Fantastic experience! Oliver is a great teacher with a professional and kind approach. You benefit from having your pice of furniture restored and the whole process of polishing is extremely satisfying. I recommend not only as the way to learn a new skill but also to have an unforgettable day of fun. The joy of restoring the beauty of wood furniture you will never forget.
Barbara Przybylek - - #25938
An excellent 2 day course, with an experienced and very effective teacher. I took a Pembroke table that was in need of a lot of TLC. Although it became a bit of a rush towards the end, we got through the entire process and I now have a wonderfully restored table. Oliver is an excellent teacher, who clearly has a wealth of knowledge and experience - and has the ability to teach it well. I’m confident now to work on my own on other pieces.
Mike Hawkes - - #25870
I have just completed a second course with Ollie and looking forward to a third! His experience is generously shared with his students to help keep alive ‘French polishing’. He is a patient and attentive tutor and the two small pieces I took for attention, now look unbelievably beautiful thanks to his instruction and guidance. The extensive notes sent out following the course are invaluable. If you have any interest at all in woodwork, restoration and learning a new skill then don’t hesitate to sign up with Ollie you won’t regret it. Ollie, thank you very much and hope to see you again soon 🤩
Rosalind Thurlow - - #25866
What a joy to have a day’s tuition with Ollie! He is such a good tutor, very knowledgeable and patient and made all the processes straightforward and easy to understand, my lovely sheet music box was transformed back to its original state in a few hours. I thoroughly recommend French polishing for beginners at Ardington School of Craft, such an enjoyable and productive day.
June Helps - - #25858
5 star recommendation ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ollie is a great tutor, he is extremely knowledgeable & patient.
I enrolled on one of Ollie's French polishing courses. Extremely glad I did as I have now come away with the skills and confidence to strip and refinish wooden furniture to a high standard.
Highly recommended, thanks Ollie 👍
Nick Hiltunen - - #25791
Great course, surroundings, workshop and workspace. I had signed up for the painted furniture course but the chair I had bought needed more prep time mainly due to the many layers of paint and varnish applied over the years! Ollie was really great and instead took me through the process and techniques of French polishing working with me to apply these to my other piece of furniture. Ollie is very patient, extremely knowledgeable and a great guy. Well worth the stopover in the pretty Gloucester surroundings and the journey from Essex.
Ann - - #25215
I spent 2 days with Ollie renovating an old ugly chair. By the end of the course it was transformed into a modern, usable and attractive piece of furniture. The detailed step by step instruction is invaluable. I will be booking a longer course next year as there is so many techniques to learn. Thank you Ollie!
Mrs Laura Ellwood - - #25031
Ollie is a brilliant tutor - he is an expert in his field and went out of his way to ensure I learnt everything I had set out to. There was a mixture of people there learning for their hobby and people learning professionally.
The venue is in a beautiful part of the world so there was a real sense of escapism.
I will definitely be back for more courses. I highly recommend Ollie. A lovely guy and a brilliant teacher!
Fiona - - #25008
Great practical course run by Ollie. There were 3 of us which allowed Ollie to spend plenty of time with each as we worked on our own pieces. The progress made on my item (a dressing table) in a single day was fantastic and the result was far better than I had expected. Ollie is a great teacher knowing when to leave us to get on with it and when to step in as necessary. The location and facilities of the workshop were great too. Since the course I have completed other parts of the dressing table following the same process that Ollie taught us and am delighted with the results. Ollie provided material lists and course notes which were easy to follow back at home.
French Polishing 1 day Beginner - - #24909
I had a fantastic week in September 2019 learning how to strip, prep, paint, wax, oil, stain and French polish two pieces I brought with me.
I hadn’t done anything like this for about 12 years and these processes were new to me so I had lots to learn.
Ollie is really nice and friendly and took me through all the steps I needed to do, and was always on hand to answer questions, share his knowledge and offer support where needed.
Ollie knows a great deal about how to get the best finish and also shares which are the best products to use. It was so worthwhile doing the course and I know I could drop Ollie a message if I ever had questions in the future though his course notes are brill and I made sure to make notes and take pictures as I went along.
It was totally the best thing I did for myself all year and I’ve told quite a ew people at work about it :)
The workshop is really calm and light and in a lovely location.
I really couldn’t recommend it enough.
