Reviews for Mark Hancock
When I retired from work my work colleagues knew I had taken up wood turning as a hobby and presented me with a voucher for a days wood turning tuition with Mark.
I went onto Marks web site and checked out the gallery and read the reviews, they were all excellent with great feedback and compliments of Marks skill in passing on knowledge of wood turning in a friendly professional way. Having read all the reviews back to 2 years ago I spotted the review from Wolfgang and knew he was a member of our Club at West Midlands wood turners. At our next meeting I spoke to Wolfgang and told him I had a day booked with Mark. He said I was in for a very special day, His experience with Mark was fantastic.
On arriving at Marks workshop I was met with a warm welcome and a cup of tea whilst mark asked me what I wanted to get from the day. I explained I had been turning for about 14 months and had been self taught with some assistance of our club members including Wolfgang (who is a very proficient turner now).
We had discussed briefly on the phone my experience and the areas I felt I need to get more tuition on to develop my skills. He had asked me to take some work I had done and my tools.
He looked at the work I had done and he explained the areas that he felt he could help me improve on. He looked at my tools and explained the different profiles and the reasons why he chose specific profiles and this became much clearer and we went on later in the day to re-profile some of my gouges which I have seen the benefit of since returning to my own workshop.
Mark's teaching skills and friendly approach put you instantly at ease. He covers all the basic Health and safety and good working practice guidelines and has hand outs prepared for his students which he makes additional notes on as you go through the day.
I could fill the page with a step by step appraisal of my day with Mark but if I had to sum it up in a few words it would be "Absolutely Brilliant from Start to Finish"
Thank you Mark
Rob Huxley - - #11778
Excellent day,priceless help and advice,friendly tuition and plenty of tea!
Went in knowing nothing and came out with confidence to go and buy my own lathe and get on with it.
Would recommend to anyone, complete beginner or otherwise i think there's always something you can learn.
Graham smith - - #11650
The course is excellent. Loads of information, hands on experience and expert advice. I would recommend it to anybody, mark is brilliant and the tools available are great. Its also excellent value for money as it is quite a long day.
Thanks for the training
Chris - - #11583
Mark is an expert in the field of wood turning, but he has the skill of explaining and demonstrating the art of turning to an absolute beginner such as me in language I could understand. The day was thoroughly engaging and absorbing with plenty of hands on time; lots of helpful advice on all aspects of the work - H&S, material, methodology and equipment.
Mark was recommended to me and I have no hesitation in recommending any other aspiring turner to take the opportunity of training with Mark. I would like to repeat the course again when I have some experience behind me.
Derek Carter - - #11579
My wife gave me a voucher for a day of wood turning instruction with Mark for my birthday. I had a bit of experience turning wood (self taught) and so Took my tools and work samples along. Mark was able to tailor my day to suit my strengths and weaknesses. It was a long and thouroghly enjoyable day, covering all aspects of turning finishing log prep and tool use and sharpening. Mark was very helpful and full of knowledge. I think the fact that he is passionate about what he does comes in his teaching. The information and websites he emailed are an added bonus to the day. Thanks very much Mark! My head is still buzzing from all the information! PS.I've already raised my lathe to stop my backache!
Andy Spanjers - - #11256
I and a friend, both outright beginners, enjoyed a long and fairly intensive day with Mark at his workshop. The day's course was well structured and supported by detailed notes as we we worked through the day. We both came away feeling that the basic processes were covered in detail which led to a greater understanding of how wood turning should be approached from a technical and safety angle. Mark's patience and teaching ability has certainly encouraed my appetite for a greater involvement in woodturning, which I can approach with some confidence and anticipation of eventually producing some reasonable turned work. Many thanks Mark.
Philip Earl - - #11172
My wife purchased a 1 day training course through Mark as a surprise 44th Birthday present. I can honestly say this was the best present I could have wished for. Whilst having experience in Carpentry, I attended as a complete novice/beginner - always being interesting and talking about Woodturning but never pursuing this avenue.
Mark put me at ease right from the start - having a chat over a cup of coffee prior to running through all the basics - safety, machinery, tools, sharpening - backed up with over 30 pages of course notes which we covered during the days tuition, not to mention the many "hands on" practical demonstrations/lessons which we completed.
Having undertaken numerous training courses during my time in the Construction Industry, I can honestly say that Mark is by far the best training tutor I have had the privilege of working with. His experience and knowledge is second to one, not to mention his enthusiasm, patience and encouragement for the student.
I came away with a wonderful turned Beech bowl which has taken pride of place in our living room, but most importantly I was able to meet and learn the basics from a true craftsman and artist in his field.
Follow on correspondence and info was sent the very next day - with the suggested "shopping list" we discussed when first setting up, along with links to various local clubs, training days/courses and seminars etc - brilliant "Post training" advise and info.
A big thank you Mark for a most enjoyable day and informative insight into Woodturning - now just need to get "set-up" and start practicing (any excuse to buy more tools!!!!!)
