Woodturning Courses in the Midlands
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About the Course
A member of the Register of Professional Turners (RPT) with a recognised teaching qualification (PTLLS), Mark Hancock runs these wood turning course from his well-equipped workshop near Pershore, Worcestershire
Courses can be arranged for all levels of experience from the complete beginner to the more advanced turner with each course specifically designed to meets the student’s needs and requirements.
Those that have turning tools are encouraged to bring these along with samples of work to help highlight areas that may need guidance.
All courses deal with:
• selection and use of tools and equipment,
• selection and conversion of timber
• tool sharpening
• design considerations
• workshop health and safety
These are hands on courses with the student having access to a wealth of information from a turner with over 28 years of experience including working as a tutor at West Dean College and Warwickshire College, for the AWGB and various locations worldwide.
So if you are starting out and wanting sound advice to avoid costly mistakes or wanting to move forward with turning hollow forms and working with green timber etc.or want to try something new and have a fun day just creating something on the lathe with no fuss, there is a course available.
If booking with a CraftCourses voucher for part or all of the course fee, please fill in the contact form above or telephone us. Your voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.
What's included in the price?
The course fee is for one student and includes:
• Choice of dates including weekends
• All timber and materials used
• Use of tools and PPE (smock, face mask, etc.)
• Detailed course notes
• and a plentiful supply of tea or coffee
All you need to do is turn up.
Local accommodation is available, just ask Mark for details.
I have just had a one-on-one day course with Mark and I couldn't be happier with the whole experience. The day started with the basics of the lathe and tools, progressed through parallel grain turning techniques and finished ended with me turning a bowl from a piece of ash. The knowledge and expertise that Mark passed onto me is invaluable to me, and I thoroughly recommend his courses. Thanks for your patience with me Mark!
Tom Magal - - #13617
What an inspirational teacher Mark is. I did Mark's 1 day wood turning taster course (bought for me by my daughters). This is one of the best experiences I have had, learning from a master craftsman and walking away with a bowl that I can be proud of. Mark's passion for his craft and design aesthetics and safety aspects shine through as he patiently guides you through the equipment and basic turning techniques and imparts that precious knowledge he has to help you through the first tentative steps on what I hope will be a longer journey into the world of wood turning. The whole day was so enjoyable and I thoroughly recommend anyone, beginner or improver to contact Mark and reserve a slot with him - you won't be disappointed.
Mike Foss - - #13441
A brilliant day all round!
I am a complete novice and Mark patiently took me through all aspects of turning . From advice on kit to practical help with techniques. Safety is always a priority.
He is a friendly, very experienced good teacher. The workshop is warm and coffee supplied.
I thoroughly recommend the course.
Bill Bellamy - - #13368
I had a very enjoyable and informative day with Mark. I had some specifics that I needed guidance on and during the day we dealt with those and a few more, including tool selection and sharpening.
As a result I now need to do less sanding as I get a better finish directly from the chisels. A very worthwhile and thorough session with a very skilful, understanding and helpful professional.
I plan another visit.
Anthony Culley - - #13347
Thank you so much for the days tuition Mark, purchased for me a Christmas present. I had great time with you at your workshop. Your patience and encouragement with a complete beginner made for a very relaxed and thoroughly enjoyable experience. I am very proud of the bowl I came away with (even if there was some of your input into it!). I look forward to getting my ancient lathe up and running in the not too distant future. Thanks again and best regards.
David Greer - - #12877
I am an absolute beginner, but Mark's knowledge, experience and relaxed manner put you immediately at ease. I cannot rate this training highly enough - I came away with a huge amount of knowledge, advice and what feels like a full range of practical skills. I now feel confident to begin building up my own workshop and turning items!
As others have said, the time flies by since Mark makes the subject so absorbing - and he really doesn't want you to finish until he has imparted as much information as he can. I will be booking again to move onto the next level! Finally I cannot finish without mentioning how modest Mark is. Anyone who has seen the pieces Mark produces will be hugely impressed by his skill and artistic vision, and yet he genuinely loves the simple activity of taking the most basic log, turning it round and making a pile of shavings.
Just go ahead and book!
Chris Coleman - - #12870
I have been turning for 25 years on and off self taught in my shed. Never had a chance to do a course because of the job i did but i retired last year wife gave me a day with Mark as a christmas present. Mark gave me a lot of good advice on what to buy and what not to buy. He also showed me where i was going wrong with a lot of the bad habits i had to taught my self. I will definitely go back for some more tuition when i have tryed to put into practice some of the things i was shown
Paul Gasson - - #12831
Absolutely fantastic day. I am a complete novice and finished the day feeling confident to have a go at wood turning on my own. Mark covered a huge amount in one day with great handouts and loads of information about what to buy and not to buy. I would definitely recommend the day and hope to go back for more help after some practicing on my own.
Thanks Mark - a great day.
Sian - - #12690
Spent two days last week with Mark learning about wood turning and what a fantastic time I had!
Mark is very skilled and knowledgeable at his trade and he is very good at putting just enough (plus a bit more) information to you to suit your own needs and ability.
Whilst not a stranger to working with tools and machinery, I was a novice to wood turning - but no longer - I came away with my head buzzing (with info) but the ability to carry out wood turning confidently and safely on my own lathe (which is being installed and set up imminently).
I was enthusiastic about attending the course and came away even more enthusiastic about taking up wood turning as a serious hobby and I would highly recommend training with Mark.
So thanks again, ever so, Mark and hope to meet up again in the near future and beyond.
Happy New Wood Turner!
Andy Falconer - - #12471
I am a returning student to Mark. He gave me a lesson on how to sharpen tools in depth.
As my goal is to be a professional woodturner, I need somebody to guide me in the right direction. If you are looking for a woodturning expert, he is the person you can rely on and will give you all the information he has got. During and after the lesson, I had always been happy. I am still happy when I think of the lesson with him. That is why I am returning whenever I need help to upgrade skills or to cure my bad habit for sound and safe woodturning.
Thanks again Mark and happy woodturning everybody!!
Tim Yang - - #12323
Having no other previous wood turning experience other than from a school D&T project 25 years ago, I thoroughly enjoyed my day with Mark.
Mark covered a lot of ground during the day with a good balance of theory, technical advice, demonstrations and hands-on experience, and I came away from the day with a beautiful bowl that Mark helped me turn and a strong desire to take up wood turning as a hobby or potential business avenue.
Mark is very friendly, calm and helpful, and he generously gave me a lot of tailored advice and knowledge. His workshop is very welcoming and orderly, with the wood burning stove going throughout a cold winter's day. Under Mark's guidance, my initial nervousness about using the lathe soon disappeared, and I felt my confidence and ability in handling the tools, materials and techniques build and build during the day.
Mark has also very kindly sent me some very useful suggestions and links for equipment, tools, books and wood turning groups that are local to me. I would thoroughly recommend booking a day's course with Mark, and I hope to do so again in the future.
Richard Darkin - - #12192
My children bought me a days course as a gift. I was quite nervous as I’m a real beginner. I thoroughly enjoyed the day and left feeling much more confident. We covered so much and I also came away with written notes and a lovely bowl that has really impressed my children!! Mark is an excellent teacher and very knowledgeable.
I would definitely recommend this course.
Helen Nolan - - #12134
The one to one day course was a birthday gift from my children. I am quite self conscious when it comes to courses, but had a great day with Mark he is a good teacher. We chatted away but seemed to cover a lot of ground, I learnt a lot and now have a list of things I want to try out. Hands on Mark would demonstrate a cut then watch and offer encouragement and suggestions as I tried to make the cut. I do watch videos when trying to learn techniques but it it is so much better having someone as knowledgeable as Mark standing beside supporting and giving advice especially when learning to use something like a skew chisel.
shane tiffin - - #12073
Had a excellent experience on a days wood turning with mark . Friendly and easy to get along, very experienced in all aspects wood turning. Even when mistakes are made by myself, as mark would put it "design opportunities are made" . Five stars highly recommended course .
Mark powell - - #12068
Great one to one tuition, taught me a lot in one day, and Mark didn’t stop until he was happy he had covered everything I wanted to learn.
John Hewes - - #11953
Had a great time with Mark. Highly experienced and a good guide in the minefield of tools and equipment available in the market.
He’s a great teacher so be ready to soak in as much as you can.
Would definitely take a add on course. I already miss being in the workshop.
Jaykishan - - #11935
When I retired from work my work colleagues knew I had taken up wood turning as a hobby and presented me with a voucher for a days wood turning tuition with Mark.
I went onto Marks web site and checked out the gallery and read the reviews, they were all excellent with great feedback and compliments of Marks skill in passing on knowledge of wood turning in a friendly professional way. Having read all the reviews back to 2 years ago I spotted the review from Wolfgang and knew he was a member of our Club at West Midlands wood turners. At our next meeting I spoke to Wolfgang and told him I had a day booked with Mark. He said I was in for a very special day, His experience with Mark was fantastic.
On arriving at Marks workshop I was met with a warm welcome and a cup of tea whilst mark asked me what I wanted to get from the day. I explained I had been turning for about 14 months and had been self taught with some assistance of our club members including Wolfgang (who is a very proficient turner now).
