A beautiful experience carefully created by Stephen to be gentle and kind. Stephen is an excellent teacher, recognising participant's strengths (and weaknesses!) encouraging and supportive as well as being charming, generous and enjoying a giggle.
I definitely recommend for anyone looking for a fully holistic experience.
Really good day. Attending as a complete novice to Willow-weaving and something of a novice to making anything that looks like what it's supposed to be. I received just the right amount of assistance from Stephen who was knowledgeable, personable and kind. Friends and family all recognised my sculpture - although, to be honest, I only decided I was making a pig after it started to look like one. Highly recommended.
Fantastic morning. Stephen had a wealth of knowledge on this subject and bundles enthusiasm which kept everyone engaged. It was lovely to learn new skills. I’d highly recommend this to anyone. It’s a Great way to unwind on the weekend. Lovely camomile and honey tea to go with it. Thanks Stephen.
Such a great day. I booked online during lockdown ... didn’t know what to expect. Small personable class, lovely instructor Stephen who is so knowledgeable & great company, we all made a large animal, each one individual to our desires but from the same basis to start with and all from willow. Brought it home (a bit like a stag) and all the family couldn’t believe I achieved that in a single day. Would recommend to every age - no skills required, feel like a fab achievement at a time when we can do so little it feels! Thank you Stephen
In July I signed up as a complete beginner. On arrival I was greeted by Stephen the friendly instructor. After explaining the course we set about constructing a four legged animal. I found the whole experience so informative and relaxing. Being totally engrossed in the whole process. Stephen's knowledge was endless and entertaining. We worked together and produced a wonderful piece. Since then I have made another two animals and several other pieces. At the grand age of 78 I have found a great pastime. This is a course for all ages. Thanks
I booked the wood carving for my boyfriend and I, as it is something he has always wanted to try.
The experience was great and it was nice to take a day out of London to be surrounded by nature. We all chose a big piece of green wood and had the opportunity to create whatever we wanted using all of the tools available. There were two knowledgable guys walking around to help with anything and they were both very friendly so I didn't mind asking 'stupid' questions.
One thing to be aware of is there isn't much structure to the day, which I think suits people who are a bit more experienced and want to spend hours carving their own project. Because I've never done wood carving before I would have preferred some structured 'how to' sections to the day for people wanting to learn the basics. It's quite pricey so it would be nice to walk away having learnt different techniques.
All in all it was great and I recommend!
I was gifted a voucher for the sculptural green wood carving for my 40th birthday, and it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
As a hobbyist woodworker, I'm normally striving for straightness, squareness and precision. Green wood carving is more abstract yet more forgiving, allowing a more flexible and intuitive approach to creativity. There is great satisfaction in chipping away at the work-piece and seeing the shape slowly emerge and evolve.
The day itself was relaxed and friendly, with a wide variety of people - individuals, couples and families - sharing the experience, with a roaring campfire nearby and a plentiful supply of tea.
We also had the opportunity to help plant a new crop of willows to help improve and develop the site.
Superb course - Stephen was an absolutely brilliant teacher, taking us through the basics but getting us started on the practical stuff quickly and mentoring us through it. The whole ambience and atmosphere of the HQ is wonderfully earthy and authentic, and the morning course was an absolute delight. A fantastic introduction to wood-carving.
Most excellent afternoon with Stephen the yoda of spoon carving! Zen workshop to understand and learn the basics of carving wood and the basics of carving safety to go with it. Whole array of tools and techniques shown that 1 day later I’ve already forgotten but great to learn and I walked away with the basics of a spoon!!
To start, this was something I had no experience in and had only really wanted to see what it was about and get an idea as to what was involved.
Steven the lovely gentleman who runs it was so welcoming from start to finish. He is so knowledgeable and you can tell this is his passion and he loves to do it.
He explains the processes and how everything works, he shows the techniques and helps you understand how and why we work with the wood the way we do, from everything of what to do, to what not to do.
It's so interesting and gives you a real insight into sculpting wood and the different types of wood you can work with after. It gets down to the bones of a lost art form and its great for any beginners.
Jake who also helps out is on hand to help understand and tackle any tricky bits, he really helped me develop my technique.
All in all I came away with something that resembled a spoon, learnt how to use all the tools and for the price it's a fantastic day out and something out of the ordinary to go and try! Both guys are really interesting to talk to in general and I had a good laugh with them which is always important they are tentative and are soooo helpful too! Go down and see them both!
I attended one of Stephen's spoon carving courses under a parachute canopy in the woods last Saturday. Having done some spoon carving at home, the session was for me an opportunity to pick up some hints and thoughts while enjoying the experience of working in the open air with like minded people. It certainly ticked those boxes plus will shift my approach to carving in a holistic way. I also enjoyed the added benefit of Stephens insight into other forms of carving to boot which may well lead to other things for me. Excellent!
Brilliant class.....learned loads in a very short time....and came away with a recognisable piece of work at the end of it all.....it was hard not to soak up the teachers passion for his craft....thinking of doing his one day outdoor workshop at some point.
Such a lovely evening. And learned so much and came home with a spoon! Stephen’s calm expertise gave us time to experience working with many different tools - two types of axe, two types of saw and a fair number of different knives and other carving tools. In just two and a half hours a branch of a greenwood willow tree transformed into seven spoons! All first attempts and all unique. Some might say they were a bit of a rough ‘chip of the old block’ but I love mine! The added bonus was that, after spending such a pleasant, productive and concentrated evening working on a creative task with others, I was so chilled that I felt as if I had just spent two weeks relaxing on a beautiful beach. Highly recommended.
What a fantastic full day 'Spoon Carving for Beginners' class! Stephen is such a warm and humorous person to be around, fantastically creative in - and knowledgable about - all forms of sculpture, so great to learn from. He guided us through the tools and techniques expertly, with great judgement about when to leave us to it to work by ourselves, and when to intervene, so making the day feel less of a group lesson and more about a process of discovery for each of us. Throughly recommend doing the whole day, as those who had only booked to do the half day had a good intro, but it was clearly not long enough to complete a spoon as a first timer. Thanks a million Stephen, we will be back for more!
Didn’t really know what to expect but it turned out a most enjoyable afternoon. Started by splitting a willow log, and whilst learning about the tools along the way, ended up with a spoon....of sorts...but I was a beginner. Recommend this course
Fantastic workshop! Stephen was a great tutor and was incredibly patient with me, with it being my first time carving and working in 3D. I learnt so much about different types of wood, their properties and a range of tools and techniques for wood carving. I would definitely recommend for beginners and more experienced carvers!
I was not sure what to expect but it is always nice to learn new things. How to cut the wood, split the wood, use a whittling knife correctly, safely. Then to be taught in such a relaxed informal atmosphere with such nice people. Then to discover that I really enjoyed the whole creative process and that the time seemed irrelevant. It was so absorbing. Really magical stuff that I would recommend to anyone. I will be back soon. Thank you so much Steve for giving access to people like me to such an ancient art.