Cath's preparation for this two day course was exemplary. We were housed in a safe and comfortable environment which must have taken a good deal of time and effort to prepare.
During the course Cath shared her knowledge and skill with us in preparing and spinning a large variety of silks and luxury fibres. The pace was satisfyingly brisk covering a wide range of information and techniques that I look forward to putting into practice at home.
One unexpected and pleasing outcome of the course was that each of us came away with a large selection of samples of the fibres we were introduced to. A most enjoyable and stimulating two days. Thank you Cath
Response from Beechwood Crafts:Thank you Penny
This was a brilliant workshop.
Considering the challenges with social distancing etc, Cath has provided a space in which crafters can feel safe and relaxed. All precautions are taken.
Maxine is a wonderful tutor who gave very clear visual and verbal instruction and was readily open to questions during the course of the day.
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this workshop and venue.
Response from Beechwood Crafts:Thank you Hazel
Three students and Cath Snape, our tutor worked in a spacious perfectly ventilated garden marquee. We had face visors for moments when we were closer than 2 metres so it was all very well planned.
We covered silk spinning on day one, from degumming cocoons to making and spinning from silk hankies and blending mulberry silk with other fibres. All really useful practice for understanding how to manage the long, slippy staple of silk compared with shorter fibres.
Day two was also useful for me - we were combing or carding luxury fibres from Cashmere to mohair and angora as well as alpaca in order to blend with other fibres. It really helped me to establish the rules about fibre preparation in relation to staple length, then what technique to use for spinning the fibre. We still had time for refreshments and lunch break, comparing our interests and experiences within our own Guilds of York and Durham.
Response from Beechwood Crafts:thanks Averil, it was lovely to see you and have your enthusiasm contributing to the course.
My partner and I did the course in early 2020, and as we're both into live action roleplay (LARP) we took the course thinking that it might be useful as we have leather bags and armour pieces. Happily we weren't disappointed with the course.
Paul's course teaches you the fundamentals that you'll need to get into leather crafting.
You won't learn everything, but what Paul does give you is the experiences that he's gained being bushcrafter, leatherworker and craftsman. He even gives a list of suppliers that he uses so you don't have to hunt everything down on the internet.
The other nice thing about the course is that you're not just writing things down or following a list of instructions. Paul introduces you to some of the tools that you'll use, basic tools such as knives and hammers and then traditional leather crafting tools such as leather punches, stitch groovers and edge bevellers, you'll learn how to saddle stitch and dye your leather.
We found it quite inspiring, and within a few weeks we'd took the plunge and started making bags, belts and leather armour pieces. If you have any interest in learning leather craft then I'd happily recommend it.
Response from Beechwood Crafts:Thanks Dave
This was a fun 2 day course with an enthusiastic and knowledgeable tutor covering foundation skills for working with leather. Paul discussed different types of leather and how they are processed and different cuts and types of leather and how to select a suitable leather for your project. The different tools for working with leather, from basic to more advanced were explained. Pattern making, cutting, edging, stitching, riveting, dying, tooling and finishing were all covered with plenty of hands on practice of the techniques. An excellent introduction to leather working in a relaxed friendly group giving with plentiful supplies of tea and cake to keep us going. A good starting point for a new adventure.
Response from Beechwood Crafts:Thanks Alex
As the description says, this is not a make a handbag in a day course.
The course covers the why's and wherefore's of the basics of leathercrafting. You learn what types of leather there are, what they are good for and (importantly) what they are NOT good for.
Paul takes you through the techniques used and provides excellent guidance as you try them out.
He draws heavily from his experiences as a self-taught craftsman. When he steers you away from doing something, you know it's because he's tried it and it all went wobbly!
He gives excellent advice on what tools and materials a beginner should start with and suggestions on where to buy them.
The course doesn't cover much in the way of tooling and embossing, and this is a good thing. There is only so much that can be fitted into 2 days and the students actually learn it. I am looking forward to a more advanced course where these subjects can be covered. (HINT)
Response from Beechwood Crafts:Thanks Rod,
A very enjoyable day with a great teacher. Cath was patient and quickly showed me how to set up the wheel properly. It was great to actually start spinning and trying out the different fibres and wheels. The class was very small and she tailored the day to what would help us the most. Looking forward to using my wheel more and booking onto another course with Cath.