We had discussed briefly on the phone my experience and the areas I felt I need to get more tuition on to develop my skills. He had asked me to take some work I had done and my tools.
He looked at the work I had done and he explained the areas that he felt he could help me improve on. He looked at my tools and explained the different profiles and the reasons why he chose specific profiles and this became much clearer and we went on later in the day to re-profile some of my gouges which I have seen the benefit of since returning to my own workshop.
Mark's teaching skills and friendly approach put you instantly at ease. He covers all the basic Health and safety and good working practice guidelines and has hand outs prepared for his students which he makes additional notes on as you go through the day.
I could fill the page with a step by step appraisal of my day with Mark but if I had to sum it up in a few words it would be "Absolutely Brilliant from Start to Finish"
Thank you Mark
Rob Huxley - - #11778
Excellent day,priceless help and advice,friendly tuition and plenty of tea!
Went in knowing nothing and came out with confidence to go and buy my own lathe and get on with it.
Would recommend to anyone, complete beginner or otherwise i think there's always something you can learn.
Graham smith - - #11650
The course is excellent. Loads of information, hands on experience and expert advice. I would recommend it to anybody, mark is brilliant and the tools available are great. Its also excellent value for money as it is quite a long day.
Thanks for the training
Chris - - #11583
Mark is an expert in the field of wood turning, but he has the skill of explaining and demonstrating the art of turning to an absolute beginner such as me in language I could understand. The day was thoroughly engaging and absorbing with plenty of hands on time; lots of helpful advice on all aspects of the work - H&S, material, methodology and equipment.
Mark was recommended to me and I have no hesitation in recommending any other aspiring turner to take the opportunity of training with Mark. I would like to repeat the course again when I have some experience behind me.
Derek Carter - - #11579
My wife gave me a voucher for a day of wood turning instruction with Mark for my birthday. I had a bit of experience turning wood (self taught) and so Took my tools and work samples along. Mark was able to tailor my day to suit my strengths and weaknesses. It was a long and thouroghly enjoyable day, covering all aspects of turning finishing log prep and tool use and sharpening. Mark was very helpful and full of knowledge. I think the fact that he is passionate about what he does comes in his teaching. The information and websites he emailed are an added bonus to the day. Thanks very much Mark! My head is still buzzing from all the information! PS.I've already raised my lathe to stop my backache!
Andy Spanjers - - #11256
I and a friend, both outright beginners, enjoyed a long and fairly intensive day with Mark at his workshop. The day's course was well structured and supported by detailed notes as we we worked through the day. We both came away feeling that the basic processes were covered in detail which led to a greater understanding of how wood turning should be approached from a technical and safety angle. Mark's patience and teaching ability has certainly encouraed my appetite for a greater involvement in woodturning, which I can approach with some confidence and anticipation of eventually producing some reasonable turned work. Many thanks Mark.
Philip Earl - - #11172
My wife purchased a 1 day training course through Mark as a surprise 44th Birthday present. I can honestly say this was the best present I could have wished for. Whilst having experience in Carpentry, I attended as a complete novice/beginner - always being interesting and talking about Woodturning but never pursuing this avenue.
Mark put me at ease right from the start - having a chat over a cup of coffee prior to running through all the basics - safety, machinery, tools, sharpening - backed up with over 30 pages of course notes which we covered during the days tuition, not to mention the many "hands on" practical demonstrations/lessons which we completed.
Having undertaken numerous training courses during my time in the Construction Industry, I can honestly say that Mark is by far the best training tutor I have had the privilege of working with. His experience and knowledge is second to one, not to mention his enthusiasm, patience and encouragement for the student.
I came away with a wonderful turned Beech bowl which has taken pride of place in our living room, but most importantly I was able to meet and learn the basics from a true craftsman and artist in his field.
Follow on correspondence and info was sent the very next day - with the suggested "shopping list" we discussed when first setting up, along with links to various local clubs, training days/courses and seminars etc - brilliant "Post training" advise and info.
A big thank you Mark for a most enjoyable day and informative insight into Woodturning - now just need to get "set-up" and start practicing (any excuse to buy more tools!!!!!)
Jamie Morgan - - #10903
This was a well thought out, highly informative course well prepared and organised. Mark is an excellent tutor and the whole day was full of positive energy and encouragement. He has shaved years of my learning curve with regard to wood turning by sharing his knowledge and experience openly with me and his post course support will i am sure prove invaluable.
Joe Walton - - #10850
I first met Mark a few months ago; I’d decided that I needed to explore some hobbies which might take me out of my comfort zone and get me to learn new skills. Given my (then) belief that wood-turning demanded brute strength and was undertaken by grey-haired beardy-weirdy men with an unhealthy love of folk music and an unquenchable desire to fill the world with hand-made honey spurtles, it seemed to fit the bill perfectly given I am a middle-aged, cack-handed female, cautious about folk music and who has never-knowingly made anything useful in her life. So I booked a 1-day session with Mark and looked forward to a few hours in woodland world ….
How wrong I was! Well, yes, Mark does indeed have a beard and there may be a few grey hairs in it (albeit not as many as there were by the time he had finished teaching me) but other than that, all preconceptions went out of the window. By the time I left I was a convert having learned that wood-turning is:
• Both incredibly relaxing and yet challenging enough to keep the brain interested; forget making a honey spurtle; by the end of my first day I had produced (with a lot of help!) a lovely bowl which that morning had started life as a rather unprepossessing lump of firewood;
• Requires no brute strength at all – when you get the technique correct it’s all about finesse not muscle; move over gentlemen and let us ladies have a go;
• Pretty easy to learn; after just one day with Mark you’re confident enough to get your own lathe (or simply commandeer your husband’s or partner's) and start having a go on your own
My conversion to the joys of wood-turning was completely due to Mark, and his brilliance as a teacher. Mark is incredibly patient, informative, enthusiastic and encouraging. He takes the lessons seriously in that he is well-prepared and able to move along at your pace, taking the time to explain not only what to do but why you need to do it (important when wishing to avoid a piece of wood flying at your head from less than a foot away). But while he is serious about his craft, his teaching style is anything but: I had great fun from start to finish, and spent much of the day laughing both at Mark’s jokes and at myself. Indeed I enjoyed it so much that I’ve subsequently returned for a couple more sessions.
Never found out whether he likes folk music…….
Jayne - - #10589
Great basic overview of tools and techniques. Removed the fear factor from introducing metal to fast turning wood!! Mark's easy and attentive style set the scene for a highly instructive, informative and entertaining day. Highly recommended.
Tony Taylor - - #10445
Excellent course from a very knowlegeable and patient tutor. I felt that Mark had really personalised the course to match my needs exactly. He guided me through the basics building my confidence with each technique and provided the "common sense" advice you can only get from an expert in the field.
I really appreciated Marks willingness to work a very long day to ensure I had completed my bowl and for the follow up support.
John Jordan - - #10394
Having taught myself some woodturning I decided to go on a course to improve my skills and see what I was doing wrong. I certainly picked the best person to help me. Mark is an excellent tutor, very patient, and shared his expertise freely. I had a wonderful day and learned such a lot. I would thoroughly recommend Mark to anyone who wishes to learn the craft of woodturning from the best. I came away with a small bowl and a mine of information. Well worth every penny. Thank you, Mark. I will be back.
John Westwood - - #10380
I attended a pre-booked "1 day session" with Mark a couple of weeks ago but due to continued ill health I have delayed submitting my review as I did not want anything to compromise what I have to say about this remarkable man, in every sense. The inverted commas at the beginning are due to the fact that in my case, due to my situation, we agreed to split the "day" over two consecutive half days, but due to myself this seriously ran into day 3, in the main, driven gently by Mark to ensure the initial objective for the course was achieved. From the outset he was patient and understanding, showing empathy without what can be at times patronising sympathy. I took up wood turning after being forced to retire early from quite an executive position, and as such needed some structure in my day. I did the norm, books, DVD and you tube, but I should have made Mark my introduction into wood turning and indeed my first port of call. His passion is only matched by his amazing ability in his craft. the passion of which he naturally transfers to the student. He is honest with his views on the "traditional laws" of woodturning, which can only end up confusing students of the craft, safe working practices are a different manner entirely. As I have made very obvious I suffer from ill health, I am an amputee and have chronic pain issues, so if you are a similar position don't hesitate to at least talk to Mark, on the back of his glowing reviews that it what I did. It involved a 362 mile round trip on my part and a bit of an ordeal, however I would happily and hopefully will do it all over again, and yes it is worth every penny. One last thing, Please encourage him to think about writing a book as I did, as his knowledge, ability and passion needs to be left as a legacy for generations now and to come, and no I am not writing him off, just overstepping the line.
Thank you again Mark for everything.
