Two weeks of incredible learning and fun and Hewnwood has left me with so many new inspirations and a whole new woodland family. Such skills and passions that Alan and his family have shared are truly humbling and they have really made their woodland feel like a second home. Plus fantastic food, music and campfire fun! Any other course I go on from now has a whole lot to live up to!
Henry Venner Woodcock - - #22314
The course was most enjoyable with very competent teachers who were friendly, patient and helpful and pushed for excellence. Alan, Connor and Sid clearly love their pure craft and take every effort to pass on this passion. The food was great and the outdoor woodland setting and evenings around the camp fire very relaxing. I even came back with a sun tan in May.
steve lowden - - #22306
Coming into this coarse I have had just a little timber framing experience. This coarse was absolutely amazing and reached all of my expectations. I flew in from Canada for 2 weeks of the coarse and learned many important things about how to properly build a timber frame. Alan and the family were delightful to be with and made me feel right at home. I can't wait to go back to Canada and build some timber frames of my own using the skills I have gained on this coarse!
Cheers, Brett Sharpe
Brett Sharpe - - #22295
Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!
Just about the best way you could possibly wish to spend a week doing anything. This is the second course that I have been on with Alan, Connor and Sid; their generosity of spirit, patience and understanding makes them master teachers as well as master craftsmen. There is something about their "way" that creates a great team atmosphere where everyone is "in it together" with a clear collective aim. Great location. Oh, too much Cider, cheese, beer and lovely food: Si richly deserves his enviable oak frame!
Edd Rayner - - #17183
A truly excellent experience. Learned so much in a week. Alan, Mary and his team made us all feel so welcome. Alan is a rare combination of expert craftsman, story-teller, musician, and a true gentleman. Mary's cooking was unsurpassable. As a person with good intolerances, Mary made sure that I never once failed to thoroughly enjoy every meal!
Niall - - #15953
Thanks to everyone at Hewnwood for an amazing week! The course was extremely informative and well organised. The setting is perfect, and I came away feeling all round inspired!
Alan and Connor are both extremely knowledgeable and fantastic teachers, and Mary's cooking was incredible!
I will definitely be returning and would recommend to anyone. Thanks guys
Sam Downing - - #15704
Really enjoyed the course. It was so inspiring to be in the woods building with a group of folk all keen to get to grips with the skills needed to timber frame with green oak. The techniques around using datum lines, references, scribing, measuring and attention to detail were fascinating. Really enjoyed the passion that John and Conor brought to the teaching and having Al playing the flute in the background made for a magical time in the woods. But the glue that binds the whole course together is Mary's catering which was superb! Thank you
Tom Ingall - - #10893
This course was really great!
I learned so much in this one week about the framing of green oak! Most stuff is impossible to learn from books, and is explained clearly, patiently (and repeatedly if needed :) ) by the excellent teachers of this course: Alan, Connor and John. Their skills in using all the tools is most sophisticated.
Most suprising part for me was the detail given to correct scribing and marking out the joints, since this proves to be as important as chopping away the green oak. Again, the tricks and tips for correct scribing to curvy, wobbly green oak cannot be found in any timber framing book.
As for the complete experience: the cooking of Mary is simply fantastic! Also the camping in the woods and the nightly campfires adds to the real woodland experience.
Thomas van de Sande - - #10700
I so enjoyed this! To those out there considering an experience in green oak timber framing, I thoroughly recommend spending a week (or more) with Alan, Mary, Connor, John and Sid - not to mention, great candidate company. Regardless of skill level, you’ll come away with a stronger understanding of this beautiful and ancient craft. Alan ‘et al’ know their stuff and, just as important, clearly enjoy sharing their seemingly limitless knowledge through hands-on, patient, attentive, and practical instruction that, by week’s end, will culminate in a beautiful oak frame.
Mary’s cuisine was, well, simply scrumdiddlyumptious – so much so that whenever I look at timber joints now, I’m instantly hungry...
Thank you all for a wonderful week!
Ed Hubbard - - #10682
Another excellent week in the woods: great learning experience, excellent tuition, good people and fantastic food.
This was my third course having completed basic and advanced in July. We continued framing the same project; a large "glamping cabin" which provided a challenging and fulfilling learning environment.
Allen spent time designing my project for a barn conversion in Normandy which we are planning to use as a course late summer 2018.
A big thanks to Mary, Allen, Connor, John and Sid for another great week.
Simon James - - #10607
I struggle to find a fault in this course. Superb environment. Glorious meals from Mary. Wise guidance and instruction from Alan, Connor, John and Anthony. The content and delivery was inspiring and clear which is exactly what I had hoped for. Meeting so many lovely folk was an added bonus. I can see why people come back! Many thanks again to the Hewnwood team.
