Woodcarving for beginners - two day course in Suffolk

Gerald working on a Hepplewhite chair back


Join experienced tutor and woodcarver Gerald Adams for a two day introduction to wood carving.

Until the Covid situation becomes resolved, I have reduced the numbers on the course to 4 and implemented appropriate safety procedures.

The course is designed to introduce students to the specific skills and techniques involved in woodcarving, to boost their confidence and enthusiasm to take on new projects. We also aim to have fun.

Students should gain a good understanding of the fundamentals of woodcarving techniques and practices, Gerald aims to encourage and direct individuals to use their talents effectively. You can expect to complete a piece of work in the time available.

Techniques and Materials Covered
Health and Safety
Basic design work
learn how to sharpen and use a range of tools
Ways of Holding and securing work
Roughing out and initial wood removal
Developing and detailing the work with various tools and gouges
Surface treatment and finishing.

Teaching Method
The course is hands on: tuition is by demonstration; learning is by practice with tutor input.

Gerald set up his woodcarving business in 1986 after gaining a BA (hons) degree in fine art. His interest in woodcarving began while working for a leading furniture making firm, and then studying woodcarving at the London college of furniture, he has gone on to complete a post graduate certificate in education and taught city and guild students part time in the local technical college and adult education.

As well as completing many prestigious commissions, Gerald teaches regular weekly classes and beginners courses at his Suffolk workshop.

If you have any queries in advance of booking your place, please use the 'chat with the maker' button, we would be happy to hear from you.

Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 4 weeks before the course starts. Start dates may be amended on request.

What's included in the price?

The days tuition runs from 10.00 to 4.30.

Buffet Lunch is included, as well as lots of tea and biscuits!

All tools and materials provided, so no need to buy anything first.


Gerald at Gerald Adams Woodcarvers Ltd


28 Colneis Road
IP11 9HF

Suitable for

  • Adults
  • Christmas
  • Fathers Day
  • Intermediate level
  • Mothers Day
  • Parking provided
  • Public transport
  • Seniors
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Teenagers


2 days (10:00am to 4:30pm)

Gold Badge
What does this mean?

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.

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In-person course
Colin Hiscock - - #33569

Wonderful two days letting Gerry teach me what I do wrong showing me new techniques I-had never thought of filling me with enthusiasm and knowledge so I can advance further than I thought possible. He is an excellent teacher and mentor with a truly brilliant workshop set up and safe practice in these times. Thanks Gerry

In-person course
Peter - - #33526

Highly recommended. Gerry is both a craftsman and a teacher, if you have any glowing embers of interest in carving wood the beginners course will ignite your interest.

I've just completed the beginners course which was informative, productive (brought 2 carvings home) and fun!

In-person course
John Bills - - #33267

Just finished a beginners course and thoroughly enjoyed it. Gerry is clearly a master of his craft but also has considerable patience and an ability to give encouragement and help raw beginners such as myself to gain confidence.

The course was bought for me as a birthday present and I have now signed up for an ongoing course to learn more.

I am looking forward to it and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who fancies having a go.

In-person course
Jacobo - - #33209

I had done some woodcarving by myself in the past few months, but this course is just what I needed. Gerry was an excellent teacher and gave many useful comments.

In-person course
Nicola Dunn - - #30905

Gerry has a great set up for his wood carving courses. Covid principles and health and safety adherence was up front. Great hospitality was on offer.
Gerry is a good teacher enabling people new to wood carving, to experience a range of tools and techniques in a relaxed way. Gerry was supportive and encouraging.
I left the day immensely pleased with my scallop shell carving. I will definitely be back for more. Thank you

In-person course
Mark Goodridge - - #29438

The course was excellent. Gerry gave me all the individual attention I needed to start carving. He built my confidence from zero to now using my skills for restoration work in our ancient house. I bought my first set of tools the day after the course. Highly recommended.

In-person course
stephen lambert - - #29435

Very enjoyable introduction to carving. I learnt so much but now want more. Gerry made it both informative and fun. I would be interested in further courses, it's just a shame Gerry is moving further away.