Colin Webb - - #10359
Had a brilliant day turning with Mark. My daughter (13) really wanted to give woodturning a go and she loved it. She picked it up fast and Mark coped well with us being at different stages of our bowls during the day. He was very knowledgable and patient and I would recommend him to anyone looking for a woodturning day that is jam packed. I have a lathe which has been standing idle since having children and I had lost my confidence whick Mark helped me get back. He answered all my questions before we went and gave lots of notes to help in the future. He's also emailed us lots of info since the course to help us both going forward. Thanks Mark.
Debbie Hendriksen - - #10333
I recently completed a one-day workshop with Mark. I’ve enjoyed carpentry for years and really wanted to give woodturning a go but had never previously had the opportunity. The day with Mark was a birthday present – as I’ve started looking ahead to potentially retiring in the next few years, I’ve had a fledgling idea for a while now that I’d perhaps like to set up a small workshop with a lathe. The day with Mark was an ideal time to learn more about what’s involved in woodturning.
I learned loads during the day, which was hugely informative. We covered different types of turning, machine tool selection, tool grinding and many other things, and it was great to have the chance to work on a small project of my own – a small bowl that I took away with me at the end of the course. Mark is highly personable and very easy to get along with. He is also extremely knowledgeable and incredibly generous with his time – I not only learned a great deal during the day but also had a lot of fun.
I came away armed with a massive amount of information. Mark has prepared lots and lots of notes encompassing everything we covered (so that I didn’t need to worry about remembering everything or frantically scribbling my own notes) – including good advice and useful leads on buying tools, what traps to avoid, etc. These will be really useful in setting up a workshop of my own.
I would definitely recommend this course for anyone seeking an introduction to woodturning. Many thanks Mark!
Peter Franklin - - #10257
I recently completed a days course given to me as a 20th birthday present from my parents. Despite watching countless online videos, I went into the day a complete beginner and left having found a new hobby.
I was guided through all the basics of woodturning at a very easy pace, whilst Mark answered my many questions with great patience. I left many hours later carrying a wooden bowl and a head full of information, thankfully it had all been written down for me as well!
As i had noted an interested in becoming a hobbyist, Mark was very helpful in recommending tools and lathes and where to look for maximum value. He also encouraged me to contact him if i had any queries when searching. All that is left is to persuade my parents to let me clear some space in the garage!
For anyone with an interest in learning (young or old), I would highly recommend spending a day with Mark.
George - - #10242
A really good 'fun woodturning' day of tuition. I was really surprised by how late Mark was prepapred to run the day in order to get the project (a bowl) finished. Mark also offers a 'technical woodturning day', for those wanting to take it up as a hobby and set themselves up with equipment. Mark is very knowledgeable and passionate about the subject. No question was to 'simple' or 'unaskable'. Depending on the fun/technical day Mark would give his answers with differing levels of depth. Bring lunch & snacks. Tea & coffee provided. Clean toilets are available, but if you book for a rainy day - take a coat as you have to leave Mark's workshop and walk across the yard to the toilet building. Mark gave good tuition in a helpful manner, allowing a degree of independence dependent on student confidence and ability. I completed a wooden bowl with a 'step/notch' purposely taken out from the rim to give the finished bowl a more hand crafted feel as it's not your run of the mill, bog standard churned out 'lathe-turned' bowl. I would recomment this course if you want to make something in a day. I can't comment on the technical course as I didn't do it, but Mark's depth of knowledge, teaching experience in colleges and own experience I'm sure would make the technical day course good too.
Sally Rowney - - #10233
A brilliant day with a genuine craftsmen and instructor be prepared for a mind boggling amount of information in a very full day thanks mark for a great day
Colin butcher - - #10106
I recently completed a two day course with Mark. I not only admired his skill but also his teaching techniques. His patience and understanding (I am of a certain age!!!!) with my efforts was much appreciated. Mark is not a clock watcher, you get more than your monies worth of his time, indeed
it was me that called time at the end of a session. No matter what your level of experience is, you
cannot but benefit from time with Mark. His enthusiasm and encouragement has really fired me up
to try new techniques and his advice on how to get the best value for money when sourcing tools and materials will save you a fortune. This coupled with extensive notes made my two days well worth
while. Thanks again Mark. Oh yes and he is really a nice bloke!
Dr. John Skellern - - #10085
I had an excellent woodturning lesson with Mark last week. Actually it was third lesson with him. Since the last lessons two years ago, I have not had a chance to practice the skills which I had learnt from him simply because I have not had a lathe. The only way to remind them was to watch Youtube videos from internet.
A few months ago, I bought my own lathe at last. I thought I could woodturn well. However, it was not that easy as I thought. Even though I could make beads and coves, I heard some unpleasant noise and felt heavy with my arms. I guessed I had done many things wrong. That was why I contacted to Mark for revision lesson.
As I expected,his clear explanations and demonstrations helped me to do proper woodturning. Also he gave me an updated handout and shared what he has updated in the woodturning so far.
Now I can woodturn quite properly(I guess.). Those noise has gone now and my arms feel light. Also my lathe and gouges are very happy with me. Haha.
Thank you very much for your wonderful lesson once again. Hopefully I will see you in December. I must see you again because I need to develop more.
Tim Yang - - #9296
I’ve tried a bit of woodturning at home and picked it up and put it down on several occasions. I was bought a day with Mark as a birthday gift by my family after they had researched available courses. I have to say that it was a great present and it really hit the spot in terms of what I needed to know. He had talked with me beforehand, asked me questions about my ability, experience and aims and then tailored the day to my needs. Besides the hands-on sessions, the explanations of why things are done in a certain way, the very patient guidance and support, all the practical stuff that everyone needs to know was covered. There were lots of sensible hints and tips, advice on tools, what to look for in wood grain when you’re turning something, how to take your interest further with local clubs and exhibitions. It was a 100 mile round trip for me and I’d happily do it again for another day once I’ve mastered what he taught me and I’m ready for the next stage!
Kevin Carney - - #9186
I have been turning on and off for approximately 15 years, totally self-taught so had probably picked up a few bad habits along the way!! The days course with Mark was given to me as a 60th birthday gift by family members . I attended with some trepidation as to whether some of my previous projects that I was asked to take along would receive criticism or worst still ridicule. However, I need not have worried as it was an excellent and most enjoyable day and Marks initial comments about my efforts were both positive and encouraging. I was shown how to sharpen my own tools properly and how to use them correctly, but also more, importantly, how not to use them! His workshop is clean, tidy and well laid out. Mark appears to have the patience of a saint with a no rush approach as he was happy to take the time to explain any points over again just to ensure that I understood. All information from the day was given as a printed handout which will be really useful, as there was a lot to take in on such a long day. I definitely learned a great deal and have no hesitation in recommending the day to anyone, whatever skill level their turning is at.
Thank you Mark, it was a pleasure to spend a day in the company of someone who is very knowledgeable in the art of turning, is a good tutor and clearly enjoys and has a passion for what you do.
Malcolm Rouse - - #9075
I just spent an excellent day with Mark learning the basics of Woodturning in an experience that will stay with me for a very long time. My day to day activities are in an office and so far removed from Woodturning that I was apprehensive about how the day would go, especially given my total lack of experience in this craft or anything like it. Mark quickly put me at ease and my confidence grew and grew under his expert tuition. From the first minute to the last this was a fantastic day with Mark showing considerable patience and great knowledge. At the end of a long day (in a good way) I came out with something I'd always wanted and had actually made myself. I'd thoroughly recommend Mark and his tuition and can't thank him enough (or my wife for the gift of the experience day)!
Jason Cook - - #9016
If you want to know anything about woodturning, I suggest you book a day at Marks well equipped workshop.
My 15 year old son and myself spent the whole day under Marks excellent tuition. As complete novices, he was very patient with us, but shared his vast knowledge over a long day that we both enjoyed. Lots of expert advice was given through out the day, all supplied on reference sheets to take home and study at our leisure. Thanks again Mark.
Jon Southall - - #8962
Like many people I did a bit of woodturning at school - then life happened, and always in the back of my mind it was something I thought I'd go back to. Now I've retired that is exactly what I'm doing and I thought it would be better to get a bit of tuition and guidance before I went out and spent real money on a lathe and all the necessary tools. I'd also quite like to pursue a career in turning without killing myself or anybody nearby - so safety was another priority for me.
How glad I am that I found and booked this course! Mark had obviously put a lot of thought into our prior e-mails and the day was tailored exactly to what I needed and Mark's no-nonsense style of instruction was perfect for me. We covered the various types of lathe and features that are essential/desirable/nice-to have or just gimmicky - and the same with tools and sharpening equipment. Mark also gave me a wealth of contacts, websites etc as sources of further information.
Then we spent all afternoon doing practical exercises using all of the five main types of chisel - culminating in the production of a beautiful (I can say that because Mark did the clever bits) little bowl from a piece of green apple wood.
An exceptionally enjoyable, informative and rewarding day. Once I have spent some time practising the basics I will be back for a next-level-up course - hopefully before very long.
To anybody in a similar position to myself - make sure you do this course. Without it you will almost certainly waste a lot of money and quite likely do yourself some physical harm.
Tom Crowther - - #8761
Forget sweaters, books or ornaments, which often end up at the back of the cupboard destined for the charity shop. My one day tuition with Mark was one of the best presents I have ever had.
