Assynt Pens reviews

2 May 24'

Mike L reviewed: Pen Making Course (1/2 day)

"Great afternoon spent with Derek learning how to make a pen - and so much more ! Taken through each step in the process methodically and with demonstrations throughout. Derek was very friendly and explained things well and was happy to offer advice on other wood working aspects. Highly recommended for those wanting to have a go - and end up with a very nice pen in the process 😀 "

Assynt Pens responded:

"Thx Mike. Great to see you again. "

21 Apr 24'

David reviewed: Mastering Pen Making.

"What a fantastic day!! My friend and I did the full day pen turning course which involved us making two pens each. Derek is such a good teacher. He gently guides you through the process, explaining all the safety aspects, the correct way to use the machinery and how some materials act differently to others. There is a huge selection of pen styles and materials to choose from with some beautiful woods to turn. At the end of the day you walk away with a truly unique souvenir of an excellent day. I can't recommend this fabulous day enough!!"

Assynt Pens responded:

"Thank you to both you and Richard. Great students, and lots of laughs. And well done David for the two fabulous pens made. You made my job easy! Derek"

9 Mar 24'

David Ogleby reviewed: Pen Making Course (1/2 day)

"A all-round excellent day !!! It began with a discussion about the range of pens I might choose to make, with samples of Derek’s work for me to handle as he explained the differences between the styles. He teased out my hopes for the day and my past experience. Although I had never used a wood turning lathe before, I felt I was being encouraged along to build up a picture of what I could realistically achieve during the day. By the time I entered the workshop I felt I had a clear idea of what I was setting out to do, and confident that I would be coached along the way to reach my goal. I was surprised to find that I was the only student on the course that day and that it would be one-to-one tuition, although a couple of students may be more usual. Derek demonstrated every step of the pen making process and talked me through alternative techniques for each step, explaining their relative merits (sometimes safety, other times quality of results or speed of work, personal preference, etc, etc) I was left feeling that not only did I know what I had to do at each step, but why I was doing it that way! When he handed the reins over to me, I was allowed to set up the equipment from scratch, sharpen cutting tools, etc. He watched me and coached at each step, so that I felt I was learning the whole task – I was not just a token witness in the workshop whilst the expert did the difficult bits. By the end of the day I felt that I had really made my own pen and, given the tools and material, I could make another. At the natural breaks in the day, such as when glue was drying, etc, Derek proved to be very sociable, and unstintingly generous in sharing his knowledge and expertise, not only in the field of pen making, but it the wonderful tools and materials that abounded in his Aladdin’s cave of a workshop. The end of the day came far too swiftly, but I left feeling enriched in practical, re-usable skills. Thank you, Derek for a memorable day. David Ogleby : Mastering Pen Making, 8 March 2024. "

Assynt Pens responded:

"Thank you for your kind words David. I’m delighted you left not only with a fabulous fountain pen, but increased knowledge and awareness of the process. I really feel the latter is more important than the former. A great day all round!"

26 Feb 24'

Nic Bassinder reviewed: Mastering Pen Making.

"We had a brilliant day making pens with Derek, he is extremely knowledgeable and helpful. We learned a huge amount, had a very enjoyable day and came home with pens to die for. Highly recommended. Thank you so much Derek!"

Assynt Pens responded:

"Great fun with great students, and Rosie says hi! Thank you Nic&Paul. Glad you enjoyed the day. You rocked it!"

8 Oct 23'

Scott Allan reviewed: Pen Making Course (1/2 day)

"Purchased this course for my daughter (young adult) after visiting Fulbeck Craft Centre earlier in the year. She had a great time and was really pleased with the results of her work and the course. Derek was a great teacher as I watched throughout, explaining everything about what they were doing and why, alternatives that could be used even if they weren't being used that day and had a lovely manner about him. She'd already like to return in the future for a full day course. Recommended all round. "

Assynt Pens responded:

"Thank you for the kind review. Verity was a great student. Capable and confident. She made my job easy."

12 Jul 23'

Roger Sims reviewed: Mastering Pen Making.

"I had a fantastic day learning to turn pens with Derek. Every process was explained and demonstrated before being let loose on the lathe! With Derek’s expert tuition I left with 2 pens and now feel very confident to practice making more at home!"

Assynt Pens responded:

"Your pens were excellent, especially the Spanish Olive fountain pen. Your patience and workmanship certainly paid off. Well done Roger, hope to see you again! Safe travels home."

11 Jul 23'

Debbie Oglesby reviewed: Pen Making Course (1/2 day)

"Fantastic afternoon pen making course. It was a friend's birthday present and she was thrilled from start to finish. Good pace, excellent explanations with lots of H&S advice. Loved using the big tools and came away with two fantastic pens"

Assynt Pens responded:

"Great students! So glad you enjoyed the day. Thank you. "

27 Jun 23'

Connor reviewed: Mastering Pen Making.

