Reviews for Mark Hancock
As a novice wood turner I decided to attend a course with Mark to get a feel for wood turning and learn from an experienced turner.
Mark was great throughout the day, very informative and he provided great notes for future reference.
The day was long, but we covered a lot of techniques and what to watch for when buying turning tools and equipment.
Mark's workshop is large enough for probably 4 people at once, but I would recommend a 1-2-1 course to get the most out of the day.
On the whole this course was well worth it. I don't think I could have chosen a better suited tutor or course.
Stuart - - #17511
An excellent and informative day. My wife organised as a Christmas present, much better than the usual "item". Mark is patient, and explained everything in a logical and structured way, even to a complete novice, like my self. I leaned a great deal and recommend the course for any interested wood turners
Peter Townley - - #17454
40 years ago, as a teenager my Grandfather, a Master Carpenter, taught me to use a treadle lathe in his workshop. Eventually he mounted an old vacuum cleaner motor on the wall to stop me getting so tired and I was happy turning any piece of wood he gave me. I loved it.
As I approach early retirement my children bought me a day's woodturning with Mark to see if I still loved it, as I always talk about buying a lathe and doing what pleases me in an artistic way........
Well, what can I say. We started at 9:30, stopped for 30 minutes for lunch and finished at 8:30 in the evening. So much came flooding back and the more I picked up on Mark's passion the more I realised it was a passion I still had, and that probably showed because Mark commented a few times on how quick I picked up on things.
It was a lovely day, with a wooden bowl as a memento for my wife, lovely memories for me and a shopping list as long as your arm for when I do set up my own workshop. I think I even coerced Mark into agreeing to help me hone the shopping list to perfection so as not to waste money when I do eventually pull the trigger........ Just need to convince the wife that £6,000 is cheap for a lathe.......!!!
Mark, thank you for sharing your passion, thank you for rekindling mine, and thank you for listening, challenging and your expert tutoring. I loved every minute of it.
Ian Higginbotham - - #17332
What a fantastic day! Mark's friendly and relaxed manner was apparent from start to finish making it a very enjoyable and fulfilling day.
As a complete beginner to wood turning Mark took me through everything I needed to know, from all the different tools, sharpeners and Lathes to use, including which ones on the market were the best to buy and which ones to steer clear of. Throughout the morning, we focused on the different cutting techniques, which through Mark's clear and easy instructions were made simple. Mark walked me through sharpening tools and I was left feeling confident on doing so again on my own. During lunch Mark was able to share with me a fountain of knowledge that he has on everything to do with working with wood, including the cutting of bowl blanks from logs and wood drying techniques. He was also able to offer advise on courses I should take in which to pursue a career in furniture making. In the afternoon we went on to starting the bowl which I'd leave with at the end of the day. Through his excellent care and attention to detail I was able to produce something of professional standards. Even after the course was over I was contacted by Mark with all the information we had talked about throughout the day and a shopping list of all the best and most affordable tools and equipment to get me started.
I definitely recommend this course to anyone with any interest in wood working and at any level!
Steve Robertson - - #16941
I recently took a one day,1 to 1, introduction to wood turning given by Mark. To say that I was a novice in wood turning is an understatement as I have no experience of working wood since I was at school a long while ago.
Mark showed me around the workshop explaining what the various tools and machines were used for. He took time to advise on the minimal tools and type of lathe to get should I wish to pursue wood turning as well as websites where these can be purchased for a reasonable outlay.
For the rest of the day he showed me the various steps required in turning a bowl. After demonstrating each step and watching me my attempt, he left me alone to complete the task whilst he worked elsewhere. This approach, rather than standing over and watching me, took the pressure off me although he often could hear when I did something wrong and return to put me right. They say you learn by your mistakes and I possibly made most you could. Mark however appears to have the patience of a saint and merely showed me what I was doing wrong and how to correct it.
All in all a very interesting and enjoyable day. Mark is incredibly talented and knowledgeable, and indeed a nice guy, and I would recommend him for tuition at all abilities.
Martin Smith - - #16892
Wonderful day! Mark was a fantastic teacher... funny, patient and clearly had a wealth of expertise. I thoroughly enjoyed the 1 day course I took and left feeling very enthused and so proud of myself for the wooden stool I had produced. I was very impressed by the way that Mark gave help when needed but also allowed me to 'have a go' for myself- it made me feel like I really was capable of woodturning and not just being spoon fed the instructions. Highly recommend to anyone!