I went with an open mind but left many hours later, fired with enthusiasm and admiration.
Mark is an excellent tutor and I now feel able to take on a new hobby.
Ray Cook - - #8748
I found the day with Mark really enjoyable especially as I came home with a very nice looking bowl. I had the taster day which basically meant it was an introduction to woodturning but as we went along Mark would answer my many questions allowing me to get an appreciation of the tools and costs involved in starting up myself. He was patient and personable and never made me feel under pressure. He was also very generous with his time and we worked until the bowl was complete and to a good standard . He has also been kind enough to offer support and advice to help set myself up with the necessities to get started in the future. I would not hesitate in recommending the day with Mark as an introduction to woodturning.
William Grech - - #8670
I have been turning for just over a year, self-taught and was given a day course with Mark as a birthday gift. It was an excellent day. Mark showed me how to sharpen my tools properly and how to use them, and, importantly, how not to use them! All information was also given as a printed handout which is really useful as there is so much to take in. I feel I learned a great deal and would recommend the day to anyone, whatever level their turning as Mark will tailor the day to what you want from it.
David Owen - - #8607
A very interesting day, although I had done a bit of wood turning many years ago, I learned things that day I had not heard mentioned before.
I was very impressed with Marks method of instruction and patience .
He brought my old set of tools back to life as good as new.
Very impressed with the follow up .
Many thanks, Brian
Brian Price - - #8519
A great day for a complete novice. Mark's style is easy-going with the perfect balance of telling you how to do things, but also why they need to be done that way. Well paced learning and doing, with a bowl I had made myself at the end of the of day, I cannot recommend this too much.
Philippe Lacey - - #8172
As a novice to woodturning the course provided me with an excellent introduction, and it was a very worthwhile and enjoyable day. Mark provides a wealth of essential information and is a very patient and encouraging teacher,
Neil Paulley - - #8095
So glad that I treated myself to this course. Mark is very patient and gives detailed tuition with a very hands on approach. The whole day was very relaxed but informative at the same time. Having now managed to turn a bowl without horrible end grain tear out I am looking forward to getting back to my workshop to put all that I have learned into practice.
Chris Holland - - #8039
Thanks Mark for a fantastic day. You tailored the day perfectly to my ability giving quality instruction, both theoretical and practical, when required and also allowed me the freedom to work on my own. It was very satisfying to leave with a completed piece of work at the end of the day.
Ray Lewis - - #7610
Like the last reviewer, I turned up on a cold day to a warm welcome. Mark's attentive but non critical tuition was just what I needed as an amateur turner. Some of the practice I had got into was dangerous, some of it did not give a good finish, and a reasoned alternative was always available from Mark with the the time to practice it. I am looking forward to the getting onto my lathe and putting Mark's tuition into practice.
Peter Venables - - #7573
Great course, well presented.
Enjoyed the day, I would recommend this course to anyone interested in woodturning
Sean - - #7513
The course was well planned and delivered by Mark, he was very good at passing on his knowledge and experience of wood turning.
I thoroughly enjoyed my day and never thought I would leave having made a wooden bowl without the help and guidance from Mark.
Neil - - #7408
Had a very enjoyable day, with one to one tuition. Learned quite a lot about wood-turning, many things I would never have realised without instruction. Also found out what I was doing wrong!
Altogether a very useful and informative day.
Would recommend Mark to anybody who wants to learn about wood-turning from an expert.
PS the coffee was excellent!
Dave Clark - - #7364
A most enjoyable and inspiring day. Mark is an excellent tutor; patient, clear with his instructions and imparting a wealth of knowledge and advice on equipment, technique and safety. I attended a one day course and came a way with a real sense of achievement, having a had a thoroughly good day. Pieces of spare wood have far more potential than I once thought. Now for the purchase of a lathe and tools with which to realise their potential ! Many thanks.
Martin Lane - - #7294
I received this course as a birthday present as I was looking into buying a lathe and wanted to get some expert guidance before I went out and bought all the wrong tools.
Mark was an excellent teacher and will give a plethora of valuable honest advice on what to get and what to avoid in regards to tools and types of wood to use. Not only that, you'll learn how to turn properly, giving lots of time and effort saving techniques which can only be only taught by a very experienced technician in the craft.
I went for a day's tuition, there is a lot to absorb from how to turn cross grain to properly sharpening chisels. You'll work hard and leave knackered but I went away with a great sense of achievement and a hoping that a lathe will be gracing my shed very soon.
Thank you Mark for a fantastic and informative day. I would recommend this course to anyone, even if you've never done turning before.
Adam Gopsill - - #7263
Superb Course ! Great teacher. As an experienced amateur woodworker I have been on several courses and this was by far the best. Mark is an excellent and patient teacher who clearly has a planned programme (with comprehensive handout) but was very willing to tailor it to specific needs and made sure I got what I wanted out of the day. He was enthusiastic and clearly loves his subject as well as being very talented. Best day out I have had for a long time !!
ian - - #7037
I did a two day course with Mark, with the objective of producing a satisfactory box and bowl.
Both were achieved, thanks to Mark's patient and knowledgeable teaching, and I was well pleased with the result. Mark is very good at achieving without necessarily sticking slavishly to text-book principles, and also helpful on what tools to buy - and which to avoid. He is a professional and an enthusiast, and I expect to return for another session once my skills have improved. Thoroughly recommended.
Ian Harris - - #7013
My husband and I had a fab few hours with Mark doing a Woodturning taster course at his workshop in Pershore. We were after some basic skills, along with a few hours of fun doing something that interested us. Mark tailored our time with him to cover exactly what we were after, and at the end of our time we both had beautiful walnut bowls to take away. I'd highly recommend Mark as a tutor, whether you are looking for something serious or just a bit of fun, Mark's flexibility will ensure you get what you're looking for.
Antonia Truslove - - #6987
Wow what a day. For a complete novice I was given confidence to achieve a bowl from apple wood which would grace any home. Mark is a patient teacher who imparts knowledge and demonstrates technique. His notes are very comprehensive, essential if one is to go further with turning. Every aspect was covered all in all a wonderful day
David Morgan - - #6699
What a wonderful day, we both are as novice as you get and Marks skill, attitude and patience only exceeded by his enthusiasm for the subject,we each made bowls that we already cherish. Marks tuition is excellent full of everything to keep you safe, engaged and enthused,his love for the craft is impossible for him to contain and is infectious. The days teaching, detailed accompanying notes and Marks generosity of time, knowledge of suppliers and the tools available today are all you need to start out wood turning. No doubt once we get set up and made mountains of shavings we'll be back for more guidance and fun. Thanks Mark
mark Edwards - - #6567
WOW, what a decent chap. I've just done a one day course with Mark, he was incredibly helpful and supportive even to a rank novice like me. I left with a bowl that I'm very proud of, but more importantly, with the confidence to take the hobby further. Thank you Mark.
Grev Wealthall - - #6555
As with many other reviewers this day with Mark was a birthday present from my family, and it turned out to be a really memorable present. Mark took this YouTube/book/self trained incompetent and in a very encouraging, supportive and amusing way showed me the errors of my ways. A really fascinating and informative day that passed all too quickly, but I came away with a comprehensive set of notes, a really good grounding in getting the basics right and confidence that I can put it all into practice. I can well envisage another visit when I have a bit more practice under my belt. Many thanks Mark.
Barry Gait - - #6533
This course, for a wood turning novice, was first class in every respect. I attended the training course with an old friend and at the end of the day we both had a small Walnut bowl to take away but as two old age pensioners we were very tired. Thanks you for all of your tolerance!
David Taylor - - #6520
Bought my husband a Father's Day gift of a day's wood turning, having seen the skill on TV and decided to tag along myself. Mark was so patient and kind and with his help and constant encouragement we both managed to produce a beautiful wooden bowl to take home and show off to family and friends.
It was a real Fun Day, no stress, no demands and not only did we produce something worthy, we managed to become totally absorbed in the task for a few hours which was hugely rewarding. A great antidote to the stress of modern living.
Trina and Craig Wilcock - - #5802
As a complete beginner I didn't think I would be turning out much on my first day, however with Mark's expert tuition I (with a little help) managed to produce a lovely oak bowl, that I was proud to take home, as well as learning the correct methods of setting up the lathe, sharpening and using tools and how to get the best out of them.
The course is packed full of information backed up with concise notes to take away and use for reference.
For anyone thinking of learning to turn this is probably the best start you can have.
Richard Boland - - #5721
Having spent two fantastic days of tuition with Mark, I felt as though I had had a very thorough introduction into woodturning, learning everything you would need to know to get yourself started, skillswise, toolswise and materialswise. Mark is a very knowledgeable and friendly tutor, and i would recommend this course to anyone.
Thankyou for a couple of very enjoyable days!
Rich - - #5714
I thoroughly enjoyed my induction to wood and bowl turning. Mark is an excellent and enthusiastic tutor, and tailored the day specifically to my requirements. I am now looking forward to getting a lot of practice in !