In-person course
Richard Driver - - #29411

This was a fantastic introduction to wood carving.
I thoroughly enjoyed it, lots to learn but Gerald is literally the most patient person I have ever met, and answers all your repeated questions like it's the first time.
He had such a passion for the craft and that is really infectious...it makes you want to continue.
Add to that the delicious food provided by his wife and the never ending supply of tea and biccies, it's a winning combination.
Try for yourself....you won't be disappointed.

In-person course
Paul Judge - - #28586

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In-person course
Judith V Watson-Bruhn - - #27872

Excellent introduction to wood carving in a relaxed and fun atmosphere. I had never held a gouge or chisel before but through Gerald's patient and expert guidance I was able to make a wooden shell within a day. I loved and and will continue to learn more. I can recommend the course whole heartedly. Thank you Gerald!

In-person course
Charlotte - - #27501

I had a fantastic time on Gerry's 2 day beginners course this January 2020. I was a total beginner. I learnt so much, and feel I achieved so much too! This was thanks to Gerry's excellent teaching style and to the great resources available to us all. I loved the way everything was demonstrated in a step-by-step way, as well as how core information about the wood and the tools was shown and discussed. It was possibly one of the most relaxing and therapeutic things I have ever done. I'd love to try the weekly classes.

Response from Gerald Adams Woodcarvers Ltd:

Thanks for the lovely review Charlotte.
It would great to have you at a weekly class. Still spaces on a Tuesday. Keep in touch. Thanks again

In-person course
Matt Groves - - #27462

I booked this course for my Father as a birthday gift. In all booking arrangements, Gerry was friendly, helpful and proactive. The booking process as well as the information provided about both travel and the course was all excellent and clear.

My Father loved the course. He found it tiring due to the amount of information that was being imparted, but at the same time thoroughly enjoyable and it has ignited a passion in him to do more carving. His feedback was that Gerry was an excellent teacher, hugely skilled and knowledgeable, but always patient and helpful. He found that he could achieve far better results than he expected.

I am hoping to book him on another course with Gerry that can extend his skills further, once he has had time to tinker with and develop those skills that he has already learned.

In-person course
Dr Tim - - #27406

I have been professionally involved in arts and crafts education all my working life and have sampled and taken part in numerous short courses.

I must say that this two-day course in woodcarving was outstanding. Gerry is a time-served craftsman with a pedigree which can be traced back to the pinnacle of European woodcarving.

However, one rarely finds craftsmen with such high technical standards capable of imparting their knowledge to students in a sympathetic and meaningful way. Gerry is an exception; with a patient, good-humoured teaching style, he has the gift of imparting to the learner a belief in their potential and this leads to that all-important self-confidence, which lies at the heart of quality craft education.

In-person course
Andrew Broadbent - - #27360

As a total beginner to wood carving I felt Gerald's whole approach to the course was excellent. Relaxed atmosphere, good facilities plus very helpful and encouraging support. We went through a number of techniques learning from demonstrations and our own practical efforts. On the second day we moved onto our own project, again with excellent guidance. I was perhaps a little ambitious with the project I chose! A lot packed into 2 days but I came away with a desire to move on and finish my project then move onto more carving. Highly recommended.

In-person course
Maureen McCoy - - #25743

I recently attended Gerald's 2 day beginners woodcarving course because I wanted to make a practice Ukulele but I didn't know where to start. I was particularly worried about shaping the neck & heel. I thoroughly enjoyed the course and came home with a neck/heel that, with a little sanding, is ready for use. I learned much more than I expected and have gained the self confidence I need to finish my project. I would recommend Gerald's courses to anyone.

In-person course
Andy Ireland - - #25721

I was bought the 2 day course by my wife as a birthday gift. Woodcarving has been something that I had always fancied having a go at, but never have. What an amazing introduction these two days are. I am amazed at how much I learned over these two days and just as amazed by the quality of what I was able to carve under Gerry's expert tuition. The class of six students was just the right size and Gerry was able to spend quality time with all of us individually as well as in a group. He was friendly and patient and made learning this craft a thoroughly enjoyable experience. We were well catered for too with plenty of tea and coffee and a wonderful sit down lunch with Gerry and his wife. I would have no hesitation in recommending this course and I really hope I am able to get on another one in the not too distant future.