"We had a fantastic day overall! Derek was friendly, welcoming, and enthusiastic, and with his help we were able to create some lovely pens, even though we had no experience woodturning. Would happily recommend and book again!"

Assynt Pens responded:

"Thank you Connor. Very kind word, and I’m glad you/David enjoyed the course 👍"

26 May 23'

Chris Charlton reviewed: Mastering Pen Making.

"What a wonderful experience. Having enjoyed a lifetime of tinkering with bits of wood, Derek’s pen making workshop was my first proper experience of woodturning since a 2 minute introduction to a lathe at school some 50 years ago. Derek was a patient tutor who adapted quickly to my hands on style of learning. He gave good clear instructions and demonstrations before it was my time to have a go. He guided me through the process step by step, allowing me to take the lead for much of the time but occasionally stepping in with advice when the need arose. The results, a rollerball one piece and a two piece fountain pen are amazing mementos to take away. Thank you for an amazing day Derek. In addition, the craft centre is also a lovely setting with a super craft shop and cafe that serves very tasty lunches. Great day. Thank you"

1 Apr 23'

Catherine reviewed: Pen Making Course (1/2 day)

"This was a brilliant course. Derek was fun and a very good teacher. My pen is gorgeous (too gorgeous to use). 😆"

Assynt Pens responded:

"Thank you Catherine. Delighted you & Racheal had a good time. And well done to you both! "

23 Feb 23'

Gareth Jeremy reviewed: Pen Making Course (1/2 day)

"I booked this course on behalf of my grandmother who is 93 years old. Derek was extremely friendly, welcoming, helpful and knowledgable. The course lasts for three hours in which time we had plenty of time to watch Derek make a beautiful pen and to make one too. We had some difficulties with the pen assembly and Derek jumped in to sort it out and we left very happy. I would advise people to wrap up warm as it is a bit chilly in the workshop, especially when the dust extractor is on, and to take a bottle of water. We had time to stop for a coffee half way through the course but would have been happier if we'd had something to drink throughout the session. I think the course is great. Overall I couldn't have hoped for anything more - thank you Derek - fully recommended for absolutely anybody. May well be back to turn some bowls."

Assynt Pens responded:

"Thank you Gareth. Yea and coffee on tap is a great idea, and I’ll take steps to make sure that’s available. Plus biscuits!! Glad Jenny enjoyed her time with me."

22 Feb 23'

Penny reviewed: Mastering Pen Making.

"Excellent day, great and patient tuition, convivial atmosphere, delighted with the result. There is a lovely little cafe as part of the same craft village. The course takes place in a converted stable and a full apron is provided but nonetheless I would suggest reasonably warm and comfortable clothes that you’re not too precious about. Tea and coffee are provided. Two people were taught on the day I was there and I would suggest many more at once would make it a bit crowded around the lathes. These are just little tips but my overriding rating is absolutely 5/5. I would do it again and will doubtless go back for additional courses. "

Assynt Pens responded:

"Thank you for your kind words Penny. Glad you and Kay enjoyed the experience. Hope to see you again! Derek"

15 Dec 22'

Katie Stevens reviewed: Mastering Pen Making.

"Amazing day. Loved every minute of it. Excellent teaching and support. Very patient. Easy instruction and advice. So knowledgeable. Would highly recommend. Thank you Derek for the lovely day, I learnt a lot."

Assynt Pens responded:

"Thank you Katie. I’m glad you enjoyed your day. Look forward to seeing you again, "

16 Nov 22'

Martin Gray reviewed: Mastering Pen Making.

"What a fantastic day! Derek, and his assistant Beth, were so welcoming and friendly. Felt relaxed and at home. Derek is such an understanding tutor, and has the patience of a saint; he is always on hand to make sure that you do all the work yourself but will jump in and make sure you don't make any major mistakes that would ruin your work.. I found the whole day a relaxing and enjoyable experience, and I came away having made 2 beautiful pens that are unique and can be used every day. I can hold them and look at them and say 'I made this'. I will be going back for more, and will be doing the bowl turning day next. Cannot recommend this course, and the people that run it, highly enough. Worth every penny and more! Thank you so much Derek (& Beth). First class experience!!"

Assynt Pens responded:

"Thank you for your kind words Martin. I am delighted you enjoyed the day, and very well done on the two ‘Made by Martin’ pens! "

1 Sep 22'

Jo reviewed: Mastering Pen Making.

"I have spent a lovely day with Derek, making 2 beautiful pens. The day is well organised and Derek has a lot of knowledge which he will share throughout the session. He also explains the process in detail for each step of the way. I have never turned anything before on a lathe, but within a few minutes I was confident to do so. Although there are safety elements involved, this was a fun session and there was a lot of laughter, usually due to my mistakes, but the process was fun and I am proud of my accomplishments during the session. I would highly recommend this course if you like pens, enjoy wood turning or are looking at trying something new. Thank you for a fabulous day Derek, I think I may be back very soon. "

Assynt Pens responded:

"Delighted you enjoyed you day Jo. A great student. Well done on what you achieved! "

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