carly lee - - #16891
WOW! What a day. Having never turned a piece of wood before and looking for a new hobby I was bought a days course with Mark. From the start Mark was vey patient and informative. Explaining about Lathes, tools and techniques. At each stage going to the lathe to practice the tool and technique. By lunchtime having tested Marks patience ( he is very patient) i felt confident enough to try a bigger challenge. The Bowl. The afternoon was spent putting all the mornings practice into creating a bowl. It was amazing seeing this block of Oak taking shape. It took a while but the result was well worth it. I have been on other course doing different stuff and you get the feeling that some teachers are happy for you to make somthing and say "not bad for a first attempt". Not in Mark's case. Whatever you make Mark wants it to be right, and i felt the time spent getting the bowl right was so worth it. The after course email is brilliant giving you lots of recommendations on what to buy and where to get the beat deals. Thankyou Mark
Sean Kirby - - #16864
What a fantastic day and what a fantastic teacher. Like many of the reviewers I was given a one-on-one day with Mark as a present. I am a reasonably seasoned 'flat' wood worker but knew nothing about the 'round' wood disciplines and techniques. Mark changed all that! In a (long!) day he was able to distil and impart over 30 years of knowledge and experience that the rest of us can only admire and dream of. This is a master craftsman, talented artist and exceptional teacher at the top of his game. My day spent with Mark was a fascinating, empowering, exciting and joyful voyage of discovery. Mark's enthusiasm for his art and his craft and his ability to both express and funnel this into his teaching is both infectious and inspiring. Thank you Mark for a wonderful experience that has decided me to further explore the 'round' wood skills that I know will enable me also to be a better 'flat' wood worker.
Mark Hardy - - #16787
The day with Mark was a present from my mum after mentioning wanting to give it a go on passing a few months before. Having not been on a lathe for 30 years since my A Levels, I was a little bit apprehensive to say the least about my level of skill and how I would fare throughout the day. I needn't have worried though. I soon discovered that my memory of working with wood was was a little patchy at best and it was a quick decision to start at the beginning and cover the condensed course. From the start, Mark put me at ease and was very clear about what we hoped to achieve during the day. His experience and knowledge was immense and his relaxed manner made learning easy. Even with an obviously sore throat, he explained, hinted, and corrected patiently and concisely with a good balance of demonstration and verbal instruction. As his advert suggests, there was also an ample amount of tea and coffee at hand! The day was superb and I cannot wait to get power up to my shed, fire up my lathe and put what I learnt into practice. It is certainly something I will be continuing with and I would definitely consider booking another day with Mark. Oh, and big thanks for the shopping list and advice - a huge help as it is a bit of a minefield out there!
David Roberts - - #16750
Many thanks to Mark for a really good day. Mark's patience and knowledge for wood and woodturning make him a perfect teacher. Plenty of tea and coffee throughout the day and Mark's teaching abilities are second to none.
I didn’t really know what to expect because I had only been turning for a few months and maybe had some bad habits but Mark takes his time to make sure that you are fully comfortable with the course material, rather than rushing through to meet a pre-determined finish time. At the end of the day I was able to take home my very first oak bowl and other exercise pieces with plenty of reference material and a knowledge to carry on turning as a hobby. Since the course, Mark has been more than happy to answer any questions I have regarding technique and equipment.
He is a very nice person, and clearly has a passion for teaching, and I would not hesitate to recommend his wood turning course to anyone. I will be joining a club soon and look forward to seeing him teaching again.
Nicholas Rogers - - #16745
I was given a one day course with Mark as a wedding anniversary present. I'd wanted to have go at woodturning for a few years but have little experience with woodwork in general & was nervous that this lack of experience would hinder my progress. I needn't have worried, Mark was very patient & encouraging. He has a wealth of knowledge & experience & like all good teachers makes you feel you can succeed. I produced a beautiful bowl & he has made me feel that I should carry on improving this new skill. I will, but hopefully attending one of his longer courses first. Thank you Mark for giving me the confidence to pursue a new hobby.
Sue Cramb - - #16741
This course was a present from my husband for my 55th birthday. I had done a tiny bit of woodturning over 30 years ago, but nothing since, and was keen to "have a go" again.
The day was fantastic. So much was covered. Mark was incredibly patient and thorough in his explanations. He was unfazed by all my questions and endlessly encouraging and reassuring when I couldn't seem to do what I was trying to do. I learned so much, but am keen to go back for another 1 day course once I have practiced all I have learned so far. Mark's "shopping list" is great for beginners looking to get started with all the equipment necessary and his hand-out is an invaluable aide memoir of everything covered in the day.
Clare Smith - - #16715
My wife and children had bought me a wood lathe to occupy me in my retirement. Having set my workshop up and having recently retired I felt now was the time to get a thorough grounding in the basic techniques from which I could develop my skills.
The day with Mark was one of the most enjoyable days training I have had for a long time and suited the way I learn perfectly. The day was full of anecdotes, explanations of theory and practical side of the tools and turning, as well as an appropriate level of hands on work on the tooling and lathe. The extensive information provided verbally was complimented with a full set of notes that will form a great aide memoir for the future.