In-person course
Douglas Burness - - #22565

I started carving at a later stage of life (retired) and joined a local woodcarving group. They recommended Gerry and after he did a 1 day demo course at our group, I signed up for the 2 day starter course. I certainly became a lot more familiar with carving techniques and methods. Gerry is very patient and describes/explains thing exceptionally well.
I would not hesitate to recommend his courses to anyone wishing to learn carving or just to raise their level of skills.
Excellent course!

In-person course
Barney - - #19419

Went on the course having never held a chisel and came home with two items I manged to make over the two days. Very relaxed cousre and Gerald had plenty of time for all the students. It might even be worth going just for the food.

In-person course
Andy Pyper - - #18476

I have attended many educational events in my time and seldom have I enjoyed one as much as this woodcarving course. We were gently encouraged by Gerry and introduced to the joy of using top quality tools expertly sharpened on very forgiving wood .There was something for everyone whatever their personal goals and lots of techniques to take away for future practice and improvement .
Excellent catering and all round good fun.

In-person course
John Rowley - - #18411

I thoroughly enjoyed last weekend's 2 day course for beginners. Gerald is clearly a very talented man who can help you realise any hidden potential you may have. Excellent practical advice delivered with fun to a small group of novices in a well equipped workshop. Copious supplies of biscuits, beverages and excellent lunches kept our energy levels high. I was surprised by how quickly time passed whilst working on our various projects, interspersed by practical demonstrations. I look forward to a returner's course in the future and would be delighted to repeat the 3 hour trip to Norfolk for more experience.

In-person course
John Knights - - #17125

I have just spent a very enjoyable 2 days in the company of Gerry and the other course members. Everything was top notch, Gerry's instructions , the workshop and tools, the tea-break and lunch facilities and the fellow students were fun and good to learn with. I would highly recommend the course.

In-person course
Barry Gait - - #17105

I have just enjoyed the same course as Jim and can only reiterate what he has said. Gerry has taken a small group of likeminded people through an interesting introduction to wood carving that has included basic techniques, tool maintenance and wood choice. We have all come away with a finished introduction piece and our own piece almost finished. A fascinating two days that has also been a lot of fun with regular refreshments including excellent soup and buffet at lunchtimes. I can't recommend the course highly enough.

In-person course
Jim Commins - - #17103

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In-person course
Mark Webster - - #14752

I recently attended Gerry’s 2 day course for beginners and can thoroughly recommend it for anyone who is thinking about having a go at wood carving. Gerry is clearly a talented master craftsman and teaches through a mix of demonstrating techniques to the class as well as giving practical support, guidance and encouraging feedback on a 1:1 basis. He creates a positive, relaxed environment for learning and has plenty of humorous anecdotes from his long carving career. The lunch, prepared by Gerry’s wife, (including wonderful homemade soup) and other refreshments were excellent. Overall a really enjoyable weekend of learning a new skill.

In-person course
Jane Grubb - - #14658

Spent two days on a beginners carving course with Gerald this weekend. The course was fantastic. I am an absolute beginner and Gerald took me - and the 5 other participants - through a complete range of basic skills and toolcare. We used the skills to make 2 small pieces - always good to have something to take home. Gerald tailored the course to each person's skills and was the epitome of patience. He is extremely knowledgeable. We enjoyed a fantastic meal on each day and regular teas and biscuits. I highly recommend the courses.

In-person course
Peter Harvey - - #13877

An excellent weekend. Well taught and thoroughly enjoyable. Gerry offers great guidance and experienced advice. Small classes so lots of time to learn. Highly recommend.

In-person course
Baz Wilkinson - - #12881

I completed Gerry’s 2 day course 3 weeks ago and I’m still buzzing from the whole experience. As a total beginner to wood carving, this course and Gerry’s fantastic teaching has inspired me to continue wood carving. In 2 days I created a piece of woodwork that I ( and my wife and friends) never thought I would be able to create with my own hands! A huge thank you to Gerry for giving me this experience and all the information and knowledge he passed on re: tools, technique, sharpening, and all I need to get started and having the confidence to continue. A huge thank you to Gerrys wife for the wonderful lunch we were treated to on both days. I went asking myself the question whether this was something that I can do and want to do as a hobby. I have come away with a resounding YES to both. I fully recommend this course.

