Reviews for Dave Cockcroft
I attended the beginners spoon carving course at Days Cottage, and it was an excellent day indeed. Dave covered a lot of useful stuff in the day, not only about the different holds to use for carving, but also things on sharpening tools. After covering safe use of the tools, we made a butter spreader in the morning, followed by a spoon in the afternoon. Dave was really good at checking my body position thoughout and giving advice for positioning it better for using the different holds that he showed us. I would highly recommend this course for people that have done a little carving already, as it really helps to be shown different and better ways of doing things. Plenty of breaks were built in to stop us getting too tired and injuring ourselves. Thouroughly enjoyed the day!
Pete - - #11814
Dave gives clear instructions, followed by appropriate demonstrations, then leaves you to get on with the job. However, you are soon aware that he's keeping an eye on your progress as he will always be ready to correct errors and offer advice. This is the mark of a good teacher: give people enough freedom to work at their own pace, but ensure that they can't make too many mistakes. It needs to be said that you will not get the best out of this course if a) you haven't done the beginners' course and/or b) had some recent experience of spoon-making, as Dave doesn't spend too long on revision. Learning to make eating spoons differs somewhat from making cooking spoons, and it was interesting to see the variety of spoons which can be made. This course is highly recommended.
Dave Frederick - - #11804
Good course, learning various techniques of knife use. Very knowledgeable and experienced tutor. We all made a butter-knife and then a scoopy statula thingy which gets much use in the kitchen.
John Coombe - - #11095
Fantastic day!! Dave is excellent at teaching how to carve spoons, the setting was brilliant, such a cosy yurt with log burner set in an orchard setting, I went in the colder months and the stove kept us toasty warm! I was on the day long course with about 4 other people, there was plenty of demonstration time and then lots of 1-2-1 help from Dave as you progressed through the day. There were tea breaks and lunch breaks (take a packed lunch) and we all left with carved spoons that we had created from a log! In my opinion this is one of the best courses for spoon carving and at an incredibly reasonable price!
Chris - - #11093
I enjoyed a lovely day in the countryside with Dave in the mindful pursuit of spoon carving. We were blessed with wonderful weather, which meant plenty of outdoor time until the sun got too hot, as Dave very patiently, and safely, taught us the basics of making a butter spreader in the morning and a spoon in the afternoon, all from a "lump" of wood. I was happy to go slowly, being respectful of the tools and enjoying time with the other class members. The combination of warm sunny weather, and the peace and quiet was very conducive to productive creativity, and we moved under shelter to stay cool in the afternoon - had it rained we would have been under this cover from the start. I recommend you take this course as a way to experience making something by hand under the guidance of a skilled teacher.
Stuart Hillston - - #11081
What a happy, informative, friendly atmosphere.
Dave Cockcroft is a master craftsman and has an exceptional talent for sharing his skill.
Gabriela Cartwright - - #11063
I attended Dave's spoon carving course at the wonderful surrounds of Days Cottage. The course was superb, perfectly balanced for the skills of the group yet allowing everyone the chance to work at their own pace. Dave's manner of teaching is highly informative and yet presented in a relaxed manner that encourages you to ask questions and engage with the group. I highly recommend Dave's courses, just beware, you'll be eying every tree as a potential spoon!
Matt Frederick - - #11032
I thoroughly enjoyed my day and felt a great sense of achievement. Dave is a patient and knowledgeable teacher who gently offers advice. I will be booking up for another course.
Sue - - #11014
Really enjoyed the course - Dave creates a friendly positive atmosphere. The day was well planned, covered all aspects and has set me off as a keen independent amateur spoon carver.
Helen Brent-Smith - - #11009
Dave's spoon carving course is excellent. I was shown safe working practices with the axe for roughing out a blank, and with the knife for finishing. I would highly recommend the course to anyone wanting to learn the art of spoon carving.
Adam Jacobs - - #10989
I really enjoyed my day in the yurt learning spoon carving with Dave. I had some familiarity with the primary tools already, but Dave took us all - beginners and improvers - on a nicely paced introduction or refresher on safe but effective techniques for knife and axe. This lead on to carving a butter-spreader, mostly as a training exercise but at least one student did use his spreader at the lunch break! After lunch, we went through all of the main stages in carving a spoon or scoop. We were all so engaged in the process that we were reluctant to put down our tools at the end of the day.
Dave is a excellent teacher and craftsman, so he knows what he's about but more importantly does a very good job of explaining, demonstrating and assisting one-to-one when needed so that he can pass on those skills. The venue worked very well, and the size of group was just right - large enough for some camaraderie, but small enough that Dave could make sure that everyone was keeping up. A good day. Recommended.
Ian Dickinson - - #10984
What a fantastic workshop! So much learning, packed effortlessly into a relaxed and spacious programme. Loved Dave's style, which was methodical and thorough, with plenty of awareness of safety and best practice and of our own limitations as (mostly) beginners, yet his guidance was expressed with lightness and humour and never in a way which might have cramped our style or reduced our confidence. Instead we were inspired from the first moment to believe that this unlikely skill was something we could easily learn with practice. And indeed, we did all have something to take home at the end of the day!
We started with learning to use the tools properly: hand axe, carving knife and finally the bent knife for the spoon bowls. We practised a whole series of different cuts and strokes and then got to work on carving a butter spreader, which we had done by lunchtime (and which I now use every day!). In the afternoon we made our first spoons, which in my case needed a bit more work at home afterwards to finish - made possible by Dave's support extending to advising on and sourcing suitable tools for us to purchase.
One warning though: this hobby is highly addictive! None of us wanted to stop at break times (which Dave wisely insisted on, to avoid slipping concentration leading to accidents) and now a month later I still can't stop spoon carving even when it's raining outside, so my house is full of wood shavings!
Graham Timmins - - #10985
I'd done a bit of spoon carving before, but I thoroughly enjoyed using the axe to make the first stages this time. It gave me confidence to make kindling this summer! And I made the biggest spoon ever!
Dee Jarlett - - #10986