tuition, very informative and educational!
I’m glad that you can be so patient, I need it and obviously the Dementia kicks in now and again when I repeat a simple error, but your advice is calmly repeated with no frustration on your part and I usually learn the lesson…
The facilities are more than adequate for a single student, it must be handy for you to demonstrate on one lathe while I make feeble attempts on the other, but I feel that I am coming on and that;s all down to you.
Not one, but two lidded boxes completed, not just a first for me but a first and second!!
As usual, we were well looked after by Sue keeping us awash in tea/coffee not to mention a lovely piece of ham for lunch - I couldn’t wish for more!
Thanks again, and just as we anticipated, my daughter does prefer the photo of the darker box - great minds think alike!
Keep up the good work,
Thank you George for a very informative, relaxed and hands on day. I had been turning bowls for quite some time, on and off, but I now know how to do it correctly and when I compare my previous efforts to the bowls I produced on the day then mine look ready for the bin! I will keep them though to see the improvement. Given a chance I will recommend your turning course to anyone. Thanks also to Sue for a nice lunch.
I want to thank George and Sue for an inspiring day in Burnham-on-Sea. George is a great teacher; he's so patient and full of encouragement and I really felt a great sense of achievement at the end of the day. I could soon see that many of the 'You Tube videos' I had been watching were leading me in completely the wrong direction and I'm glad to say that George was able to put me right. Thank you to Sue who kept us well fed, and supplied with as many cups of tea as we could manage. My wife was delighted with the bowl I made and is making a list of other items she would like!
COMMENT: Thank you George for 2 very worthwhile days introduction to wood turning. Finding myself with an abundance of tools and; equipment which I did not know how to use, you have opened the door for me to a fascinating hobby which I am looking forward to developing.Thank you for your detailed instruction and; guidance, the use of your equipment and; materials and;, not least, Sue's hospitality! Thank you again. Adrian.
Thanks so much for a fantastic day! It was a real joy to join you in your workshop for my first wood turning experience. I'm always looking to learn new skills and I couldent think of a better way to get started on the lathe. I was amazed my the results I achieved under your instruction and am looking forward to continuing to practice. I'm sure I'll be back for another session in the near future to learn some more of the secrets to good wood turning practice!
Just wanted to say thank you so much for the tuition session that I had with you yesterday. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it and was over the moon with the bowl that I made with your help!
Both yourself and your lovely wife made me feel so welcome and it felt like I had known you both for years!!
I will certainly be back for more courses and I will be highly recommending you to every one I speak to!!
Thanks again for a lovely day and for helping to feed my turning bug!!
: Thank you George for a very interesting day on the wood turning course. I learnt a lot, and realise that there is a great deal more to learn. You are a very good tutor and conversationalist Thanks also to you wife Susan for her hospitality.
Annie loves the bowl.
Just a quick note to say thank you very much to both you and Mark for a very enjoyable wood turning experience day. Dad, Hannah and I were really pleased with the bowls we each produced under your expert guidance. Both yourself and Mark made us feel really comfortable in your workshop and we really felt we learnt a lot about the basics including safety in a fun and friendly environment. The day was a really good introduction for us and we are all keen to have another go at this, even considering buying a lathe between us. I would definitely recommend both yourself and Mark to anyone thinking of taking wood turning up or just for a one off experience as we had a really great time. We should also add a big thank you to your lovely wife who also worked hard to provided a tasty lunch and copious cups of tea and coffee.
We will keep an eye on your website for upcoming courses and will hopefully see you again soon.
We would love to learn how to make a cake stand if that's possible in a day?
A brilliant day well spent. I learned something new that's inspired me for the future, I started and finished something all in one day (something I find hard at the best of times) and I made something that was as perfect on the back as at the front! George is extremely knowledgeable, patient and passionate and with tea throughout the day and lunch thanks to Susan I can wholly recommend.
I thought the two days were absolutely AMAZING! When we started out first, I
could see you trying to figure out this foreigner standing there, but as we
went along, I think it got better and better.
