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STUDENT REVIEWS
JAN - DECEMBER 2024

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DIAMOND AWARD

FOR BLENDED MONKEY

RATED EXCELLENT BY

CRAFTCOURSES.COM - HIGHEST AWARD

SIMON - 1-2-1 FULL-DAY WOODTURNING EXPERIENCE

June 2024

"Great fun- learned so much and even got to make something genuinely useful!"

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 JOANNE - 1-2-1 "2 CRAFTS in 1 DAY" EXPERIENCE

June 2024

"I did the 2 crafts in 1 day. Both Simon and Louise were great. Very patient and friendly. This is a great present idea or a treat for yourself. Definitely recommend."

RICHARD - 1-2-1 HALF-DAY WOODTURNING EXPERIENCE

June 2024

"Simon's introductory course to woodturning on the lathe is excellent.

He's the ideal teacher: thorough, practical, well paced, with plenty of expert tips and advice. I had a great time."

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NEIL - 1-2-1 FULL-DAY WOODTURNING EXPERIENCE

June 2024

"Lovely location, well set out workshop with good safety provision. Extremely good instructor with extensive knowledge of woodturning, willing to adapt the course and advise on a project I had in mind. Very friendly and relaxed atmosphere. would heartily recommend to beginners like me!!"

 RICHARD - 1-2-1 FULL-DAY WOODTURNING EXPERIENCE

May 2024

"I attended This course last yesterday. On arrival I was greeted with a smile by Simon who proceeded to take me to and show me his work shop. The workshop is well equipped.

Simon skilfully explained the lathe and its tools.

The day proceeded with me getting some experience with different cuts. we stopped for lunch which was a very appetising farm house lunch.

The afternoon was devoted to making a wood bowl. I would highly recommend this course to anyone which to learn wood turning. Great tutor."

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JONATHAN & CAROLYN - PAIRS FULL-DAY POTTERY EXPERIENCE

May 2024

"We really enjoyed and learnt a lot from our pottery experience. We tried various techniques with the instructions and guidance helping greatly with the development of our ideas and pots.

Louise and Simon are great hosts and provided a lovely relaxed lunch in their garden.

We were made to feel very welcome and have recommended this experience to our friends."

SIMON & MARK - PAIRS FULL-DAY WOODTURNING EXPERIENCE

May 2024

"A great experience with excellent results taking away an impressive bowl. Simon has a lot of experience and patience to teach the easiest ways for effortless wood craft.

Lunch was nice and good conversation throughout the day.

It's also a very nice set up and makes me realise I need to clean out my own shed!

Many thanks."

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DAISY & GEORGIA - PAIRS HALF-DAY POTTERY EXPERIENCE

May 2024

"My mum and I did the pottery morning for Mother’s Day and we absolutely loved it.

Louise was wonderful and we got to make lovely pieces while having a good chat.

She’s a very good teacher and really encourages experimentation! Louise then very kindly glazed our pieces and posted them to us, making sure they got there safely.

Thank you for a brilliant morning!" - Daisy

WILL - 1-2-1 FULL -DAY WOODTURNING EXPERIENCE

May 2024

"I recently attended a full day wood turning course and had a great time.

I made 2 projects that I'm really pleased with and learned a lot while doing it.

Simon is a great teacher and I felt that the whole day was tailored to suit me. I have some previous woodworking experience but no turning experience and we were able to go quickly where there was common ground, and then take more time with the new concepts. Simon took me through the basics of spindle work and bowl turning, giving me the opportunity to get to grips with lots of techniques and tools.

Throughout the day, he took the time to explain not just what to do, but why certain tools and techniques would or wouldn't work in different situations which worked really well for me as I like to know how things work!

It was really clear to me that the purpose of the day wasn't just to have a nice time (which I did!) but also to teach the basics such that a novice could learn enough to safely start turning as a hobby themselves.

