I had a great week at the Wood Workshop under the tuition of Richard and Mark - they willingly share their exquisite skills and knowledge in all things to do with wood and tools to work with the wood. The balance of tuition and letting you get on with it, under a careful to eye to gently steer you back on track if, like me, you veer off course. I made a spinning stool - my family are very impressed.
The course gave me the opportunity to try out many tools and machines that I would have shied away from if not given the confidence by this course. I feel much better equipped to start using my lathe at home and a much better understanding of the design and making process. I highly recommend Richard and Mark as teachers.
I'm all ready for course 2 now.
Rachel - - #25343
Throughly enjoyed the course, and I was very happy with the Spinning Stool that I made, my first ever wood working project.
Richard and Mark give you just enough tuition so that you feel confident in what you are doing, and always have an eye open for when you start to go wrong.
I would recommend this to anyone interested in wood working.
David Hey - - #25290
Excellent course! Richard and Mark are easy going, excellent facilitators, teachers and craftsmen who delivered knowledge and experiences at a pace suitable for me. I chose this course as I had a poor woodworking experience early in life and whenever I did some wood work as an adult, always seemed to come out with something less than I had planned.
I'll deal with the negatives first before continuing. As someone who is a 'professional sceptic' there were none.
The positives don't just end with Richard and Mark, they continue with the setting, the workshop, the range of hand and power tools - all good. The daily sandwich/salad van was excellent too - good prices, straightforward tasty food prepped well. There were well timed tea breaks with a nicely positioned 'midday' informal lecture on e.g. tool sharpening (with practical examples and the chance to do it yourself).
What did I get out of it? A really enjoyable, relaxing week - one of the best 'holiday' weeks I've ever had. I also ended up with a piece of functional, pleasing to the eye furniture I made with Richard and Mark's guidance which was beyond what I thought I could achieve in a week. Follow Richard and Mark's principals from measuring and marking out, to cutting, making and finishing and you will achieve something truly beautiful. I know it sounds a bit OTT, but try it.
There are other woodwork courses closer to me (about 30mins drive). I chose to drive 2.5hrs, spend additional money on accommodation and didn't regret it. Two days after the course had ended I'd taken up a slot on course 2 which I had no intention of doing as I my main 'wood' interest is wooden boats. I did this because of Richard and Mark's style but I also like the workshop which just seems right. And of course two teachers to four woodworkers is spot on.
If you lack confidence in what you think you could do with wood, have some experience but are not sure how good you could be or have never entertained the idea of working with wood - give course 1 a go. I don't think you will regret it.
Gary - - #23648
I recently attended week one and two consecutively. From first stepping through the door I found myself surrounded by a dizzying array of hand and power tools, and this was just in the first room! After feeling a little apprehensive that I might not be up to finishing a project to the standard of the pictures seen on their CraftCourse site, Richard and Mark with their relaxed demeanour and boundless knowledge quickly settled any nerves and over the course of each week I gained so much confidence and knowledge I’m still processing it all a few weeks later. I thoroughly enjoyed both weeks and can’t recommend them enough to anyone wishing to take up a new hobby. If you have no prior experience or are wishing to expand on your existing knowledge and have been pondering about doing the course, stop pondering and just do it, I guarantee you won’t regret it.
Gael Mcguigan - - #21144
What a fun week! The workshop is in a lovely location and full of everything you need. Richard and Mark are patient, generous tutors who are always on hand to instruct and guide (and provide a bit of elbow grease when arms are aching!). I made a lovely step stool and got the opportunity to have a play with some other tools while I was waiting for my glue to dry (lathe, scroll saw, mitre saw....). I would thoroughly recommend this course, you will come away with a piece of beautiful furniture and the confidence to use hand and power tools for your own projects.
Sandra - - #20931
I attended the February 2019 course, I was one of four students of varying ability tutored by 2 extremely competent and enthusiastic instructors. The hours flew by, I loved it!. Each day included an hours lecture and I learned that what I thought I knew was wrong even some of the basics, (although it seemed obvious after I'd been told). There were also subjects which introduced us to new skills and areas of knowledge. I was also really pleased with my resulting project and left enthusiastic about putting what I'd learned into practise. I really recommend this course, the venue is great and the banter between the tutors and the students throughout the course was entertaining and friendly.
Paul Balcon - - #19698
I have done course 1 & 2 now and will be back for course 3 Richard and mark are very compitant, patient teachers who have taught me a great deal increasing my confidence levels and competence in carpentry
Thanks both and see you for course 3
kerry Gray - - #18442
An excellent course that has given me a good grounding in proper woodworking. Richard takes the time to show you how to do things properly and I was very impressed with the outcome at the end of the week. As well as the project piece I thoroughly enjoyed working on other techniques which Richard was only too happy to help with and also getting to make some pieces on the lathe and scroll saw. All in all an ideal course for beginners and occasional woodworkers who want to improve their techniques.
Paul - - #18258
I thoroughly enjoyed my week in Penrith. The course has taught me the right way to sharpen, set up and use hand and power tools, in addition to teaching some very useful woodworking skills and techniques. Richard and Mark provided a very relaxed and enjoyable place to learn, explaining things clearly and giving me the confidence to go away and try things for myself. I hope to go back for course 2.