And I was positively surprised that towards the end of the second day you
(presumably deliberately) turned your back on me to turn a quick piece of your
own. I took it as a sign of approval of what I was doing.
George is a fantastic teacher. He has his way of teaching, but boy, is he good
at it. There is a clear focus on the tooling and technique that will achieve
results, and in the two days my technique and understanding increased by an
order of magnitude. This was worth every single penny, and then some. And I
walked away with three truly stunning pieces that both of us can be proud of.
If anybody wants to start out with woodturning, or try some experimental
things with texturing and colour, I'd recommend George all day long.
A very interesting day spent with George turning this bowl, I enjoyed the learning process from start through to sanding / finishing. A very high standard of tuition and advice. I would highly recommend a course here to anyone. Many thanks George and Sue for a warm welcome.
Thank you George for the very warm welcome from you and Sue. The day was full of helpful hints, tips and guidance on what to do and not to do. It was great to come away with a lovely bowl (which my wife has put on display for all to see).
Many thanks to Sue for the lovely refreshments.
I will be back for more tuition once I've had some practice.
I booked this for my son and decided to join in too.
Despite a dodgy taste in music George was thorough and explained the process in great detail and terms my son could comprehend. We came away with 2 top class bowls, a large dose of confidence for my son and the knowledge to continue the evolvement of the craft.
As a man that calls a spade a shovel George is quick to identify incorrect technique, and will put you on the correct path quickly. Don't expect any airs & graces but good old fashioned teaching that gets results.
Thank you George for a wonderful day. I can't believe I came away with such a beautiful bowl. My husband was soooo impressed. George you were clear and patient and we had fun producing this masterpiece. Thank you too Susan for a delicious lunch and endless cups of tea. I hope to come again to learn more.
Thank you so much for a really super day, and an amazing end product - my husband cannot believe that I actually made the bowl myself. I have never known a day to go so quickly. Please also thank your wife for the lovely lunch. I am sure my son would like to come so will contact you when I know that he will be available as he lives in London.
Thanks so much for a truly inspirational and rewarding day. I was amazed at what we achieved, even as complete beginners, and we have now been bitten by the woodturning bug! Thank you both for making us so welcome, and giving us such good teaching with such a successful outcome.
We will let you know when we are about to start dealing with our massive fallen turkey oak – poor thing has sprouted, because some of its roots are still in the earth!
Thank again so much
I arrived at your tuition workshop, as a complete novice, for a two day woodturning course. You made me feel very relaxed with a cup of tea and preliminary chat. The Health and Safety introduction was exemplary.
It was obvious after a very short while that your knowledge of woodturning and the characteristics of wood and the way it reacts was complete. You were very patient with me and explained all the processes fully.
I left after the second day with great confidence although my skill needs to be honed with much more practice. I had made 3 bowls and have the confidence to try this with my own lathe.
Thank you very much for your help and will be back for the colouring course when I am more proficient with the lathe.
Just to say thank you for yesterday, I learnt a lot and now just have to remember and put it into practice - I hope my bad habits are not too far gone. Thank you too for putting me straight on the grinds on my tools, no wonder I couldn’t get on with the spindle gouge. Please thank Susan too for looking after us so well.
I would just like to say how much I enjoyed my day’s woodturning with George. Particularly rewarding was the opportunity to have a go at some decorative work (ebonizing and grain filling with gold) which felt quite artistic!
George is relaxed and patient and I found his overall teaching style to be very encouraging. I now feel inspired to take the plunge, buy the kit and set up a lathe at home. Many thanks to you George!
Andrew Robinson, Bucks.
Earlier this year I had three days one-to-one instruction with George at his workshop in Burnham on Sea. I am very much a beginner and make slow progress but George has been very patient and has definitely helped to boost my confidence. Last week I turned my first complete bowl at home, alone, without any heart-stopping moments. It may not sound very exciting but for me it is a tremendous achievement!