Other than some hamfisted attempts at DIY round the house, I've never worked with wood before, but this was just a joy, and I was amazed with the results we all achieved. David is a great tutor, good company, and the quality of his own finished work is amazing, so we knew we were in good hands. We started with a part trimmed down block of wood, with the bird outline marked up with pencil, a stanley knife, some sandpaper, and plasters. Once David had set us off, there followed two hours of slightly surreal near silence from all of us until lunchtime as we frantically whittled away, completely absorbed by what we were doing. I ended up with more plasters on my fingers than the rest of the group put together! But I was just delighted with the end product, due in no small part to the lovely design David chose for us, and my friends and family were hugely impressed too. Annie kept us fuelled with delicious tea and cakes, and the lunch of delicious home made soups and puds was worth the trip alone. More intense whittling and sanding in the afternoon, and voila, a bird appeared! It still needs a little work to finish it off (I'm waiting for my arm muscles to recover first!), but I have invested in a few good books on whittling and bird carving and am looking forward to doing a lot more whittling in the future. Thanks Annie and David, for a brilliant day.
Anna Williams - - #4776
An brilliant experience. Tony is a knowledgeable and skilled teacher - provide support and encouragement from start to finish. A quirky workshop not to be forgotten.
Thanks also to the Annie and her crew for providing regular refreshment and sustinance.
Julie Allan - - #3121
Great couple of days. Thanks to Tony's guidance started with ash tree section and came away with a long bow. Venue and food supplied by Annie also brilliant.
Joe Wright - - #3092
As three art teachers, we had a wonderful and very informative day out on the willow course. Phil and all the Cycle cafe staff were lovely and it was a real pleasure to take part - not to mention our superb, quirky willow hares we made! Would thoroughly recommend!
Kristina Stevens - - #1636
An excellent day out. Beautiful setting, clear instructions & help. People can't quite believe that I made Harris, my willow hare.
Jacqui - - #1627
An excellent introduction to skills in making an oven. The emphasis on touching and feeling the material means that even though you may wait until the spring to start it is more than just x sand to y clay but a real feel for what is required
Alan McGuckin - - #1519
I thoroughly enjoyed the course. It was well structured and although the second day was rather slow it allowed us to fire up the oven and get some practical experience of how to operate it. Only one problem. The timing was poor. It is not practical to start building an oven in late summer early autumn. A base must be built, fire bricks and clay sourced and the oven left to dry. Drying is not likely to be successful in the autumn and the oven is sensitive to rain. The process really needs to start in the spring and the course should reflect that by being held in early spring.
Ian Grey - - #1518
Amazing what you can achieve in a day with a good tutor and convivial surroundings. Completely from scratch, we managed to make a block pattern, print and make up a lampshade, and have some printed material to play with at home too. Brilliant day to get absorbed into a new craft and not have to worry about anything else. Thanks Georgia & Annie : )
Rachael Shreeve - - #1516
I had a great time on the course, coming away with my own 1-piece ash longbow and the skills to do the same thing again. Thanks to Tony's informal and friendly approach we all came away with a lot of transferable knowledge on green woodwork, and thanks to his infectious work ethic we managed to cover everything from hewing a stave to properly preparing the bowstring and shooting off the first arrows from our new bows.
Greystoke is a lovely little village and a warm welcome awaits for all at the cycle cafe.
Ben - - #1495
Brilliant. Greystoke Cafe is a beautiful venue, the sun shone both days (which I guess doesn't happen every time) and Annie and her team kept us supplied with lovely food and drink.
Tony is a great teacher - explains everything clearly, let's you get on with it and steps in quietly when the grain gets the better of you. I enjoyed it very much.
Doug - - #1396
Super venue and hostess keeping us topped up with food and drinks. The scheduled end time had to be extended on both days perhaps because the lovely warm days were not ideal conditions for manual labour, but great for sitting around admiring the view and enjoying a cuppa! Tony ensured everyone left with a working longbow (even in the event of a catastrophic failure) and stepping in to help in the event of any problems.
rob - - #1371
As a venue, Greystoke cafe is excellent for courses and workshops. Annie is a wonderful host and the food is delicious. Lovely surroundings and a relaxed ambience. Highly recommended for a stop off on your travels or a range of activities.
Tony Saunders - - #1123