Simon explained what to look for in a lathe, what tools you would need to get started, and how to use them safely.
As a bonus I was also provided with a digital download containing a write-up of all of the things we had done during the day for future reference.

The provided lunch was delicious and the setting in the garden was really nice too.

All in all, I had a great day and am keen to do more wood turning and can definitely see myself coming back for another session!"

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 MICHELLE - 1-2-1 HALF-DAY POTTERY THROWING EXPERIENCE

May 2024

"Had the best half day. Louise is so welcoming and friendly. The tuition is homely and not too structured that you feel under pressure… do you own thing, your own way… The studio is fantastic and so cosy. I think I’ve found my thing.. thank you!"

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MEAGHAN & ADAM- pairs half-day THROWING experience

May 2024

"We absolutely loved the experience!

I would recommend it to anyone who is curious to learn about throwing or who just wants a fun way to spend an afternoon.

Five stars not only for the lessons, but for the comfortable atmosphere you've created and the pacing and freedom offered by this format.

Thank you for an ideal afternoon."

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VERNA - 1-2-1 "2 Crafts in 1 Day" EXPERIENCE

May 2024

"I had such a wonderful day.

My course was a 1-2-1 day.

Woodturning with Simon in the morning, followed by the Pottery workshop with Louise in the afternoon.

It was an amazing day, very informative.

Both Simon and Louise explained every step of the way and very encouraging. Can't wait to rebook another session."

TONY - 1-2-1 woodturning experience

May 2024

"I had a wonderful day learning about wood turning with Simon. A very relaxed experience, in the morning I made a practice piece and a beautiful keyring , followed by a lovely lunch.

In the afternoon, the second project was turning a bowl, on both projects Simon guided me when needed so I didn't make any mistakes, both items are proudly displayed and a great talking point. I would highly recommend a visit to Simon, a great teacher, and the studio is in a lovely location.

Thank you to Simon and Louise for being so friendly and welcoming. I look forward to more turning in the future."

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ROGER - 1-2-1 FULL-DAY WOODTURNING EXPERIENCE

April 2024

"I did the 1-2-1 one day introduction to woodturning course in April 2024. This is a great day in which a lot is learnt in a very easy-going, friendly, relaxed style with Simon as the tutor.

It's great fun and you even end up with something to show for your efforts.

The workshop location is easy to find, spacious, with good parking and a lovely lunch is provided.

It truly is a great way to gain an introduction to woodturning, I'd thoroughly recommend it."

TIM - 1-2-1 FULL-DAY WOODTURNING EXPERIENCE

April 2024

"I can thoroughly recommend the 1 on 1 wood turning course with Simon . The day is well structured and gives a great overview of the equipment, skills and joys of wood turning. Simon gives clear and concise instruction during the day and is happy to let you to get on with each stage once you are comfortable with the techniques. After practicing in the morning you have a nice lunch and then apply your newly learnt skills to turn a bowl in the afternoon which you then take home as a momento of a very interesting day. There is a lot to take in but the course is run at your pace and is followed up with an email containing all the information you need to start wood turning as a hobby. All in all a great day out - thank you Simon."

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PHIL - 1-2-1 FULL-DAY WOODTURNING EXPERIENCE

April 2024

"A very well structured course covering the basics and ending with a more than satisfactory end product which sits in pride of place in our sitting room. A comprehensive set of notes also means I shan't forget what I learnt."

CLOEY & CARL - PAIRS HALF-DAY WOODTURNING EXPERIENCE

April 2024

"Had a great first introduction to woodturning thanks to Simon. Bought the experience as a birthday gift for my partner and would definitely recommend to friends and family."

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SHEILA & PAUL - PAIRS PEN-TURNING EXPERIENCE

April 2024

"We had a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon with Simon on a pairs pen-turning workshop.

We have already participated in Simon's bowl making workshop which was great, so we had an idea what to expect. However, we were thrilled at the beauty and functionality of the pen each of us made.

