Course Start Dates
Course dates are flexible; please get in touch for the next available date.
As a member of the Register of Professional Turners, (RPT) I run these courses from my well equipped workshop in North Devon. I can arrange courses for all levels of experience, from complete beginners to the more experienced. I recommend a structured course for beginners which will cover both bowl turning and an introduction to spindle turning. For the more experienced I can tailor each course to meet the student's specific requirements. I can cover all aspects from improving tool techniques to specialist hollow forms, adding colour (stains, dyes and vaious painting techniques), different texturing techniques, wood conversion and drying and green or wet turning.
These are hands on courses and the student will have access to one of three lathes and to my 28 years of turning experience. As well as teaching in my own workshop, I teach regularly at West Dean College in West Sussex and have taught and demonstrated woodturning throughout Europe, New Zealand and the USA.
The price shown is per person per day. Discounts available for two or more people booking at the same time.
If you want to try your hand at woodturning or want to develop your your skills further or have a specific project that you need help with, please get in touch.
What's included in the price?
- all tools and materials are included
- all Personal protective equipment
- comprehensive course notes
- a choice of weekends or week days
- refreshments and a light lunch will also be provided.
I spent 2 fantastic days with Colin, learning the basics of wood turning. Aside from him being a thoroughly nice bloke, Colin is extremely thorough when explaining techniques. Nothing is too much trouble and if a question arises which is at a tangent to the project you are working on, he often 'chucked up' a rough piece of wood in a spare lathe to demonstrate his point.
Colin is a great instructor. He is extremely patient and he explains everything clearly, but mostly, he ensures that you get plenty of time on the lathe to master the techniques he passes on. I now need to put into practice what I have learned, but I will definitely be back for more training in the near future.
I have just spent 3 days learning with Colin and have found it a genuinely enjoyable experience. From having no knowledge of woodturning at all, I am now desperate to get my own lathe and start creating! Colin is not only very experienced and knowledgeable about his subject, but also a good teacher. He was patient, interested and constantly on hand to guide with plenty of positive words about every mishap (or 'design opportunity' as he calls them). I would thoroughly recommend working with Colin.
I have just spent an educational and very enjoyable day with Colin learning the basics of woodturning. He is an excellent tutor and has a relaxed yet informative style. After a short demonstration of each technique from Colin, I was "let loose" and allowed to work on the lathe which means that I went home at the end of the day with some pieces of work of which I am excessively proud. I think that he may have introduced me to a new hobby!
I had a really good and very helpful day with Colin. His relaxed style and patient manner made learning the basics relaxing but informative. I felt like safety was there throughout but without being rammed down your throat and he was happy to let you try things for a moment before correcting you or tweaking your technique. I had only turned a few items before by just sticking something on the lathe and hoping for the best so Colin was great for a proper intro to turning and basic techniques as well as sharpening tools and what to use when. I'll have to go back to improve my spindle work i reckon!
2 days with Colin was twice as good as 1 day ! Anyone who enjoys the feel and smell of wood will love learning the basics and not so basics of lathe work from this friendly enthusiast . Colin is happy to taylor the time to whatever the student wants (or needs) to cover, but with safety and careful explanation of techniques as the starting point. Very worthwhile and very much recommended.
Great day. Would not hesitate to recommend course. Far exceeded my expectation. Excellent and patient teacher. Day was given as Birthday gift. Had not turned before but now feel confident to use lathe and sharpen tools.
I've just read through most of the reviews left by others and they all concur that Colin is a really good patient teacher. And that the day went far too quickly. I visited last week with my partner for a day of novice bowl making and spindle turning. We came away with two lovely bowls and a huge amount of confidence. Colin is obviously a very experienced teacher. He is so gentle and never makes you feel you are making a horlicks of it, even when it looks like you are. His wife, Skye, is lovely too and she prepared us a delicious lunch. It was a fabulous day and we are so proud of our handiwork. Thanks Colin.
My wife surprised me with a wonderful birthday present. I had a great day with Colin. Being a novice turner, the one on one tuition was brilliant. It gave me a lot more confidence and put me right on numerous methods. The real bonus was using a bowl gouge with the Ellsworth grind, I immediately put it on mine next day and so far its transforming my turning. I feel I have more control. The day went so quickly I was disappointed when it came to an end. Lunch was great too. Well worth the investment.. Thanks once again Colin.
