We had a wonderful time on Ian's green woodworking course making two stools. We have no previous woodworking experience but were keen to learn how to make something useful as a starting point. Ian was so enthusiastic and patient with our never-ending questions, and it was lovely to spend a day at his workshop isolated from technology. Would thoroughly recommend to anyone with an interest in woodworking, and we'll hopefully be back for another course in the future!
We had an outstanding day with Ian making an oak stool yesterday. Following a stroke my husband is unable to move his right arm and can struggle in company with his speech. We met with Ian a couple of months ago to discuss the possibilities. By the time we arrived yesterday Ian had everything in place to make this a perfect day, even designing new tools with friend Henry to ensure Rob could make a stool under his own steam and independently (apart from a small amount of axe work!). As we relaxed in such good company both the stool and easy conversation grew. My husband has a beautiful stool he crafted himself and enjoyed an experience that was truly accessible. Thank you Ian for going that extra mile!
We had such a great day crafting our wooden stools with Ian. Me and my fiancee haven't done any woodwork before, though both of us have an interest in it. Ian was so patient, explaining and showing how to use the traditional tools.
Thank you for everything Ian. It was such a fulfilling day. We came home with 2 stools we are so proud of and happy memories of a great day spent working and chatting.
Brought this for me and my husband Sam who is a site carpenter by trade.
Ian was fantastic, friendly and knowledgeable.
We learnt a lot about using traditional techniques which Sam and I had never done before.
We would highly recommend this course and we came away with a beautiful bench for our garden! Thanks Ian!
What an enjoyable day! And such a sense of achievement at the end, having made, with Ian's expert and encouraging help, a presentable 3-legged stool! I've done a little bit of woodwork before (with more enthusiasm than skill) but nothing like this. From Ian, I learnt traditional techniques and tools which were new to me. I thoroughly recommend the whole experience.
What a wonderful day. We started with some logs and ended up with a mallets and 2 rustic bar stools. Amazing. Neither my wife or I had done anything like this. Ian is patient, accommodating, and such a good teacher.
We can highly recommend this course having left thinking what can we make next. A big thanks to Ian who is such an interesting guy.
An amazing experience. Ian’s attitude to rustic work in my opinion is second to none. The experience I had was certainly fulfilling. If you like carpentry you would most certainly not go wrong by going on a course with Ian. He has really good person skills. The time with him was not only enjoyable but educational as well. Thank You Ian.
I went on Ian's 1 day benchmaking course with my partner and can
thoroughly recommend it. We both had a great time and left with a
lovely rustic bench made from oak, ash and chestnut as well as a huge
hammer (called a 'persuader') we made for the purpose of hammering in
the legs. We were really pleased that we managed to get so much done
in such a short time without the day feeling at all rushed. Ian is
clearly very passionate and knowledgeable about his craft and explained
everything clearly and patiently. All in all a day well spent!
I received Ian's workshop as a Christmas gift, and had an excellent time. Ian's enthusiasm and passion for green woodworking was evident, and he carefully guided us through a day of learning about and using traditional hand tools with locally sourced wood; resulting in some beautiful Oak and Ash stools and very (!) sturdy mauls.
The workshop was perfectly suited to all ability levels, as Ian was thorough and helpful in his guidance at each thoughtfully planned stage. He was patient and encouraging, and made it easy to gain a respect and appreciation for a style of woodworking that has been a fundamental part of local communities for centuries.
A thoroughly enjoyable experience with a fantastic end product that will be cherished and will probably outlive me!
I was bought a craft voucher when I retired after 32 years as an Art teacher. Browsing the various possibilities, I came across Ian's course and my daughter who was looking over my shoulder, said that she fancied making a stool too. We booked the course and arrived at 9.30 on a cool November morning.
Ian greeted us and we entered his workspace; an old tithe barn filled with impressive pieces of timber and woodworking tools and equipment. He gave an interesting short talk about the place of green woodwork in farming communities of the past and showed us some photographs and actual examples of his contemporary furniture and other work.
We began by making a simple ash mallet using a saw, a hand axe and a draw knife, then selected our wood and began the process of making our stools. The seat was oak and the legs ash (its low moisture content would avoid problems with shrinkage). We split a length of ash using a free, then used hand axes to begin to shape the legs. We then sat at a draw horse and used draw knives to refine the shapes of the legs.
Throughout these processes, Ian gave us clear and simple explanations and demonstrated what we had to do. He was calm and enthusiastic, and had a nice gentle sense of humour which made us feel quickly at ease. He always seemed aware of what we were doing and was ready to jump in and give further advice, when he sensed that we needed it (and also reviving tea and coffee).
When the legs were all suitably shaped, we set about joining the legs to the seat. The legs were inserted into the angled holes and knocked in firmly. Protruding wood was then trimmed flush using a Japanese saw. We then drilled holes for decorative oak pins which were tapped into place to strengthen the joint between the legs and stool. After some careful measuring, we marked out and trimmed the length of the legs to get a level seat, and the main construction was complete. The recently cut bottom edge of the legs was chamfered using a spoke shave and the stools were oiled to protect them and bring out the grain.
We both stood back and admired our work.
The stools were incredibly strong and solid and they looked better than we could have hoped for. My daughter has never really done any serious work with wood, and I would say her stool was just as good as my own. We drove home with two beautiful stools which I am sure will last a lifetime.
Thank you Ian ! We both really enjoyed our day and would recommend the course to anyone.
This course is one of the most relaxing and enjoyable courses that I have ever done. Ian puts you at ease throughout and takes you through everything in a very logical manner. Very rustic and gloriously natural, you are at one with yourself and the wood you are working with. I can still smell it now as I type this review. To think that with Ian's help I produced a gorgeous stool, totally practical and made by me...... Who would have thought it! A big thank you to Ian for his patience, and would I recommend this course? Most definitely yes, go on give it a go, you will not regret it!
Ian is an excellent teacher, his easy manner and knowledge of his craft makes this an enjoyable and rewarding day. Ian is very welcoming and guides you expertly through the process of making a rustic stool, so that at the end of the day you leave fulfilled and with a lovely piece of furniture. I heartily recommend this course.
Thank you Ian.
Ian is a very personable, friendly, enthusiastic and knowledgable teacher. He provides depth and history behind the skill and teaches some of the basic and more in depth skills to create your own home's furniture. I couldn't recommend this course enough whether you're a beginner or have reasonable experience working with tools, you're sure to learn something!
What a great experience! The course exceeded my expectations and was a great blend of learning a new skill, which fused physical activity and mindfulness. Ian is a fantastic teacher and a great and very interesting bloke to spend the day with. I can't recommend this course highly enough and I'm very proud of my stool!!!
This was a surprise trip for me, no idea what I was getting myself in to. But Ian was a fabulous teacher. His knowledge and patience is fabulous even when I was being very heavy handed. This sort of wood work is far more delicate than I could have imagined.
The day made all the better by finding a kindred spirit in climbing, sharing stories of bear encounters in Yosemite and life without responsibilities. Fabulous day, can’t wait to go back and do another course.
What a great day! As a fine furniture student, it was wonderful to spend the whole day producing a rustic stool. Ian, a fabulous teacher, goes through the whole process using only traditional tools and techniques. It is a great introduction to green woodworking.
I have definitely got the bug. I can't wait to try making a shaving horse on the next course.