Matt Rice - - #16242
My wife bought places on this course as a present for me and one of our sons. I hadn't done any wood work since school but had talked about trying it again for years - without actually doing anything about it.
The course was fantastic. Richard and Mark are true craftsmen with an obvious and infectious enthusiasm for their work. They put the students at ease from the word go and within a matter of minutes we were starting to turn the timber on our benches into beautiful pieces of furniture. Throughout, instruction, guidance and assistance were available in a constructive, easy-going and very patient manner. Each lunchtime, Richard gave one or two informal lectures on various tool-related aspects of wood work which were tremendously helpful and there was also the opportunity to gain experience in techniques not directly related to the chosen project.
The week flew by and at the end each of us left with a finished work that none of us, I think, would have felt was within our grasp at the start of the course.
I heartily endorse all the positive comments from previous reviewers and would love to attend the second course. Thank you.
James Steele - - #15115
I attended this course in March 2018, as an individual who had done a fair bit of DIY, but never any genuine carpentry. I'd always wanted to do some "proper woodwork", and follow in the footsteps of my father and grandfather.
I felt like I learned an amazing amount during the week, with patient and friendly support from Mark and Richard, who were both fantastic. They have a knack of passing on the knowledge and techniques required to achieve a good standard without ever taking over the project and doing things for you - I can look at the step-stool I produced and know that I made every part of it, which is a great feeling.
All in all, it's a brilliant way to learn about woodwork, and I'd recommend it to anyone.
All of the above is reason enough to attend the course, but there was another aspect for me that was just as important, and that's the feeling I got from spending a week in a lovely part of the country, with great people (both students and tutors), learning new skills, and putting them into practice to produce a tangible and beautiful thing. It was truly inspirational; not a moment of stress and completely enjoyable from start to finish.
It's a rare opportunity to spend a week like that, and I for one feel lucky to have done so.
Nick - - #14998
Thank you! An amazing week full of information and opportunities. A well structured course that allowed me to explore the use of wood and a wide variety of tools and techniques to achieve the desired results. If you are interested in working with wood this course offers an excellent foundation.
Shirley Appleby - - #14106
Another great woodworking week with Richard and Mark. The atmosphere is excellent and with two tutors to three students there is always someone on hand to guide and inform. I am delighted with my completed side table which has already been much admired. This course (and the first one “tools and things” which I completed in November) have set me up very nicely to start to make things on my own. I can’t recommend these courses highly enough. If you are thinking of going on the course-just do it!
Georgina - - #13949
Outstanding on every level! What stands out the most when you first step into The Wood Workshop is the atmosphere; you feel welcomed by the building itself, even before you meet Richard or Mark. And what can I say about them ... two truly gentlemen with a way of teaching that inspires you to want to move your skills and confidence just that little bit further each day. Never any pressure, just the fun of learning at your own pace. Thank you both for an amazing week.
Shirley - - #13687
Hugely enjoyable and amazing that, as a complete woodworking novice, I managed to produce such a professional looking piece of furniture in just a matter of days. Massive thanks to Richard and Mark; not only highly skilled craftsmen but gifted teachers with a wealth of knowledge and the knack of making the right intervention at the right time. Really looking forward to returning for a second week and to what promises to be an absorbing hobby going forward.
Mike - - #13007
This course was excellent. I started the week a complete beginner and came away not only more confident but with a wealth of knowledge I didn’t think you could gain in 5 days. I’m also delighted with the coffee table I made which now has pride of place at home. The tutors Richard and Mark are both extremely skilled and great teachers and the ratio of 2 tutors to 4 students means there is always someone on hand to advise and help. I particularly liked the lunchtime lectures which focussed on a different topic each day and which have informed my wish list of kit! I’ve already booked on course 2.
Georgina - - #11881
I have just completed the 5 day Course 1. It was BRILLIANT! Prior to this course I had zero knowledge/experience. We were very quickly hands on with the tools, not overkill on lectures, and the 45 min daily talks after lunch were genuinely really interesting. The pace of the course was perfect, Richard and Mark are natural teachers. As there are only 4 students for the 2 teachers you have their help constantly when needed but they also let you get on with it whilst keeping an eye on you from the other side of the workshop. I made a spinning stool and was amazed by the variety of techniques, tools, machines etc that I was taught to use making this one item. The reaction I've received from the photos I've posted on my facebook account are indicative of how professional the finished item looks, I still can't really believe that I made it! I'm definitely going back to do one of the other courses. Thank you Richard and Mark for a fabulous week.
Chrissie Harper - - #11039
I attended this course just a couple of weeks ago and I thought it was truly excellent. It was one of the best weeks I've had in a long while. Richard is a great teacher (you can tell he's been doing it for years) and Mark and Jay provide fantastic support. If you have an interest in working with wood I'm sure you'll find this course extremely satisfying - as I did. Thanks again guys. Hopefully see you on course 2.
William Totten - - #10068