What a great day.
I have a little experience in wood turning producing my own bowls and pens. Colin structured the day around my needs and ability and with the comprehensive course notes supplied I hope to retain most of the techniques. I learnt so much! Colin is a great teacher with loads of experience to be able to give practical demonstrations and techniques. He has various tools and examples of items to help clarify the most muddled of students.
The advice received has saved me hundreds of pounds on buying unnecessary items so well worth the cost of the course which is very reasonable anyway.
It is clear Colin enjoys teaching, he is patient and very helpful, the hours just flew by. I would not be able to recommend Colin enough whether you have never experience wood turning before and want to try something new or you want to consolidate and build on your experience.
I will definitely be going back, there is so much more to learn!
Since my days in the school workshop (a while ago now) I have always had a desire to try my hand at turning wood so I was given a one day introductory course. Colin is not only a master of his craft but also an brilliant teacher. The day gave me all the basic techniques and tool handling skills to safely get started turning along with tool sharpening and wood finishing. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and would highly recommend it to anyone who has an interest in turning. I came away inspired and with a rather nice oak bowl! Colin's courses are one-on-one and he tailors them to your needs so I shall definitely be returning to hone my skills with his excellent tuition.
Colin has a wealth of experience and knowledge for woodturning, but importantly is an excellent and patient teacher. Everything was covered in a logical and friendly way combined with enthusiasm and a genuine love for what he does. I was provided with a vast amount of notes prior to the course, and he was flexible and willing to tailor the day to specific needs, making sure I got what I wanted out of the day. Incredible value for money considering all the equipment, materials, constant supply of coffee and skill of the teacher.
On top of all this, Colin is a really nice guy and a pleasure to spend the day with! Next time I'm in Devon I'll definitely be back.
I really enjoyed my one day course with Colin. We covered a lot of ground in the time available, this included bowl turning, spindle turning techniques and sharpening. Colin's approach is very relaxed, he is patient, knowledgeable and enthusiastic. I would highly recommend the course.
This course is ideal for the aspirant wood turner and you could not have a more knowledgeable or inspiring teacher than Colin. As an absolute beginner I appreciated the open and friendly style of Colin's instruction and I came away with some nice pieces of wood but, more importantly, the necessary information to start turning on my own.
The whole day was a thoroughly enjoyable experience and I would recommend this course without hesitation.
While on holiday in north Devon I spent a very enjoyable and informative day with Colin. His knowledge and teaching techniques are second to none. I now wish I had done a 3 day course with him, so will have to spend more time with him next time I'm in Devon. Thanks for a great day Colin.
I received a 1 day course Colin as a present for my 65th birthday. Having carried out some woodturning following a course some 20+ years ago and then not using the lathe for the last 6 or 7 years my techniques and confidence had been lost. Colin has restored my confidence and updated my techniques. He is an excellent Instructor who is able to discuss options with you and customise the course content to allow the student to gain maximum benefit from the course.
I have no hesitation in recommending a course with Colin and look forward to being able to book another course to develop new skills with Colin's excellent tuition. Thank you Colin and the notes provide handy reminders.
As a beginner to wood turning and had never worked on a lathe before with Colin's relaxed, clear and conscious instruction I was soon developing a feel and skill set to use the tools. With his enthusiasm I am now looking to join the world of the wood turner. A big thank you to Collin for a brilliant day that went all to quickly.
I spent a very enjoyable day with Colin Simpson and achieved far more than I thought was possible.
He was very supportive and greatly helped me to produce a large candlestick; which happily my wife was delighted with.
I cannot thank Colin enough for his friendly direction and can thoroughly recommend his course to other prospective woodturners out there.
I shall certainly continue this hobby on my retirement next year.
Just had a full day one-to-one turning course with Colin. His expertise and experience are second to none and he is a superb communicator. I was put at my ease, made to feel relaxed and at home (literally - a very pleasant lunch in Colin's kitchen was included!) and most importantly I was taught dozens of new skills in turning and sharpening. Excellent! Most enjoyable! Highly recommended!