In-person course
Keith Mosley - - #12465

Just finished one of Gerry's courses. We had a great time; Jerry is an excellent wood carver and a great teacher. The workshop has all the tools needed and provides a great environment for the course. 5I am an absolute beginner at carving wood though I have been turning wood for a little while. I learnt so much on the course; I came away with a great understanding of the tools, the process and where to get the various supplies i might need. Jerry also helped me sort the tools I had inherited and then sharpen them. And then there were the lunches provided by Gerry's wife, which were wonderful. I can thoroughly recommend the course to anyone who wants to learn about wood carving

In-person course
Christine Kimber - - #11759

My sister and I did the beginners course in April this year and liked it so much we’ve just completed a two day course carving a green man plaque ... Gerry has a lovely relaxed style of teaching and has excellent equipment which have enabled me to complete an excellent green man. I’m amazed that I was able to produce such an excellent result as I don’t consider myself skilled artistically.. Gerry has enabled me to produce something I am proud to show off with to anybody.. feeling really proud of myself.. thank you Gerry couldn’t have done it without you

In-person course
Mike Ellwood - - #11339

Have just completed 2 days with Gerald, this has revived my interest in wood carving. Great introduction to the basics now all I need is tools to finish the Owl before Christmas. Excellent teacher, workshop and refreshments.

In-person course
Roger wharton - - #11302

I started carving over six years ago with a beginners weekend course I enjoyed it so much and was made so very welcome I just keep going back.
Gerald is not only one of the nicest people I have ever met he is also an outstanding wood carver and excellent teacher, his knowledge of wood is just amazing.
Wood carving under Gerald's tuition is one of the best things I have ever enjoyed.

In-person course
Camilla Cross - - #10684

Gerry was my first introduction to wood carving since middle school. He is a patient and caring teacher more than willing to explain the answer to any question you can come up with. I have been attending his evening classes for somewhere around a year and have learned so much. He has encouraged me even when I picked a rather obscure and eccentric First Project. Which has since been a complete success. I am certainly looking forward to the next term's classes with Gerry and am excited to see what we create next. I would highly recomend him for both beginers and those more advanced.

In-person course
Glyn Owens - - #10342

My daughter bought me a set of courses for Christmas after I retired some three years ago and I have never looked back.
First thing was a nice house sign with lettering and quatrefoils.
Gerald has a great attitude and teaches the use of tools and techniques which would be difficult on ones own.
Besides there is a great cameraderie with classmates and it is fascinating to see what others achieve.

In-person course
Dudley Watts - - #10340

My woodcarving interest started some 10 years ago at an adult education class in Norwich. My enjoyment was 200% but progress was slow. When the classes were disbanded we were so pleased that Gerry took up the cudgel and set up courses in Long Stratton to enable us to keep up our new found skills. It's a great atmosphere in the workshop and I have achieved projects that have amazed me. The tuition cannot be faulted, the classes are friendly and you can do whatever you want knowing that help is always at hand. Tools and wood are available and Tuesday afternoons have become something to look forward to.

In-person course
Nick Jackson - - #10332

I started on a weekend woodcarving course with Gerry three years ago. I had a very low level of confidence and memories of school woodwork with a grumpy teacher and grotty bits of deal that always ended up planed to a sliver. Gerry is the Mary Poppins of the woodworking world (without the outfits). He actually made me laugh and enjoy woodwork as I'd never imagined I could. I signed up for a regular weekly class and discovered a talent I never knew I had and made new friends in his friendly class. He is a skilled craftsman who enjoys passing on his skills to other people and is happy to advise on tool buying and to supply lovely pieces of lime and oak to carve. I'm hooked!

In-person course
John Mewse - - #10330

Think I speak for most as once the first 15 mins have gone by you loose yourself in your own world of carving and the few hours you spend are a great break from everyday life, tuition is informative without being restrictive and allows you to gain confidence quickly, Gerrys' knowledge of carving backed up with his artistic knowledge nudges you towards producing more than you thought you were capable of very quickly, well appointed workshop, good friendly atmosphere, descent cup of tea at half time, highly recommended!