Iain MacKirdy - - #5556
Had a great day with Mark who has a natural gift for imparting knowledge and is generous enough to share his undoubted skills. He helped to improve my technique and my understanding of woodturning.
Roger Oakes - - #5484
As a college technician, I had some basic experience of woodturning, but wanted to develop my skills much further both for my job and personal interest. Mark's great attention to detail, experience and organised way of running the day meant that we covered a lot of ground over the course of the day. Gaining knowledge of sharpening and maintaining tools was really valuable to me, something I knew little about before. I feel that I am not just a safer wood turner knowing the right way to use the tools, but also have a wider horizon on where myself and the students I help can take woodturning and the potential it offers looking at the sort of work Mark creates.
I would recommend Mark's tuition to anyone, but if you work in education, I would say this level of detailed excellent training is vital particularly from a safety perspective.
Richard Taylor - - #5476
Last year I have had a very good course at West-Dean My tutor was also Mark Hancock.
This year I did the course at Mark's woodturning place .
It was even a better choice! Together with my colleague Bouke we did a five days course. It was more than Excellent.
So we were not beginners, we have already experience.
Mark is so patient , knows very much he likes to experience.
What I learned from Mark was thinking out of the box: because I am a fine woodworker, teaching fine woodworking I am conservative in thinking.
Mark shows you ways of not turning just functional.
Think in objects!
So he is really an artist!
Therefore I sandblasted my
bowl, than burned it hot and brushed it: nice smooth good looking result.
Also he gave us good advice for buying Lathes for our school HMC Amsterdam Holland.
It is the MagmaBlack line!
Thank you Mark !!
Ad Lindeman - - #5321
As a total beginner with an interest in wood craft, I was bought this introduction day to woodtunring as a birthday present, I have to say genuinely wonderful experience and would highly recommend it to anyone. The whole day was massively informative and enjoyable as well as testing. Great care and detail was given in regard all aspects of skills and tools required, to include a detailed handout covering all basics which was used as the guide for the day.
Mark clearly has a wealth of experience and knowledge which is only eclipsed by his passion for the art, of which he has a very high degree of skill.
Not only did I find the course a perfect introduction to woodturning, leaving with a turned bowl as a reminder of the day I found Mark to be great company and very patient with me.
Matt Filer - - #5239
This was a gift from my wife for a one to one days tuition with Mark. I had no experience of woodturning despite being a Carpenter for the last 35 plus years so was somewhat apprehensive regards the day. Having spoke to Mark in order to book the date I already felt more at ease and was looking forward to the day. Butties in hand and the big tool box left behind the day was far more enjoyable and informative than I would have imagined. Marks tuition was tuned to my ability and interest and I felt comfortable at all times. This was a first class experience and Mark is an excellent tutor and his personality helps to make the day.
Geoff Thompson - - #5226
A great day. I had done just a little turning on dry wood, so great to learn so much about green wood turning. My tools needed sorting out - which mark did for me- saving me all sorts of ongoing trouble in the future. (just because you buy good branded tools doesnt meant they are ground right to start with!)
Lots of explanation and good reasons for his techniques which will serve me well.
A very full day, but at my pace.
Make sure you have a look at some of Marks work in the back- Its art- not craft! I was so impressed I have commissioned a piece from him.
I shall be back for more when I had some more practice (referring to the copious notes given to me by Mark to guide me through the process of turning a fine green oak bowel)
thanks again for a great day- Steve
Steven Morgan - - #5134
The day long, personal course with Mark was a well targeted birthday present. I have not done any turning since leaving school and had been thinking about setting up my own work shop. I did not know what equipment and tools I needed and needed some impartial advice. Mark had talked through what I hoped to get out of the day a few days before. After an introduction and then some practice using basic techniques, I was let loose on a lovely timber to do some real turning. As I worked, Mark kept a close eye on me, offering help when I needed it and letting me get on when I was confident. All the time Mark kept checking what I wanted from the day and refining ideas, so he could recommend the best tools to suit my plans for setting up a workshop at home. He was very patient, helpful and an excellent tutor.
Overall a very good, useful and enjoyable day.
Dez Rolfe - - #5079
Having been unable to spend much time on woodturning for some years now, I decided a 'refresher' was needed to correct my bad habits, get back up to speed and improve my confidence level.
I found Mark through this site and previously posted comments indicated that he was worth talking to. From our first conversation it was clear that his ability to operate at any level of competency was just what I needed.
He quickly assessed my ability and tailored the day to fit, without any obvious time constraints. While obviously at the top of the woodworking community his ability to communicate and demonstrate at my lowly level is excellent, and his patience admirable!!
I had a thoroughly enjoyable and informative day, backed up with written notes to refresh memories of the extensive detail provided non stop throughout.
I am sure that time spent with Mark would be beneficial to anyone interested in woodturning.
Gordon Bragg - - #5077
I can only echo what previous reviewers have said - what a fantastic day I had with Mark. Having only ever used a metal turning lathe some 30 odd years ago I was a bit wary of coming across as useless! I needn't have worried. His teaching style suited me and the way he puts things across made it so easy to learn - tools, techniques and plenty of background info. What this man doesn't know about wood turning probably isn't worth knowing.
I would whole heartedly recommend anyone who is thinking about wood turning as a hobby spend a day with him. In fact, as it might be a while before I get myself a lathe, I'd go and have a refresher day with him no problem.
Michael Harvey - - #4976
I was given a gift voucher for a days one-to-one tuition with Mark as a gift. Being a complete beginner Mark guided me through the basics of wood turning and then it was straight into some practical exercises. I learned a vast amount in just this one day and far to much to write up in an online review.
Needless to say my head was still buzzing with all the information Mark had imparted over the day when I got home that night. Its still going as I type this review 5 days later.
Marks guidance and help has left me with a solid understanding on which to build and I would highly recommend spending a day with him, if like me, you are thinking of dipping your toes in this craft.
David Jenkins - - #4787
This course far exceeded my expectation ,the day was packed full with advice ,hands on learning and demonstration, Mark was a great teacher who was only too willing to share his knowledge , I left felling I had more than received value, I highly recommend this course to anyone interested or thinking of leaning to take up turning ,you will not be disappointed. brilliant teacher excellent course.
Harry - - #4639
We have just spent about 30 hours of intense learning how to turn wood on a lathe with Mark. We ran through the basic principles and began using the various chisels, and because of his straightforward method of teaching we are now ready to begin work as woodturners -albeit novices.
Mark was throughout really helpful, patient and encouraging, there wasn't a moment when he was not available, and was good humoured and nice to work with.
John and Jane Knuckey - - #4588
I've spent two days with Mark turning a lump of wood into a beautiful aromatic bowl. He gave plenty of advice before starting to work on the wood about why the tools were used in a particular way How the grain of the wood affected the use of the tools. While turning he gave advice on improoving technique.. All this was followed up with copious notes and advice on equipment to buy.
I left with the confidence to go back to my lathe and turn another lump of wood into a bowl.
Well worth the money.
Margaret Embleton - - #4585
Having dabbled with woodturning for the last 12 years or more, I'd never really got to grips with bowl turning or really found a reliable way of sharpening my turning tools. Trying to find any kind of turning course locally had proved to be an impossible task until recently, my wife met a friend of hers who was eagerly looking forward to a bowl turning course at West Dean College. At last, a course seemed possible and the college website was eagerly searched and a booking made for a weekend of turning with Mark Hancock.
What an amazing weekend it was - the college and surroundings are so inspiring and the tuition from Mark was first class. We were a varied group of 6 individuals and experience of turning but Mark showed great patience in dealing with numerous catches of tool and wood and going over the main points as we worked.
I'm pleased to say that we all went home with a bowl turned from green wood, with a great feeling of satisfaction and achievement. Even in our free time, over meals or in the bar, Mark gave us lots of advice and an insight into the creative process that professional turners employ.
True to his word, I received an email today with further information on lathes and other equipment I'd asked for. A very comprehensive list which will involve further research. I'd love to do another course with Mark once I have had a chance to refine my bowl turning skills. In the meantime, thank you Mark for a memorable weekend.
Graham King - - #4582
I bought a lathe and basic tools some 15 or 16 years ago and did no more than spend some time playing at turning. Since then my lathe has been gathering dust at the back of my workshop. Now and again I mentioned to my family that I might book myself on a turning course somewhere in order to get some real experience. Finally this Christmas my son gave me a voucher for a one day course with Mark which I redeemed a couple of weeks ago. What a great present it turned! out to be. Mark is not only obviously remarkably talented at wood turning but is also a very good teacher. Starting from the complete basics I felt that I made amazing progress in such a short time under his tuition and was very please with the bowl that I was able to take home with me. He also provided me with a comprehensive set of guidance notes and sent me an email the following day listing the equipment I should think of getting and the best suppliers to deal with.
In summary a very profitable and enjoyable day because Mark is not only a good teacher but is also very good company. I have now brushed the dust off the lathe and plan to use it regularly from now on.
Ken Fordham - - #4574
In September last year I retired from teaching and was given a leaving present of a Day’s Woodturning tuition with Mark Hancock – date ‘to be arranged’. Last week, I finally used my gift.