Jamie Morgan - - #10903
This was a well thought out, highly informative course well prepared and organised. Mark is an excellent tutor and the whole day was full of positive energy and encouragement. He has shaved years of my learning curve with regard to wood turning by sharing his knowledge and experience openly with me and his post course support will i am sure prove invaluable.
Joe Walton - - #10850
I first met Mark a few months ago; I’d decided that I needed to explore some hobbies which might take me out of my comfort zone and get me to learn new skills. Given my (then) belief that wood-turning demanded brute strength and was undertaken by grey-haired beardy-weirdy men with an unhealthy love of folk music and an unquenchable desire to fill the world with hand-made honey spurtles, it seemed to fit the bill perfectly given I am a middle-aged, cack-handed female, cautious about folk music and who has never-knowingly made anything useful in her life. So I booked a 1-day session with Mark and looked forward to a few hours in woodland world ….
How wrong I was! Well, yes, Mark does indeed have a beard and there may be a few grey hairs in it (albeit not as many as there were by the time he had finished teaching me) but other than that, all preconceptions went out of the window. By the time I left I was a convert having learned that wood-turning is:
• Both incredibly relaxing and yet challenging enough to keep the brain interested; forget making a honey spurtle; by the end of my first day I had produced (with a lot of help!) a lovely bowl which that morning had started life as a rather unprepossessing lump of firewood;
• Requires no brute strength at all – when you get the technique correct it’s all about finesse not muscle; move over gentlemen and let us ladies have a go;
• Pretty easy to learn; after just one day with Mark you’re confident enough to get your own lathe (or simply commandeer your husband’s or partner's) and start having a go on your own
My conversion to the joys of wood-turning was completely due to Mark, and his brilliance as a teacher. Mark is incredibly patient, informative, enthusiastic and encouraging. He takes the lessons seriously in that he is well-prepared and able to move along at your pace, taking the time to explain not only what to do but why you need to do it (important when wishing to avoid a piece of wood flying at your head from less than a foot away). But while he is serious about his craft, his teaching style is anything but: I had great fun from start to finish, and spent much of the day laughing both at Mark’s jokes and at myself. Indeed I enjoyed it so much that I’ve subsequently returned for a couple more sessions.
Never found out whether he likes folk music…….
Jayne - - #10589
Great basic overview of tools and techniques. Removed the fear factor from introducing metal to fast turning wood!! Mark's easy and attentive style set the scene for a highly instructive, informative and entertaining day. Highly recommended.
Tony Taylor - - #10445
Excellent course from a very knowlegeable and patient tutor. I felt that Mark had really personalised the course to match my needs exactly. He guided me through the basics building my confidence with each technique and provided the "common sense" advice you can only get from an expert in the field.
I really appreciated Marks willingness to work a very long day to ensure I had completed my bowl and for the follow up support.
John Jordan - - #10394
Having taught myself some woodturning I decided to go on a course to improve my skills and see what I was doing wrong. I certainly picked the best person to help me. Mark is an excellent tutor, very patient, and shared his expertise freely. I had a wonderful day and learned such a lot. I would thoroughly recommend Mark to anyone who wishes to learn the craft of woodturning from the best. I came away with a small bowl and a mine of information. Well worth every penny. Thank you, Mark. I will be back.
John Westwood - - #10380
I attended a pre-booked "1 day session" with Mark a couple of weeks ago but due to continued ill health I have delayed submitting my review as I did not want anything to compromise what I have to say about this remarkable man, in every sense. The inverted commas at the beginning are due to the fact that in my case, due to my situation, we agreed to split the "day" over two consecutive half days, but due to myself this seriously ran into day 3, in the main, driven gently by Mark to ensure the initial objective for the course was achieved. From the outset he was patient and understanding, showing empathy without what can be at times patronising sympathy. I took up wood turning after being forced to retire early from quite an executive position, and as such needed some structure in my day. I did the norm, books, DVD and you tube, but I should have made Mark my introduction into wood turning and indeed my first port of call. His passion is only matched by his amazing ability in his craft. the passion of which he naturally transfers to the student. He is honest with his views on the "traditional laws" of woodturning, which can only end up confusing students of the craft, safe working practices are a different manner entirely. As I have made very obvious I suffer from ill health, I am an amputee and have chronic pain issues, so if you are a similar position don't hesitate to at least talk to Mark, on the back of his glowing reviews that it what I did. It involved a 362 mile round trip on my part and a bit of an ordeal, however I would happily and hopefully will do it all over again, and yes it is worth every penny. One last thing, Please encourage him to think about writing a book as I did, as his knowledge, ability and passion needs to be left as a legacy for generations now and to come, and no I am not writing him off, just overstepping the line.
Thank you again Mark for everything.
