I had spent the last 2 years building things out of wood - after watching a wood turning video on YouTube I’d mentioned that I’d like to give it a go.
My wife booked me a course with Steve in February 2020 as a Christmas present.
After a very nervous and excited drive to Steve’s house I was greeted warmly and he chauffeured me to his workshop which sits neatly in an allotment plot.
As soon as you walk in - it is clear that you’re going to be going back to you’re roots the hard way.
Everything is covered in the course - from knowing what you’re looking for in a quality piece of greenwood, sawing the log to shape, manually chopping the wood to a shape that somewhat resembles a bowl (with a sharp hatchet) to actually turning the wood.
Steve doesn’t stand over you're shoulder and encourages you to get stuck in.
Be prepared for hard graft.
Wood turning on a treadle lathe is a challenge but very rewarding and with Steve’s help I managed to “turn” out with a Beechwood bowl.
Thanks Steve - I’m already looking at adapting my garage to accommodate a lathe.
Thomas Whitfield - - #28584
We loved this session! We were totally new to spoon carving, and Steve taught us four safe and very effective techniques. It boosted our confidence and showed us a good and safe practice. We now understand how to 'see' the wood, judge the grain and use an appropriate technique to carve with that. We went and bought ourselves a starter kit to continue doing this at home - looking forward to what it will bring!
David - - #28433
A great introduction to spoon carving from our excellent tutor, Steve Ridd. In just two hours our small group was shown tools, examples and cutting techniques, told about different wood and processes and given demonstrations at each stage which enabled us to craft our first item. A respectable first attempt has given rise to an enthusiastic new spoon maker.
Sue - - #27875
Well thought out and extremely informative clear direction and monitoring.
For someone who had never done this before, I found that the use of just 4 cuts was sufficient for me to take in for this taster session, and though a couple of them took some effort to get right, I eventually managed without losing too many fingers!
All in all, the course was really good, better than I hoped for and has encouraged me to explore some other options as a potential hobby when I retire.
Peter Robinson - - #27707
Good tutor, clear instructions, interesting and great with the sticking plasters. Yes this was a challenging course, even more so for those of us who had never handled a wood carving knife before, but we all finished with good looking wooden spoons ready to finish and oil at home. I was surprised at how much we did achieve in the two hours. I hope to repeat the course again to build on what I achieved this time.
Sue - - #27670
The whole day was extremely well thought out and structured from start to finish.
Steve who lead the course was very friendly and thorough regarding explanation and method of working with both tools and materials.
The course was set in a fantastic modern centre that was easy to find using the instructions that were sent out prior to the start.
All in all a great day, and can’t wait for the next one
Chris G Dossi - - #27620
This was a super course and very different to the usual craft courses on offer. A great introduction to this skill. The tutor was very engaging, well organised and encouraging. There was a good mix of group teaching and individual attention. The time went really quickly and everyone was happy with the spoons they took away with them.
Lynn Rae - - #27672
Our tutor was welcoming. He gave clear explanations throughout the length of the course. The demonstrations were also clear. He has a nice sense of humour. I much appreciated the continuous individual attention and constructive help and encouragement.
I would have liked the course to have been a bit longer to enable me to achieve a better finish to my spoon, though others seemed to be happy with theirs in the time allotted.
Christine Hurrell - - #27651
I absolutely loved this course! It’s my first time working with wood and it was amazing. The teaching was fab. Steve was very patient and informative. I learned a lot from how to use the tools to the type of wood to use. I could’ve sat there all day.
Maureen Leslie(John Leslie booked it) - - #27645
What a lovely way to spend the day. Thanks to Steve, the day was interesting, informative, stimulating, challenging but above all fun. I was a complete beginner and also quite 'special' requiring some extra guidance at times. Steve was clear with the instructions at each stage which helped to allay any fears I had concerning the use of such sharp saws, axes and knives!! There was a really friendly, pleasant atmosphere, our group of 5 were affable and supportive, the lunch of soup and bread was tasty and tea, coffee and biscuits plentiful. I am proud of the spoon that emerged from the rough chunk of wood and really do think that I may be tempted to whittle away again in the future. Thanks Steve.
Marian Simpson - - #27087
Hi Steve I found my day with you interesting and informative,which I have taken on board.
I am sorry about thr disruption after my phone call and the sad news was unexpected and upset me.
I am afraid that the journey home was horrendous and it took me 2h 30m to get home due to thick fog coming over the tops and heavy traffic.
I think I will have to find something closer to me. Thank you very much for the day and good luck for the future.
william flood - - #26528
Response from Northern Wood Monkey:Hi Bill,
Thanks for a really excellent course Steve. Prior to the course, I had no experience of wood carving of any kind. I had an idea that it would be a more gentle activity than it was. There was quite a bit of axe work prior to the more delicate shaping. But it was so satisfying to see a spoon emerge from what looked like a chunk of firewood. I'm so pleased with my spoon. As a first attempt it's a bit chunky and rough around the edges but, now that I've sanded and oiled it, I can really use it. It's my little work of art. Thanks for an enjoyable day and a new set of skills.
Lorna Rimell - - #25293
Did a course with Steve making a wooden fan bird.
Had a good time learning knew techniques. Tutor was great. Amazing to see the end product from a piece of wood.
I'd definitely recommend it!
Looking forward to the next course with Steve....Spoon making!
Steve Scott - - #25080
As an absolute beginner with no knowledge or experience of carving or using tools of the trade, I attended a half-day course to make a fan bird. Steve is a great teacher who demonstrated, explained and inspired. Everyone in the group created their own carved fan birds and I never thought I'd be able to make something so lovely on my first attempt. I have a beautiful fan bird! It was a relaxing environment and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone thinking of learning how to make something very special with wood. Thank you!
Make a fan bird - - #23690