I had been looking forward to the day and took Mark at his word when he said ‘Bring any tools you have with you and we’ll find time to have a look at them’. My tools included a second hand lathe (another gift) and assorted chisels and power tools. As I hadn’t used a lathe in 40 years, it wasn’t the only thing that was a bit rusty!
I arrived at 9.30 and left - inspired - many hours later. Mark is a natural teacher and patiently tailored the day around my needs and ability. Always conscious of safety, I was shown how to use a range of chisels, sharpening equipment and techniques. At lunchtime I asked Mark what he liked to turn and was ‘blown away’ with his work. His signature bowls reflect his unique style and exquisite craftsmanship - superbly - turned, delicately - worked and finished with imagination that bring the wood back to life.
Mark was generous in his time, explanations, demonstrations and encouragement. He gave me a great insight into the material and tools of the woodturner. He made me feel a lot more confident about developing my own skills and in getting involved in the craft. He also provided me with a clear set of notes covering the activities we had been through and followed this up with email links to a range of tool, part and group sites that will enable me to set up my own workshop. Mark was extremely helpful, used time very effectively and, as promised, structured the day to suit my requirements. I can thoroughly recommend him.
Richard Drewett - - #4566
Splendid day. Mark is a talented and patient tutor.
Didn't once run away screaming and swearing as I jammed tools into the timber like a madman!
Taught many skills, most importantly how to put the correct grind on the expensive but useless tools I'd bought with ne'er a clue!
Clear and concise course notes provided for later reference.
It was later than seven by the time he'd finished with me, good value and comprehensive course from a guy with great practical and artistic skills
Paul Hazlewood - - #4563
Sorry for the delay mark been away. Thoroughly enjoyed the day with mark. Very patient to a complete novice and just worked along at my pace. Looking forward to going again at some time
Mike haley - - #4461
I booked a follow on course day with Mark, having completed an equally excellent two day group course a few weeks ago.
With the one2one day Mark was able to focus very specifically on my own woodturning weaknesses (these days they are called 'development needs'). Under Marks prior advice I brought my own tools and he showed me how to use these specifically, in my case for hollow forms. I really do like Marks approach by focusing on the form (in my case a rule of thumb advice "spend 2/3 of time on the outside form, get it right only when it is, go to the hollowing").
I'm practising now and need to keep working at the suggestions Mark made. When I have mastered these I will be back for a another one2one - this time closing the opening down a little more.
Thank you so much Mark.
Brian Heward - - #4455
Having recently spent a day with Mark I conclude that he is one of the most patient teachers in the world! Never having done any wood turning before but always having been fascinated by turned wooden objects I arrived at Mark's studio a total beginner. I left after a fascinating and informative day still a complete beginner but aware of all that I needed to learn and captivated by the diverse range of skills required to gain some degree of proficiency.
Mark was very generous with his knowledge and provided me with references to tools, equipment and organisations that will be invaluable in getting started myself. During the day we covered a great deal of ground and he ensured that the 'one to one' approach was tailored specifically to a complete beginner. I look forward to part two.
Jeffrey Gray - - #4400
After having a days lesson with Mark last year I found that I was still having problems with centering of a cut log and getting a good fit in a chuck. I recontacted Mark who was more than happy to fit me in for a lesson and go over the basics again. This was so helpful and seemed no trouble at all to Mark who was still as patient as ever.
Karen baldwin - - #4342
This was my second day with Mark following an initial day of tuition in June last year. This time I wanted to try some deep hollowing and was interested in both learning technique and getting a better understanding the various systems and tools available.
Mark had just about every possible tool to hand and spent some time explaining the differences between them before settling on a couple for me to try. As ever his relaxed style enabled me to learn a lot, with a real focus on proper technique.
I came away with much increased confidence in turning hollow forms and an excellent understanding the options for tools. I would thoroughly recommend a day with Mark to any novice or more experienced turner looking to learn or refine their skills and have no doubt I'll be back again in the future.
Chris Farrow - - #4300
Mark tailored each student's task to their requirement and level of experience. Instructions were clear with sensible references to safety. All techniques were skillfully demonstrated and backed up with good handouts. Several myths were dispelled and many useful tips offered. A good deal was covered in two days and all in a very relaxed manner. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Duncan Scott - - #4283
Mark is a first rate and 'oh so' patient trainer who really makes it all look so easy. Although I have been on a few training courses before Mark did not only teach the woodturning skills but always fell back to 'shape and form'. This I had not met before and I found this aspect particularly inspiring. He gave out clear and extremely useful course notes which I am currently finding invaluable for techniques of producing hollow forms - which is one of Marks specialties.
Mark has a profound knowledge of both woodturning and the appropriate artistic foresight and ability to disseminate both of these, all done with patience and humor.
I will certainly be attending a one2one with Mark in the near future.
Brian Heward - - #4273
I have recently completed a two day course with Mark (February 2016). I have not done any wood turning since school days in early 90s, so a few decades have past since then ! Mark is extremely knowledgeable, and passes on information in a relaxed and informative manner. He is willing and able to answer all questions with examples which can be as detailed or as brief as you require. Aside from turning, his understanding of wood and its properties, combined with general workshop tips and suggestions, I found very positive and reassuring. After two days I knew my tools, tried both parallel and cross grain turning, was able to turn a spindle with coves and beads, sharpen tools on the grinder and I made my first ever bowl (a bit more practise needed here !). His course notes are also well written and a good record to take away at the end for future reference. Mark has definitely rekindled my love for wood-based projects and opened the door on the joy of turning, and I would be happy to recommend him as either a group or a private tutor to others. Many thanks Mark and I'm sure I will be in touch again soon for more advice !
Charles - - #4257
Splendid day with Mark. His teaching style is relaxed and flexible. I came away feeling confident and inspired. Thanks again Mark.
George - - #4106
I had a lesson with Mark before last Christmas and visited him again to follow up the last lesson, couple of weeks ago. This was so good and important because I could confirm whether or not I was woodturning in the right direction. This time I brought my own tools. He had helped me when I ordered those. Actually he emailed me with a list of all the essential tools, which made me not waste my money on paying for unnecessary tools. During the lesson, he corrected my posture and gave some tips when I was struggling. Also I had a time to grind and sharpen my tools.
As I am planning to have my own workshop, he also gave me a lot of information to get the right machine and other equipments.
Many thanks Mark!! It was another best of the best lesson I have ever had. I hope to see you again.
Tim Yang - - #4064
I have just attended Marks wood turning course and can only give praise and admiration for someone who gives so much knowledge and inspiration in a day. The idea to attend was to develop my very basic knowledge and gain some new ideas to move forward - Marks friendly and relaxed approach made the day so enjoyable I would not hesitate to recommend anyone who has a interest in wood turning to book a day with him - the course notes were an added bonus and true to his word all the information links I requested were emailed over the following morning - thanks again Mark for a great day and I look forward to meeting you again soon.
Chris Green - - #4055
My decision to contact Mark was originally based on all of the reviews I had read here. Having just spent a very long day with Mark (sorry for that Mark), I feel I should now add to these fantastic and honest reviews. I am a total beginner to wood turning (although I knocked out a few decent pieces at school some 50 years ago) but wanted to learn more about it in the hope it would give me an extra skill to compliment my main hobby, building custom fly fishing rods. Mark covered everything in a logical and friendly way combined with enthusiasm and a genuine love for what he does. As I wrote earlier, the day was a long one, finishing around 8pm. It is a credit to Mark that he just doesn't rush anything but makes sure you have covered everything in the syllabus. Everything covered was backed up with excellent notes, very professionally done. I was on the course yesterday and I have already had 2 emails from Mark this morning with numerous links to various equipment and wood turning product suppliers. He supports his students with advice post course, which is tremendous. My advice to any 'would-be' wood turner: don't buy any tools or machinery until you have spent at least one day with Mark Hancock.
Michael McNulty - - #4041
I recently spent a day with Mark, the result of a Christmas present from my wife. I had some experience of wood turning but felt I needed guidance.
Mark's course was perfect. He is an excellent tutor, very thorough, and happy to repeat himself as many times as necessary. He also has a great sense of humour which helps when he has a 'ham-fisted' student.
I came away with copious extremely helpful notes and the knowledge that I could call him whenever I had a query. The day was great fun and worth every penny. Thanks again Mark.
Keith Holton January 2016
Keith Holton - - #4015
An absolutely brilliant course for someone like me - a complete novice. Mark is patient and thorough in his approach to teaching so I came away not only with a wealth of technical knowledge but with the confidence to start having a go myself. Excellent workshop facilities and plenty of tea and sympathy - what else do you want? I would not hesitate to recommend Marks courses and I will certainly be back.
Roy Williams - - #4014
I have just been the lucky recipient of a days one to one personal tuition with Mark.
From the moment I arrived at the workshop Mark made me welcome, and at ease. I arrived on a bitterly cold January mornig but Mark was already insitu and had a nice wood burning stove going to take the chill from my bones. The information Mark gives is done is a friendly, and easy manner, and as a total beginner, the information you get is immense!
