This course was arranged for me as a birthday present and I couldn't have asked for anything more enjoyable. I loved learning new skills lead by the excellent tutors Eoin and Gail, and making a stool all by myself ( with a little bit of help to make the holes ). Every time I look at or use the stool I feel so pleased. Thank you Big Tree!!
Juliette Oxford - - #797
Had a wonderful day, learning new skills and meeting some lovely folks. Felt so motivated and creative afterwards that I was truly inspired to do some things to make a difference in my life, thanks in no small part to a super chat with Eoin in the pub after all our hard work. The stool has been re-wedged and is as sturdy as ever, taking pride of place in our living room. Many thanks.
Chris Hellawell - - #796
I went from zero practical experience to having made 2 stools in one day! :) The course was great - outside in the courtyard working with a range of tools to take green wood from logs all the way through shaping to be stool legs. The day was a good mix of chat and work and I definitely came away feeling like I'd learned enough to give this a go myself. Many thanks to Eoin and Gail - great teachers.
Jono Ellis - - #794
I thoroughly enjoyed the whole day, everything from the drive up through the boarders on a beautiful day to the session in the pub at the end. Best of course was the work. I can't think of a better way to spend a Saturday. we worked individually but with just enough help to make us all successful and with lots of team work when needed. The venue is excellent with a real old fashioned feel of timeless workshop and an adjoining craft center to inspire us to want to do more. Eion and Gail have got this just right, the right balance of challenge and help, nothing soppy! hard work and very satisfying.
Jim McManners OBE - - #668
The stool making day at Buy design is a day to look forward to and treasure. The organisation, facilities and tuition from Eoin and Gail are perfectly prepared and organised. The day is paced in such a way as to feel both relaxed and at the same time filling you with a real sense of achievement. Throughout the day Eoin provides a real tuition in the principles behind community woodland management and the provenance of the timber you are given. Guidance and instruction in the various tools are also given all at the right pace and timing. This course is about enjoying making things with your hands and green wood, but you'll get so much more out of the day. I guarantee you will spend most of the day with a smile on your face! I managed to finish a stool in ash which, once it is engraved with his initials,will be passed to my youngest lad. Cheers Eoin and Gail I will certainly be back for another!
Gavin Innes - - #644
Great course(s)! Done two now - I have a beautiful stool / bedside table and now a hedge chair which is so nice nobody else is allowed to sit on it! The setting is great relaxing and welcoming, the instruction is clear and you learn so much more that just how to make the stool or chair. There was also lot of banter and laughter, our group ended up in the pub to celebrate our achievements with great local tipple from the Scottish Borders Brewery. Altogether the best weekend I'd had in ages. Try it - You'll be amazed at what you can create.
Gill M - - #629
What a fantastic weekend. I really didn't know what to expect having never lifted so much a saw prior to the course and I sincerely doubted that i would be walking away with a 'hand crafted'chair at the end of the two days - how wrong could i be!!
Eoin and Gail were delightful and inspirational instructors,and, alongside their sense of humor and patience, put everyone at their ease with their'can do'attitude. The course was inspirational and i will certainly look at wood in a different way ( today we were scouring our local woodland area for branches in which to turn into legs and spindles).The course was well worth travelling over 300 miles to attend and i would recommend it to anyone wanting to do something satisfying and enriching.
janine blackmore - - #626
The stool-making course was brilliant! Beforehand I thought it would be a fun and novel way of spending the day, but several months have passed now and so many times when i see a woodland or even a lone tree, I think of the things I learned that day, from the shave horse to sustainable management of our forests. The instructors were great fun and extremely helpful, and the hands-on nature of the course meant i really earned those cups of tea! Thank you for a wonderful experience, and I'm looking forward to coming back for more."
Alex Miller - - #624
Just back from the best weekend I've had in a long while making a chair. What an amazing achievement having turned up on Saturday morning with absolutely zero experience of tools or woodworking and leaving Sunday afternoon with a complete chair. I can't recommend it highly enough! Eoin and Gail who were facilitating the course were wonderful. Very inspiring and helpful giving you just enough instruction and knowledge to move you along but without being patronizing and letting you take the lead. And they were extremely patient too - a question was never too stupid!
I have my chair at home and have to keep passing by it to touch it and remind myself that I really did create it!
Kerry-Anne Martin - - #623
This was my second course with the BigTreeSociety. Last year I made a stool and last week I was back there again with my target being a shave horse. Eoin and Gail facilitated the two days with humour and intelligence, making sure that the four of us followed our own route but advising why some of our ideas might not work and suggesting how to achieve the effect we wanted. I picked up a lot more about trees and wood and the skills necessary to achieve the objective. And we had some great moments of humour.
I have already recommended this course and the centre to friends and neighbours. It is an easy and enjoyable way to learn something new in an environment which is relaxed and friendly.
Go on, have a go, you really will enjoy it!
Brian Reeds - - #621
A fantastically grounding day of nose-to-tail woodworking. I laughed more and learned more than I had dreamed I would on such a short course, and I am still in touch with some of the people I met that day. And the stool is still in pride of place. The depth of knowledge of the experts providing this course is phenomenal, and not available in books or on the internet!
Mary Young - - #560
Bought the course as a present for my wifes birthday. Had a great day making greenwood stools which 2 years on are in daily use. The course is a great deal given the expertise of the craftsmen doing the instruction and all the beautiful materials that are included. I would recommend the course to anyone who is willing to give it a go.
Mark - - #559
I spent a freezing but thoroughly enjoyable day making a willow chair with excellent tuition. From the start of the day cutting the willow and setting aside for the various parts of the chair. The final completion is so satisfying to think that this can be done in a day, of course with a lot of good advice and help. I cannot wait until next year to do the course again as I would like to make a swing seat. The seat that I made is in pride of place at the top of the garden to take in the view.
Val Ferguson - - #555
Working with your hands and being creative is immensely satisfying. I've always enjoyed knitting and sewing, but had never tried any kind of woodwork (Lassies didn't get to do it at school in the 70s!). The lo-tech methods used in greenwood sessions are particularly satisfying - you gain a real sense that you are continuing a tradition going back thousands of years. The stool I made gives me great pleasure - as a seat, a table to sit my evening dram on, and as a conversation piece.
Isobel Knox - - #554
Really enjoyed the stool making day.It was great to make something from green wood and to do almost all of it with hand tools. Starting off with a log and going home with a completed stool was a fantastic experience. Very many thanks to both Eoin and Gail for giving me such a memorable and rewarding experience and even managed to try out the pole lathe! If you fancy a great day making something you should really give the stool making course a try.
Chris Shepherd - - #552