Colin Webb - - #10359
Had a brilliant day turning with Mark. My daughter (13) really wanted to give woodturning a go and she loved it. She picked it up fast and Mark coped well with us being at different stages of our bowls during the day. He was very knowledgable and patient and I would recommend him to anyone looking for a woodturning day that is jam packed. I have a lathe which has been standing idle since having children and I had lost my confidence whick Mark helped me get back. He answered all my questions before we went and gave lots of notes to help in the future. He's also emailed us lots of info since the course to help us both going forward. Thanks Mark.
Debbie Hendriksen - - #10333
I recently completed a one-day workshop with Mark. I’ve enjoyed carpentry for years and really wanted to give woodturning a go but had never previously had the opportunity. The day with Mark was a birthday present – as I’ve started looking ahead to potentially retiring in the next few years, I’ve had a fledgling idea for a while now that I’d perhaps like to set up a small workshop with a lathe. The day with Mark was an ideal time to learn more about what’s involved in woodturning.
I learned loads during the day, which was hugely informative. We covered different types of turning, machine tool selection, tool grinding and many other things, and it was great to have the chance to work on a small project of my own – a small bowl that I took away with me at the end of the course. Mark is highly personable and very easy to get along with. He is also extremely knowledgeable and incredibly generous with his time – I not only learned a great deal during the day but also had a lot of fun.
I came away armed with a massive amount of information. Mark has prepared lots and lots of notes encompassing everything we covered (so that I didn’t need to worry about remembering everything or frantically scribbling my own notes) – including good advice and useful leads on buying tools, what traps to avoid, etc. These will be really useful in setting up a workshop of my own.
I would definitely recommend this course for anyone seeking an introduction to woodturning. Many thanks Mark!
Peter Franklin - - #10257
I recently completed a days course given to me as a 20th birthday present from my parents. Despite watching countless online videos, I went into the day a complete beginner and left having found a new hobby.
I was guided through all the basics of woodturning at a very easy pace, whilst Mark answered my many questions with great patience. I left many hours later carrying a wooden bowl and a head full of information, thankfully it had all been written down for me as well!
As i had noted an interested in becoming a hobbyist, Mark was very helpful in recommending tools and lathes and where to look for maximum value. He also encouraged me to contact him if i had any queries when searching. All that is left is to persuade my parents to let me clear some space in the garage!
For anyone with an interest in learning (young or old), I would highly recommend spending a day with Mark.
George - - #10242
A really good 'fun woodturning' day of tuition. I was really surprised by how late Mark was prepapred to run the day in order to get the project (a bowl) finished. Mark also offers a 'technical woodturning day', for those wanting to take it up as a hobby and set themselves up with equipment. Mark is very knowledgeable and passionate about the subject. No question was to 'simple' or 'unaskable'. Depending on the fun/technical day Mark would give his answers with differing levels of depth. Bring lunch & snacks. Tea & coffee provided. Clean toilets are available, but if you book for a rainy day - take a coat as you have to leave Mark's workshop and walk across the yard to the toilet building. Mark gave good tuition in a helpful manner, allowing a degree of independence dependent on student confidence and ability. I completed a wooden bowl with a 'step/notch' purposely taken out from the rim to give the finished bowl a more hand crafted feel as it's not your run of the mill, bog standard churned out 'lathe-turned' bowl. I would recomment this course if you want to make something in a day. I can't comment on the technical course as I didn't do it, but Mark's depth of knowledge, teaching experience in colleges and own experience I'm sure would make the technical day course good too.
Sally Rowney - - #10233
I recently completed a two day course with Mark. I not only admired his skill but also his teaching techniques. His patience and understanding (I am of a certain age!!!!) with my efforts was much appreciated. Mark is not a clock watcher, you get more than your monies worth of his time, indeed
it was me that called time at the end of a session. No matter what your level of experience is, you
cannot but benefit from time with Mark. His enthusiasm and encouragement has really fired me up
to try new techniques and his advice on how to get the best value for money when sourcing tools and materials will save you a fortune. This coupled with extensive notes made my two days well worth
while. Thanks again Mark. Oh yes and he is really a nice bloke!
Dr. John Skellern - - #10085
I had an excellent woodturning lesson with Mark last week. Actually it was third lesson with him. Since the last lessons two years ago, I have not had a chance to practice the skills which I had learnt from him simply because I have not had a lathe. The only way to remind them was to watch Youtube videos from internet.
A few months ago, I bought my own lathe at last. I thought I could woodturn well. However, it was not that easy as I thought. Even though I could make beads and coves, I heard some unpleasant noise and felt heavy with my arms. I guessed I had done many things wrong. That was why I contacted to Mark for revision lesson.
As I expected,his clear explanations and demonstrations helped me to do proper woodturning. Also he gave me an updated handout and shared what he has updated in the woodturning so far.
Now I can woodturn quite properly(I guess.). Those noise has gone now and my arms feel light. Also my lathe and gouges are very happy with me. Haha.
Thank you very much for your wonderful lesson once again. Hopefully I will see you in December. I must see you again because I need to develop more.
Tim Yang - - #9296