The other reviews are spot on. Colin is a very good teacher with endless patience. I thoroughly enjoyed my day with him and came away with the best bowl I have turned to date, a box with a lid that fits, my tools properly sharpened and a host of new skills to practice. Many thanks Colin!
I was given a 1 day course for my 60th Birthday, colin was very easy to get on with and explained how to do things in simple steps, as a beginner i managed to produce 3 pieces!! my wife and daughter were very impressed. I would love to do more but will need more lessons to learn how to hold tools correctly without having to check, as I was taught so many different types of cut using a variety of tools.
Well worth the cost and effort, a great day I would recommend it to anyone very satisfying great fun Lovely day, if you can do it you will not regret it.
Having just spent a day with my 12 year old son on a beginner session with Colin I can say that every previous review is spot on. His enthusiasm for his craft is clear but its the calm, consistent approach that really has really given us confidence to get started turning on own. The day itself is really well structured and the fact that we both had fun and came away with beautiful finished bowls was just great.
Trying my hand at woodturning was something I had wanted to do for a very long time, and as a complete novice, I was as keen to learn, as Colin was to teach.
Having run through the necessary safety matters, Colin demonstrated a few of the basics, and before long, I was doing it myself!
As an introduction to faceplate and spindle turning, this was definitely a day well spent. I came away feeling confident that this was something I could do, and most of all, enjoy doing. Watching videos and reading books is fine, but there is no substitute for actually stepping up to the plate. And coming away with a bowl and an egg cup, made me very happy indeed.
So thank you Colin for your patience, and for your clear explanation of what a novice like myself needs to know!
I had not used a lathe since leaving school nearly half a century ago. The only techniques that I could remember had left me with bad habits! Colin's endless patience and calm manner was able to correct these faults and his clear method of teaching and undoubted enthusiasm was infectious.
I finished the day with renewed determination to follow this up with practice at home, and with a beech bowl which now sits proudly on our kitchen table!
I hope to make a return visit to Colin again soon for phase 2.
From the outset I was made welcome and it's obvious that Colin has a real interest and dedication to his subject, plus endless patience. I spent a very enjoyable day learning quite a number of techniques including tool sharpening which is the single most important thing... I can thoroughly recommend this course to anyone and I can imagine that I will be back to see Colin myself again soon.
I was given a two day course by my wife for Christmas and as this is something I had always wanted to try I was delighted and couldn't wait to book it. I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the course. I was a little apprehensive when it came down to it but Colin soon put me at ease and before long I had forgotten my nerves. His patience and ability to judge the level at which you are comfortable at whilst also pushing you a little out of your comfort zone was perfect, I learnt loads and hope to continue my new hobby. Very much recommended, thank-you Colin!
I am a senior citizen who has never used a lathe, but was always curious. My wife gave me a one-day introductory course with Colin, and I could not be more pleased. His patient explanations, demonstrations, and tolerance for novice mistakes gave me an appetite for much more. It was worth the trip from London to Devon, and were the distance shorter I would already have signed on for a followup.
Colin is an awe-inspiring woodturner and also an excellent teacher who takes care to ensure his students actually learn and make progress. At the same time he has a great sense of humour and is great fun to be with. I spent three highly enjoyable days at his workshop improving the few skills I already had, learning new skills and techniques and improving my confidence considerably. I also appreciated his design talent which helped me make the best of the pieces of wood – one in particular quite exotic – that I took along. I feel now I can really make substantial progress back in my own garage and make my competence with handling wood come much closer to my passion for it. Many thanks, Colin!
Just finished a 2 day course with Colin. I started as a self taught beginner with bad habits and a complete lack of correct technique. I can honestly say I have had a brilliant 2 days being put right. He has a great relaxed manner of teaching and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I also came away with some nice projects. Definitely recommended.
I attended a one day course of private tuition. As a complete beginner, I had little idea what to expect and had a lot to learn. However, the whole day was a great experience. Colin's teaching style is relaxed but he inspires confidence, and throughout the day I learned an enormous amount, had great fun and came away with some beautiful pieces of wood! I thoroughly recommend this experience.