Trevelyan Beyer - - #10606
After visiting Hewnwood for my third course, I'm happy to say it's still the same great learning environment as it was on my first visit.
There is something new to learn every time I go!
There's a good chance I'll be back next year and enjoy more of Mary's cooking!
Timber framing No.3 - - #10603
Before I went on the course initially I thought I should offer to cook in my email to Alan & Mary that way at least I would get two good meals during the 14 days I was to be there. When I got a non commital reply I thought oh well never mind it will be good to lose a bit of weight, cupasoup and pot noodles aren't so bad. What a pleasant surprise when Mary's cooking turned out to be excellent. Both the beginner and advanced courses were extremely good, Alan is super talented and what you get is a rare beautiful skill set. Most people would throw away into the fire twisted lumps of wood but he takes delight and pleasure in their natural shape and I found I began to see that too. The whole family's work ethic and how his kids are was unusual.
Sudhir R - - #9975
After attending the first course back in May I couldn't wait to get back to the woods for the advanced course. This part of the course concentrates on the trickier roof elements of the frame, and we were let loose on the trusses of what will become a pretty special glamping cabin for a local farmer, one wall frame of which had been created by the students on another introductory course the previous week.
Alan had designed this cabin with a variety of features to cover different aspects of framing and scribing techniques, from a cruck truss lofted from a string template set out on the ground below, to the middle interrupted tie beam - scissor brace truss, finished off with a king post truss at the other end. Talk about being dropped in at the deep end - but with Alan and Connor's tuition and guidance by the end of the week we had created some truly stunning trusses!
Alan clearly has a passion for his work, and for passing on his extensive knowledge in a friendly and simple way. For anyone interested in traditional timber buildings I cannot recommend this course highly enough - a thoroughly enjoyable and informative week, topped off with Mary's delicious (and copious) food!
Thanks again to all at Hewnwood - I will be back!
Tom Gill - - #9964
What a great course! There is nothing I can fault from the brilliant tuition to the amazing food (thanks Mary) to the newly installed shower. If I could have stayed for the follow on course I would have. Alan and Connor have so much patience to pass on the skills they know too well to the inexperienced bunch that attended this course.
I can only hope I have the time to return for a second helping of timber framing!
Gareth Coetzer - - #9960
I've fallen in love with the woods. The course gave me a bit of a shock out of the way I live my life, though direction toward new horizons. I wish I were more of a woodland critter than a city dwelling cretin. Really was incredibly sad to leave which just goes to show the impact of the whole experience. Working with real wood, appreciating it's properties, the way of the forest, the final product, Alan's immense knowledge, Connor's zazz for life, Mary's atomic cooking, Sid's chilledness and chats, music and life all around. Feel very honoured to have had such an opportunity to do something so awesome. Couldn't recommend it highly enough.
Vicky Lim - - #9950
I've just completed the advanced course and I can I honestly say it was excellent and is surpassed my expectations. It was so good I've booked to go back for a third week in September to learn more from Allen and Connor.
Allen is an excellent instructor with a genuine desire to pass on his considerable knowledge. Allen, Connor and Sid go above and beyond, often still teaching until late in the evening - thanks for your patience and enthusiasm.
See you all in September:-)
Simon James - - #9940
It’s quite hard to convey what an awesome experience the last two weeks have been.
In terms of learning about green oak timber framing, Alan is a very gifted teacher. He has somehow managed to tailor the teachings perfectly to accommodate the varying levels of experience within the group. And he does this with such great patience and humour!
Alan was also assisted by his equally talented son Connor who was very generous with his time, both during the daytime timber framing, and the evening axe throwing and archery shenanigans!
I now know enough to get started on my own small projects and I have the bug to learn more about Green Oak Timber framing.
The food was incredible, and I say this as a fussy eater. I was never felt wanting for anything else, although my wife is now subtly suggesting a diet is in order! Many thanks Mary!
Finally, the fellow members of the group seemed to be the icing on the cake. I felt lucky to be joined by such a varied group of awesome people who all had a common interest in being creative with the idea of eventually building something from timber.
In summary, an amazing couple of weeks which will never be forgotten! Thank you to all involved!
Daniel Patton - - #9919
Back to the woods for the advanced timber framing course and was again blown away by how hospitable Alan and the family are and enjoyed the week immensely!
The main problem was that the week seemed to be over in a blink.
Going back again before the year is out. If the courses keep running, ill keep going!
Nick Godley - - #9915