In-person course
Chantal Haddon - - #10320

Gerald is very generous with his expertise and it is a pleasure to learn from someone with such skill and experience. The atmosphere in the classes is very friendly and you are given lots of scope to develop your own projects.Addictive and enjoyable.

In-person course
Gavin Cawley - - #10181

I started going to Gerald's woodcarving classes to support my interest in making musical instruments, and it turned out to be a very good decision indeed! As the other reviews have mentioned, Gerald is master carver, and an excellent teacher. He provides carving exercises that teach the basic (and not so basic) techniques, but is also very helpful for students with projects of their own, giving excellent guidance on both technical aspects and on the modeling of the carving (i.e. the artistic side of carving). The workshop is very well equipped and it is useful to be able to work with a variety of tools to determine what you most need to buy for your workshop at home. The lessons are also great fun, and one of the high points of my week - very highly recommended!

In-person course
Lynda Watts - - #10176

Gerry offers simple practical tuition using a full range of tools within achievable goals from beginners to the advanced.
However small or uninspiring your project may seem, he will make it matter for you. He lends himself well to each student and is very fair with his time. He gives good sound advice and demonstrates his skills well.
My carving has much improved since going to his classes.

In-person course
David Handley - - #10167

I cannot recommend the Woodcarving weekly classes too highly.
Gerald is a Master Carver and a great teacher. He also manages to create a wonderful friendly atmosphere in his classes which is a joy to work in. After several years carving away after work or at weekends on my own in my workshop, I am now able to take advantage of retirement and spend time with like minded carvers who want to get better and a bit more creative. I always look forward to my weekly classes and hope to continue to improve my carving skills at Gerald's classes for many terms to come.

In-person course
Anna Cullingford - - #10139

I joined Gerald's classes after carving for 8 years, and am now ironing out my bad habits!
I find the classes both helpful and inspiring and have learned new techniques, including how to sharpen chisels.
Gerald is always ready to help if you get stuck, suggesting a different method or different tool to do the job. I would definitely recommend his classes for beginners and improvers alike.

In-person course
Lionel Hickman - - #10125

I was lucky enough to find Gerry a couple of years ago having previously carved with another group. Simply put, he is a Master Carver who is eager to pass on his considerable knowledge to all of his students. He does this by example, and patient guidance, with tuition methods that enable his students to produce work that previously they,just maybe, would not have attempted. Gerry's soft spoken approach creates a very encouraging and enjoyable carving experience every week

In-person course
Roger Morse - - #10117

I was pleased to be able to restart wood carving on my retirement having been an occasional carver.

Gerry is a very supportive teacher with the emphasis on guiding and encouraging everyone to 'do it on their own' which increases the confidence of each carver. The mutual class support is also helpful.

It is clear to me everyone enjoys their weekly class and we are all more confident carvers from our tuition. Always a most enjoyable part of my week.

In-person course
K Henderson - - #10100

I have been a student of Gerry's for five years and have completed both regular woodcarving sessions and a beginner's chair-making course.
Gerry mixes both structured and flexible classes, allowing you to progress from your own starting point, whether this is a beginner or more experienced carver. There is the option to do 'set pieces' to develop different carving techniques, where Gerry takes you through a step-by-step process or to choose your own piece to work on, where Gerry provides individual tuition and coaching.
Gerry advises you on woods and chisels to buy if you want to work at home as well, or provides use of his own tools, if you are not sure you want to set yourself up just yet. I would highly recommend Gerry's courses, as both educational, social and enjoyable.

In-person course
Laurie Janicker (Reverend) - - #10098

I have been one of Gerry's weekly students for several years. His talent and work is truly astounding and must be seen to be believed. Just check out his website.
Gerry is an excellent teacher - expert, patient, courteous, long-suffering, painstaking, intelligent, humorous - and provides some not too bad coffee, to boot.
There is nothing he cannot make - and also teach and help you to make it too. I am astounded at the progress that even a novice like me has achieved thanks entirely to him.
His classes are always fun and we always have some good laughs.
Try him - he won't disappoint.

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