Response from Beechwood Crafts:Thank you Naomi,
This class was absolutely brilliant. It was a small class, and Cath adapted what we did to cover our individual needs. Lots of personal attention and friendly instruction, plenty of help sorting out my wheel (greatly appreciated, thank you!) and a friendly atmosphere made the day fly by. It's really been helpful in working out some of my problems as a beginning spinner, but the adaptive style means more advanced spinners could find it helpful too. Thanks so much!
Response from Beechwood Crafts:Thanks Kate
I have just attended the next steps in spinning course with Beechwood Crafts. This is my second class with them. Cath the tutor was very welcoming and the relaxing setting put me at ease. She is enthusiastic and encouraging and has taught me to spin and now is helping to improve my technique and learn more about this craft. The days are always well thought out, with Cath contacting you beforehand to ascertain if there is anything you would like to focus upon. Her extensive knowledge in all things spinning comes across. I would highly recommend these courses...I have already booked another.
Response from Beechwood Crafts:Thank you Louise,
A most enjoyable and instructive day. We were made to feel welcome from the start and were supplied with hot drinks (and cake). The room we used was comfortable and light and our tutor, Maxine explained the craft very well and helped us individually . The day was well planned and all the materials were supplied. Maxine and Cath are tremendously talented and creative and I felt privileged to be taught by them.
Response from Beechwood Crafts:HI Rona,
I thoroughly enjoyed the course because everything was prepared and provided for. Cath had infinite patience and knowledge as she demonstrated two techniques of felting flowers. We had the opportunity to make both and I was really pleased with my flowers. The workshop was lovely overlooking the garden.Thank you, Cath I look forward to my next course with you.
Response from Beechwood Crafts:Thank you Wendy.
A fabulous course, a day filled with information and fun. We all came away with beautiful cards, tags, wrapping paper and enthusiasm to do more printing!
Hannah explained everything beautifully and gave lots of support and advice as we created our lino cuts. Definitely recommended!
A really enjoyable and fun day learning how to make Lino prints. Came away with Christmas cards, gift tags and wrapping paper and lots of enthusiasm to try making more. I’ve discussed making printed tree decorations with my grandchildren and they can’t wait to get started
Hannah was informative and encouraging and the venue met all our needs - would recommend this course.
Response from Beechwood Crafts:Thank you Karen.
Had a fantastic day with Maxine delivering an amazing workshop. Cath was welcoming and and was an amazing host giving us lots of tips and support too. I was amazed as my mouse started to come together and Maxine explained everything and was an incredibly patient and brilliant teacher. Thank you
Response from Beechwood Crafts:Thanks Fiona
A very enjoyable afternoon and I liked the idea of a goodie bag - an aide memoire with simple instructions about how to have a go at making felt flowers at home would be a lovely addition to choosing wools for the goodie bag
I'll definitely recommend your courses and spread the word
Response from Beechwood Crafts:Thanks Ruth,
A really fun session! Tuition was excellent, with a lovely selection of resources for making our flowers. I came away with a beautiful finished product and lots of ideas. I thoroughly recommend felt flower making with Cath!
Response from Beechwood Crafts:Thanks Frances
I thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from the day at Beechwood Crafts with Cath. I took my own wheel, wanting to learn with it. Cath is a very good teacher. I had felt nervous beforehand but she welcomed us with warmth and put everyone at ease. We learned about our wheels, and about different breeds of sheep and their wool qualities and we tried spinning with different types of fleece.
I feel encouraged to follow a long held wish to learn to spin and to go on and do more courses.
Thank you so much Cath. I recommend this course, highly. It was stimulating and very enjoyable.
I spent a lovely day with Cath, learning to use my spinning wheel. The setting was very relaxing and there was no shortage of coffee. She helped me to understand the basics of spinning and I left there with two skeins that I had spun. I felt very pleased with myself. This is an ideal course to find out whether spinning is for you and what wheel might suit you best. Cath is very gentle and patient and gives lots of encouragement. I highly recommend it.
Response from Beechwood Crafts:Thanks Rachel. You have every right to be proud; your spinning was great. Lovely to have you on the course.
I had a very enjoyable day making a felted hare with Maxine and Cath. Starting with a very friendly and informal welcome, we set about learning the basics of needle felting and began creating our own hares from the bundle of wool in front of us. Everything was explained and demonstrated very clearly and any questions were answered as they arose. I found the whole experience to be very relaxing and therapeutic and was super happy with the little creature that I took home! To anyone who is thinking of having a go at needle felting, this is the perfect workshop for beginners and I would highly recommend it.
Thank you Maxine and Cath.