Mark teaches by getting you hands on! and you actually make things!
You will get all the advice you want, and will not leave until you have covered everything, Sorry for the "overtime" Mark!
I left a very delighted potential woodturner
Ian Jones - - #4002
I found Marks details on-line late in 2015 and my wife bought me a day's one-on-one lesson with Mark which I took in January. Communication was excellent prior to the day with good directions, pre-course notes & an interest in my current skill level & what I wanted to get from the day. A very warm welcome & a fantastic day! I came away buzzing with my new found skills & techniques. Considering all the equipment at your disposal, the materials provided and the skill of the teacher, this was incredible value for money. Mark has a undoubted skill for wood turning but importantly, his ability to teach is also excellent. I learnt so much in the day and will be back for more once I have practiced at home. I was not expecting to come away with such detailed & comprehensive teaching notes which was an added bonus. On top of all this, Mark is a really nice guy who was a pleasure to spend the day with.
Antony Lynall - - #3988
A brilliant course, tailored to my needs.
Mark is an excellent and paitient teacher who makes it all look so easy, and then makes you realise that with practice it actually is!
Very clear and usefull course notes that i am sure are going to prove to be invaluable as it is so hard to take it all in.
Marks knowledge is tremendous and i know we will be sharing another day together soon when the new lathe arrives.
I am a joiner by trade and had a limited self taught knowledge of turning, i should have done this years ago as we achieved so much in a day
I have spent many hours watching you tube videos! its much easier and safer to learn from someone who really know what they are talking about.
Thank you Mark.
Simon Bolt - - #3930
As a beginner, I had one day lesson with Mark who gave me so much on woodturning.
First of all, I must say thank Mark for his advices and guidances. I feel so confident after his lesson. From the beginning to end of lesson, I have enjoyed all.
One of the best thing was that he answered to all my questions clearly with various teaching materials, especially when I was hard to understand on something.
What could I give better comment on him as he has had all the five star reviews? He reserves to have more than five stars.
Thanks again Mark. You are the best teacher I have had so far. See you in January, next month, for another lesson which has already been booked.
Tim Yang - - #3861
I recently spent a day with Mark at his workshop - a gift from my daughter. I thoroughly enjoyed my day. As a self taught 70 year old novice I was keen to have my limited abilities looked at and be shown the correct way to use all my tools. This was done with great care and patience and was very rewarding. I am sure I will be able to progress with my hobby and produce better work.
We also looked at the sharpening of my tools . Some were ok but several had to be completely reshaped!! They do now work much better!! Mark explained what I was doing wrong so hopefully I can replicate his reshaping to keep the tools in good shape.
Mark is an excellent teacher - his patience and knowledge and love of his subject are second to none. I was sorry my day had to come to an end.
Gail Wicks - - #3833
Mark was friendly, knowledgeable and a great teacher. I recently attend one of his group courses and couldn't have asked for more. I had a great time and learnt a great deal! So much so that I'm now looking for my own lathe.
If you are thinking about starring of in wood turning or simply want to try something fun and different you can't go wrong.
Tom Parsons - - #3829
I attended Mark's woodturning course at the college these past 6 weeks. I arrived with only curiosity and enthusiasm, I had never even seen a lathe! I was very impressed, not only with Mark's knowledge and skills, but with his capacity to impart these with warmth and patience.
We had fun too and I managed to create what I can only call a masterpiece!
I would highly recommend this course to anyone.
Marian Dwyer - - #3828
As a complete hands-on novice (although I had read some books and watched videos) I wanted a good introduction to the world of woodturning. I chanced on Mark''s website and encouraged by his reviews I made contact and booked an introductory day -which was yesterday.
Mark turned out to be the best sort of enthusiast. Friendly and welcoming and with a very genuine desire to pass on as much of his 20 years experience in one day as possible. Mark has clearly put lot of thought into what he does and is eloquent in explaining the reasons why he does it. His approach to the art of wood turning was a little different from what I had read about but not the least bit gimmicky. The main difference seemed to me to be that he has questioned why things are done the way they are in "the mainstream" and spotted where it's simply a case of received wisdom or old habits dying hard. He has then worked out ways of working that address the issues he has identified.
Mark is very interested in design and form in woodturning and is outspoken with regard to shortcomings in these areas- his own signature work in my humble opinion falling more into the realm of art than craft (in the best possible sense) albeit backed up with finely honed craft skills.
In a genuinely action packed day Mark was able to introduce me to all the basic skills, reinforce what I had already learned and fill in gaps in my knowledge and advise me extensively on lathes, tools, timber, clubs etc. I now feel I have the knowledge needed to set myself up with a lathe and tools and to start to practice the basics at home. Once I have done so I am sure I will go back to Mark to refresh my skills with a view to take them to a higher level.
I would not hesitate to recommend Mark as a woodturning teacher. He was unstinting with his skills and knowledge yesterday and has already sent me a lot of additional inormation which arose out of our discussion and is far above and beyond the call of duty. Thank you Mark.
Peter - - #3803
I am compelled to write this review after enjoying an engrossing 2 days with Mark learning the skills of wood turning. In this relatively short but intense period I lost all track of time and became immersed in the absolute enjoyment of wood turning. The whole experience was, paradoxically, both therapeutic and stimulating.
Mark's knowledge, skill and enthusiasm are infectious and as a result of his excellent instruction I will be purchasing my own equipment and continuing with my wood turning journey.
I look forward to maintaining contact with Mark and will return for refresher and more advanced courses.
I cannot recommend the course and Mark's tuition highly enough.
Jonathan Cope - - #3779
As a complete novice who had unexpectedly been given a gift of a day's wood turning course with Mark, I was not sure what to expect. However Mark was a personable, gifted teacher with all the patience in the world.
With the wood burning stove adding light and warm to the workshop, Mark made me feel very welcome whilst he gently enquired about my knowledge (none!). Yet by the end of the day I am proud to say that I had made a set of four professional looking napkin rings each of which was individually decorated.
As I remarked to my daughters who had treated me to the course "It was fun, intense, exhilarating, scary and ultimately fulfilling".
Thanks to Mark for making the day so memorable.
Jill Wilson - - #3641
If you think woodturning is for you, come and spend a day with
Mark,don't rush out and buy anything first, Mark will suggest
what would suit your needs if you get hooked. Which I am sure
you will. If you just wish to improve/revise your skills like I did,
then this is the right place, you will not find better tuition
Ivor Gissing -1 month ago
Ivor Gissing - - #3579
I attended Marks one day course for beginners and found Mark very welcoming.The whole day was most enjoyable and has given me to the confidence to attempt my own projects.
I would highly recommend this course to anyone who wants to learn the art of woodturning but lack knowledge and confidence.
Anthony Ball - - #3547
Arriving at marks workshop for a day of turning he makes you feel relaxed welcome. I found the way he teaches & explains his techniques brilliant .I wouldn't hesitate to go back to him . Plus he makes a lovely cup of tea.
Mark Pountney - - #3517
Mark's course went a long way beyond teaching a beginner the basics of turning. In itself that was indeed superb value for money. however what has left an abiding memory for me is the way that Mark shares an absolute passion for the skill which he takes to the level of a real art form. I relished the enthusiasm he applied to not simply showing how to perform basic tasks on the lathe but incorporating all of the reasons why performing the task that way was so important. I have been a life long amateur carpenter and wanted to gain some basic turning skills to extend the range of my abilities. Mark's course has enabled me to do that. It also made me realise the level of practice I would need to create turned pieces effectively. Thank you Mark! I was truly grateful for your teaching skill, patience and for some of the insights into your own, very honest working philosophy.
Colin Thompson - - #3462
Mark was very helpful with my tuition, and very patient with my efforts. Whilst I could turn before my lesson, I badly needed to have a refresher.
He also taught me many tips and "tricks" that should, with practice,help me to become a better turner. thanks Mark
Phil Godfrey - - #3451
For me as a complete novice, I felt the course was informative, relaxed and friendly. Not at any time during the day did I feel that I was not capable of having a go at any of the techniques I was shown. Marks communication skills and knowledge were admirable, and this was only topped by his patience. The notes given to take away with you at the end of the day was also a handy reminder. I would recommend Mark's course to beginners or more experienced alike.
karen baldwin - - #3285
I haven't done any woodturning since I left school over 40 years ago.A few months ago I brought a big lathe and a few bits to go with it and started tryed making things but did not have the skill to finnish anyone of them.He looked at the tools that I had taken.he showed me the error of my waysand put me back on the right track.
I stayed for three days the first day was just recaping what I had learn at school. Day two and three I made a vase and a bowl. I went at the pace that I was happy and if there was anything that I did not understand he was patient until understood. nothing was too much trouble.
I started like a complete beginner but soon I was making the wood sing and I was at ease
I am planning to go back as soon as I can to get more tips and cost saving ideas
Kimberley Harris - - #3261
I am a woodworker from Trinidad, wi and while on holidays in the uk. I visited Mark for 2 days in august at his Pershore workshop. I started off woodturning by researching lathes, buying the biggest one could afford, watching you tube videos and started turning - bowls and now pens.