Mark is extremely knowledgeable, patient and personable: the day flew by.
Following the course, Mark has provided an e-mail summarising the various points of interest from the day, and detail on where specific items of tooling, in which I showed interest, could be purchased.
The course was extremely good value.
Mark – many thanks
Chris West - - #16542
Part of my 60th birthday present was two excellent days with Mark. As a novice Mark gave me plenty of hands on guidance. A well balanced mix of instruction and actually doing some turning myself. Must have found the hardest piece of oak for my bowl which meant I got plenty of practise sharpening too. Mark has a very sensible approach which cuts through a lot of the jargon and demystifies the subject. Comprehensive set of notes and great guidance on what to buy and where. Fully intended to go back for a further day when I have advanced a bit.
Chris Powell - - #16495
Not having done much wood turning for a few years I thought I would do a refresher course and Mark introduced me to many new tools and techniques that I can now turn with much more confidence. A most enjoyable experience and Mark took endless trouble and we certainly had a very full day of tuition. He also provided comprehensive notes and links to suppliers. The only problem is that now I think I will have to buy a new lathe!
Raymond Sancroft-Baker - - #16385
I had a thoroughly enjoyable day woodturning! Mark was such a fantastic teacher, extremely patient with me! The day was a birthday gift from my wife. I had not done anything remotely similar since my days in woodwork class at school 30 years ago and Mark made me feel very welcome and at ease. Mark would explain, demonstrate then watch or be nearby whilst I 'turned'. I can see why he is internationally renowned and respected as an expert woodturner/teacher. I came away with a lovely bowl which takes pride of place in our home, love it!
Andy - - #16357
So in a moment of madness late last year, I purchased a wood lathe on eBay! I then had to decide what on earth to do with it! Having recently joined a local and well renowned Woodturning Club, I spoke to several long standing members who all agreed I should book a day's tuition with Mark. I have just had a most enjoyable day with Mark and cannot praise him enough. Although I had spent a short time on my lathe I would still class myself as a beginner. Mark quickly ascertained what level I was at in the woodturning world by viewing my own tools and a few pieces of work I brought along with me, this enabled Mark to suggest what areas needed the most concentration - quite a lot I should add. Mark is not only a brilliant and professional woodturner, he is also a fantastic tutor and is extremely patient - fortunately for me. Mark dispels with jargon but does explain all aspects of the craft calmly, logically and at a suitable pace, that I suspect is tailored for each individual depending on their level of proficiency. If you are thinking of a woodturning day's course then I can highly recommend Mark.
Keith Manvell - - #16297
I am a keen woodworker at home and some friends kindly gifted me a one day course with Mark for my 50th birthday.
I had no real preconceptions going in to this, but I have to say that I had a really brilliant day with Mark and felt that I learnt enough to enable me to pursue woodturning on my father in law’s lathe with a fair degree of enthusiasm.
Mark is a patient tutor who explained things clearly and in a manner that made it easy to understand and put the techniques in to practice. His skills and knowledge of his craft and the wood itself were evident throughout the day.
The day spent with Mark has enjoyable and has given me the drive to take woodturning up as a hobbyist. Following the course Mark emailed me a a large amount of information about the tools that I will need, where these can be purchased and details on some local woodturning clubs.
The course was really worthwhile and good value.
Justin Miller - - #16214
I had been on a long search to find a wood turning tutor that ticked all the boxes. After two years of making enquiries and speaking to various other professionals I realised that I had to find a tutor that would give me detailed explanations, be patient and give me quality time. Being a designer I have a good eye for detail and design but I needed to learn how to start and where to finish.
So I came across Marks name and Googled him, I read about him and I was impressed, so I called Mark straight away. We had a lengthy chat, he explained what he covers and agreed that a one to one tuition was most beneficial for me and I signed up, even thought it was a 2.5 hour drive.
Mark definitely ticked all the boxes, we covered so much in a day, I learned a lot and took home a fantastic bowl which is what I wanted to make. He is knowledgeable, patient, thorough, calm, enthusiastic, and has a sense of humour. The day exceeded my expectations and I would recommend him without any hesitation. Thank you Mark for a great day,
Laura Stylianou - - #16190
Being a flat worker (As Mark called me) I thought it time to learn the art of wood turning.
Mark was a great tutor who has a wealth of knowledge and experience not to mention a great eye for design. I did two days learning numerous techniques which i'll take forward into the world of sculpture.
Mark was really patient, could see I was a little nervous and by the end of the tuition I felt really comfortable at the lathe.
I'll be back for more tuition without a doubt.
Keep up the good work!!
Oliver Piepereit - OP Woodcraft - - #15831