This was a fantastic course - challenging but inspiring, and very satisfying. All participants went home with a shave horse, as per the intention, but also in my case I also took home a lot of new skills, some know how and lots of stimulus to carry on exploring green woodworking. I felt the tutor and Sarah at Orchard Barn took great care of us while allowing us to do and think for ourselves. And the setting itself is a great place to be.
This course teaches you to create your own shaving horse. In three days you collect a wide and varied amount of knowledge to work with green wood and all kinds of tools. This is also a special historical site where traditional building techniques are used to restore and rebuild. The site is run to have a low impact on the environment and has all kinds of interesting add-ons like the vegetable garden and the orchard.
It is really enjoyable to work in this environment and the course leader was extremely knowledgeable and supportive.
The course was very informative and practical. I learnt a lot - and came home with my very own shave horse! What I loved most was the style of teaching - rather than giving strict instructions to follow, the course leaders were more keen for delegates to learn to think for themselves. There were enough leaders and volunteers to make it very easy to ask a question if you wanted to. Each tool was introduced and explained - and if it was your first time using the tool then good supervision was supplied by the very friendly and cheerful team. We really got to feel the leaders' and volunteers' passion for the skills and for the project they are collectively working on. The setting is stunning - with the inspiration of a natural building in the process of a very careful restoration project, as well as the surrounding woodlands (a natural wood yard!) and the facilities were perfectly in keeping with the situation. I left feeling inspired and confident to make a similar item on my own. This isn't the only course I've enjoyed at Orchard Barn - and if I lived closer I would definitely go on lots more.