Jonny - - #24698
I booked onto this course a complete novice and not really knowing what to expect. It was an amazing day and I learnt so much from Ollie who explained everything really clearly. I took along an old oak coffee table which had definitely seen better days and the result was brilliant! I wouldn't have believed I could achieve such a great finish in such a short time. We only had time to complete the table top, with the legs and base only getting to the staining stage, so I have a challenge now to complete the piece at home, but feel totally inspired and well equipped to do so.
Ollie also provides a comprehensive shopping list of what you need to carry on with at home, along with detailed notes of all the stages involved which is very useful! I would definitely recommend this course for beginners as an introduction to French polishing and furniture restoration.
Hilary Farndon - - #24680
I thoroughly enjoyed working with Ollie on the French Polishing Course. He makes the process so much easier that I thought possible! I focussed upon colour touching up of damaged veneer, as well as French Polishing and was well chuffed with the final outcome!
Given that my previous experience had not resulted in a good finish, through Ollie’s instruction and help the outcome was far, far better.
I cannot recommend the course highly enough, you will gain so much information and develop new skills that will leave you infinitely more equipped to carry out the art of French Polishing and related activities in the future.
Bob Clayton - - #24056
I would highly recommend doing Oliver's course. I had very little knowledge of French polishing but by the end of the day I felt as if I had gained an enormous amount of knowledge and skills. I took a leaf from a large Victorian dining table as my project and by the end of the day it had been restored beautifully. The notes Oliver provides are excellent and he divides his time very well between everyone on the course. He provided everything that was required and the facilities are good. I agree he is an excellent tutor. This was a day very well spent!
Becky Ellison - - #23572
I wanted to do this course to supplement my upholstery services so that I can offer more professional wood restoration services to clients. Although it's perfect for hobbyists I would say that it's also suited to anyone looking to develop their skills in a professional capacity too. I've just finished the Association of Master Upholsterers 3 stage diploma and it's been a fantastic bolt on to my training.
Ollie is extremely generous with his knowledge and his own work has a really nice contemporary style which fits with the type of upholstery I like to do, because of this I felt really confident that his advice would result in the type of finish I wanted and it did!
susie stanway - - #23564
I finished my first workshop course at OP Woodcraft on 2nd July. My teacher Ollie has a wealth of knowledge and tailored the course to fit my specific needs. I wanted a hands-on class that would teach me the best ways to strip, prime, paint and finish my MCM furniture. I drove away that afternoon knowing how to work with the recommended products and what equipment I should be using to get the best results. I now have more confidence to start working on my collection. Thank you, Ollie, for sharing your knowledge with me.
Linda Stone - - #23460
Really fantastic couple of days with Ollie. He was super knowledgable and excited to share all he could with me and help me along my way. I brought in a very tired and old looking dressing table that just looks fantastic now, all thanks to Ollie's patience with me and ideas and expertise. The course structure was perfect, allowing me to decide which elements I was more interested in over others. Location and workshop set up were also brilliant. I would highly recommend taking this course, and I'd love to go back and take another course of Ollie's soon.
Rich Smith - - #23427
I would recommend taking the 2-day or 5-day courses to really give yourself the time needed to upgrade antique furniture. Having said that, the one day course is fully comprehensive, and teaches you how to turn your old furniture into something that you will be proud to show your friends and family.
Oliver is a great teacher, all the materials are top quality (all mixed and prepared by Oliver), and the class sizes are small so you get more time to ask your own questions.
James - - #23404
I found the course superb! The amount of knowledge gained was excellent and it has helped me enormously in developing my own skills.
Ollie was tremendously helpful and knowledgeable. I would definitely go back for additional courses.
Bob Clayton - - #23403
Oliver is a very dedicated and knowledgable professional with whom I had the pleasure to work and train for a whole week in July 2019. I highly recommend this course to professionally trained furniture conservators like myself as this insight into the craft sheds light onto the manufacturing process of wood polishing. I felt extremely welcome and Oliver was very keen to share his knowledge and experience with his students.
Josef Aquilina - - #23381
I found this course really beneficial after having done the two day intensive course. Ollie really does pay great attention and give good support for this 5 day course.
I took three complicated pieces of furniture all with different needs with me and we got them all done. I took notes but there are also good course notes to compare with and it’s great to get to know different products in the market and what to use. I remain in contact with Ollie now to get his advice and thoughts on different pieces I’m working on.
If you’ve got interest in restoring furniture and french polishing and using the skills you acquire on a regular basis I would recommend this five day course.
ALEX EASTERBROOK - - #22668