The course was tailored to my needs - turning tools - what to acquire and not to buy, bowl turning, vessel hollowing, sharpening, finishing and anything that came up. It was a learning experience for me where I had to learn correct tool techniques and practices , Mark had patience , good communication and turning demonstrations as any good teacher. His notes and email advice would be of great help to me. Great two days...
Dennis Chin Aleong - - #3255
I spent an excellent and very worthwhile day with Mark at his Pershore workshop. Having recently acquired a lathe, I needed instruction in all basic techniques. Mark is an excellent teacher - patient and thorough. The amount of information is considerable but the comprehensive course notes will be invaluable. Having done this 'crammer' course I feel a second day would be be very useful to hammer home (for me anyway) some of the primary tool handling techniques. I will be back to Mark in the near future.
Peter J Moss - - #3176
The other reviews say it all! My husband and I spent a day and a half with Mark and had a great time coming away very proud of the bowls we had produced. Before the day I was a bit worried that this was a 'boy's' hobby and that I wouldn't have the strength needed but I was wrong. Mark is a very patient, thorough teacher who gives fantastic value for money - the day contained so much more than a standard training day.
Ann Kennedy - - #3172
Having attended a one day taster course with Mark as the instructor I thought my enjoyed myself .Mark is a very good teacher and made the course very interesting so interesting in fact that I intend to upgrade the skills I learnt with mark in the near future after I have put into practice all that Mark taught me. I must say that it was so interesting that time tended to slip away and I think I overstayed my welcome.All in all it proved to be a very interesting day and I left the workshop wanting more I would highly reccomend Mark Hancock to anybody who is interested in turning wood into something beautiful.
George Turner - - #2993
Having thought about wood turning for some time decided the best way to go about it was to go on a course before spending money on equipment. It was worth every penny for a full day with Mark it was a very informative and well run day with Mark giving so much information it was a job to absorb it all and I now have a good idea of what to buy and what not to buy and Mark is at the end of the phone if ever you need him.
Paul Dowlman - - #2905
Like others, I was given the day as a present after recently buying my first lathe. Also like others, I hadn't stood in front of a lathe in 40 years so had much to learn. Mark's approach to finding out what I wanted to achieve was a great way of ensuring I came away satisfied.
In nine hours together, Mark covered a vast range of aspects of wood turning and provide me with opportunity to get plenty of hands on experience, practicing both spindle and bowl techniques as well as learning about tools and how to sharpen them properly.
Mark has also offered phone and email support and advice for the future as I take forward what I hope will become an interesting and productive hobby.
Strongly recommended course.
Dave Swanson - - #2885
Mark was recommended to me as both an excellent turner and a very experienced teacher. He didn't disappoint. He was very careful to ensure he understood what I wanted from the day and we spent some time looking through some of turnings to better understand what I was doing right and where I was going wrong. His explanations and demonstrations were very clear whilst ensuring I spent a lot of practical time actually turning. It was certainly a very useful and inspiring day. I am sure I'll be back for more before too long.
Chris Farrow - - #2836
My wife bought me a day with Mark as a present. I bought a lathe six months ago but having last operated one at school 40+ years ago I had neither the confidence or the knowledge with which to use it! Have to say I cannot believe how much Mark taught me in a day. In a structured way he covered all areas in the right level of detail for me and in a style that was easy to relate to. Mark's workshop is well equipped and importantly there was plenty of hands on use of the lathe as well as tool sharpening and finishing. Throughout the the day there was a lot's of practical and money saving tips which are so important to the beginner. Overall I had a great day and went away having learnt far more than I expected to. Also having gained in confidence and with some of Mark's enthusiasm having rubbed off. Would definitely recommend Mark and hope to be back for more!
Paul Bloxham - - #2707
Without a doubt, Mark is an excellent teacher. I attended a day course, done on a one to one basis, before embarking on buying my own lathe. So glad I did so, as there are so many features to look for, in both the lathe and the tools for the job. His patience and style makes him a perfect teacher, and I know from other sources his skills are remarkable. I would therefore recommend him for any level of teaching, especially to avoid developing bad habits in the art. His workshop is extensive, and with a central location, it is well worth at least one full day, but ideally longer!
WILLIAM DAVIS - - #2640
Mark's teaching was patient and thorough, covering all aspects of woodturning, both theoretical and practical. By the middle of the second day, we students were well on the way to completing the first of several bowls of ash, acacia and sycamore. All of us were surprised at how much we learned, and how quickly we advanced from complete beginners to being able to complete a bowl to be proud of by the end of the course.
Mark's teaching style is generous and sympathetic. He shared his encyclopedic knowledge and supported us continuously through the course, no matter how many mistakes we made or how many faults were only too apparent in our beginners' bowls.
I will certainly try to return for another of Mark's courses.
Michael Stuart - - #2556
Went on the Course with Mark as a complete beginner. Had thorough explanation of where to start and of all the equipment I would need if I were to want to continue - including lathes, gouges, sharpening tools and wood finishes. Mark helped me to make my first (four!) bowls with great patience. I shall be going back for more!
Robin Mellows - - #2540
As a tutor,teacher my self in fine woodworking furniture in Amsterdam I learned a lot from Mark in approaching people or students. Mark is so patient in explaining even if the subject is simple or quiet difficult.Step by step it is explained to understand.
Mark's approach to wood was for me an eye opener, f.e. cross-grain and parallel-grain turning, a great thought!
Mark learned me a lot of skills in turning the wood, so much that I now can learn it my students at HMC Amsterdam (f.e turning on the guillotine angle, great!)
Also sharpening all gouges with their different angles was an nice effort to learn.
This 4 days short course of green wood turning was for too short, I long to next year's following up course.
Ad Lindeman, Holland
Ad Lindeman - - #2539
I wanted to start off in woodturning with good habits and the confidence to use basic tools correctly and Mark's course seemed just the thing. This was a good decision. He is a very good and patient teacher and a good communicator so that I had no difficulty in understanding the concepts that needed to be explained. The approach was structured, but friendly and informal, so that in one day we covered the use of the basic tools, the lathe and the different chucks, how to sharpen tools correctly, various spindle turning techniques, the characteristics of wood and how to make a bowl. The last turned out surprisingly well, thanks to Mark's supervision, in spite of my ineptness risking disaster at various points and I came away with a nice bowl.
I also learned a lot about the equipment that is advertised and am now in a much better position to buy wisely and avoid expensive mistakes.
It was a very enjoyable day.
Mark's tuition will also be useful I think, once I have becomes more proficient and want to improve on my skills.
Jonathan Dollin - - #2421
found Marks via his website, which looked good. went for a day course. great set up with loads of lathes, tools etc. Mark was very open minded and was very happy to tailor the course to what i wanted. good teacher and good at explaining how todo things. He has a very good knowledge of wood and turning, relaxed atmosphere, good to bounce ideas off. great day out, thoroughly enjoyed it. will be back.
Ian Williams - - #2343
My wife bought me a two-day woodturning course with Mark for my 60th.
The two days were the most interesting I have spent for a long time. Marks tuition is thorough and he doesn't do 'second-best'. His attention to detail is such that you really get the feeling of actually learning something. His tips and tricks were great too.
Now to put it all into practice!
Thanks Mark for a most enjoyable two days...
Roger Cann - - #2205
As a beginner I needed to learn as much as I could about wood turning before I went into unnecessary expense, I looked around for evening classes and found Warwick College was doing evenings. Mark Hancock was teaching there, because I have retired and looking for a hobby in woodturning, I decided to speak to Mark regarding the course. After our chat I felt reassured it was the right course and Mark was the ideal tutor, as he made me feel comfortable with 25yrs professional experience behind him. When I arrived at the College with five other new beginners, he made us all very welcome, and easy to get along with we soon got into our work, explaining health and safety and the type of work we was going to do. We all liked his approach and he taught us well, some made a bowl and others made table lamps. I have been to some of his demonstrations which he does around the country and abroad showing his professional and impressive skills. He has a work shop at Pershore where he also does courses on a one to one or more, I have visited him for advice which I appreciate very much, and if I needed to advance on my work I would not hesitate to do a course at his work shop, knowing I would come away a better turner.
MOSS Stratford upon Avon
Maurice Richards - - #2171
Mark had given a demonstration at the Black Country Wood Turners in October 2014, and I liked his style, and his approach to the subject: There are no fixed rules. If it works, it’s good, and if it doesn’t, it’s not. He’s been a professional turner for 25 years, and he is very much in the artistic camp. So when I looked for a tutor, he was an immediate choice.
When I turned up at his shop in Pershore, it was the coldest day of the winter so far, but he already had a nice fire going in his woodburner (that’s handy with all the scrap bits). We had an absolutely marvellous day. As it turns out, we are the same age, with similar views on lots of things, and obviously he has a wealth of experience, which he shares freely. And he is a good teacher. I only walked away with a small bowl (thin walled, from hard walnut), but I picked up so much advice and guidance. Worth every penny, and I’ll probably be back for more.
Wolfgang Schulze-Zachau - - #2129
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