Simon is such a patient, helpful, understanding tutor and if you want to lose yourself in another world and think only about wood grain and crafting skills, we would certainly recommend this workshop.

You come away from the session, completely enthralled, with a made-by-you, totally unique, item to show for your efforts.

What is there not to love about that?"

KAROLINE - 1-2-1 HALF-DAY THROWING EXPERIENCE

April 2024

"I had a lovely morning with Louise. It was great to learn how to use the potter's wheel and practice my technique.

Louise was positive and offered lots of practical tips.

I would really recommend Blended Monkey."

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RICHARD - 1-2-1 HALF-DAY WOODTURNING EXPERIENCE

April 2024

"Really enjoyed the half-day introductory wood-turning course, which I received as a gift. The location was easy to find and Simon was a very welcoming host, offering refreshments and ensuring attention to safety and comfort. For a novice the process was involving and, after investing some time to learn the basic elements, a very satisfying crafted item resulted. Overall, highly recommended."

IAIN - 1-2-1 FULL-DAY WOODTURNING EXPERIENCE

April 2024

"I did this course having only occasionally used a wood lathe in an incorrect manner.

I found Simon a very good teacher who very quickly helped to correct my mistakes.

It is a nice airy workshop with good equipment.

During the day, I was able to learn how to correctly sharpen tools; learn how to do spindle turning and complete a finished bowl.

The following day at home I managed to make my first solo bowl.

I would definitely recommend Blended Monkey for woodturning courses.

I feel I learnt an amazing amount in one day."

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MARTIN - 1-2-1 FULL-DAY WOODTURNING EXPERIENCE

April 2024

"Excellent enjoyable day on beginners woodturning one to one course with Simon.

So pleased with the tuition and his patience and to go home with a fantastic bowl and a sample piece and pictures of the day.

So engaging was the course I didn't notice the camera in some of the captures.

Very friendly both Simon and Louise.

Will be returning at a later date for the pottery with my wife."

VYVEANNE & SHEILA - PAIRS FULL-DAY POTTERY EXPERIENCE

April 2024

"What a fantastic day! I was so lucky to be invited by my friend Vyv to join her after receiving the day as a present. After a very warm welcome from Louise we settled into her studio and with generous amounts of tea and biscuits had a great morning handbuilding pots and chatting. Louise guided us, but also gave us the opportunity to use our creative skills and we were very pleased with our results. After a delicious lunch and a chance to meet and chat to both Louise and Simon we began our afternoon on the wheel. This is something I have always wanted to do and thoroughly enjoyed the experience, lots of help and guidance, but also the chance to just get on with it and we did produce pots of a sort! It was fun. Thank you Louise and Simon for making us so welcome and for such a memorable day." - Sheila

"My oldest son and his wife gifted me this pottery experience day for two at The Blended Monkey. I was so excited in the lead-up to the day, that I feared it couldn’t ever live up to awesome experience I was envisaging. When the day finally arrived, it did not disappoint! Although the hours passed quickly in their idyllic cottage setting, I couldn’t believe how many activities we completed and how many new skills we were taught. We had the most wonderful day from beginning to end. Louise and Simon were consummate hosts who ensured our pottery day experience was one we would treasure and a precious memory we’ll never forget. Thank you Louise and Simon, for a perfect day. x" - Vyveanne

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DAVID - 1-2-1 FULL-DAY WOODTURNING EXPERIENCE

March 2024

"I did the one day one-to-one woodturning course at BlendeMonkey, and loved it.

Set deep in the beautiful fens, the workshop was safe, clean and tidy. Simon was an excellent coach, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Suitable for the young and the young-at-heart!"

JOE - 1-2-1 FULL-DAY WOODTURNING EXPERIENCE

March 2024

"I really enjoyed the course, it was just what I hoped for.

Simon is a very knowledgeable, patient teacher and made the day very enjoyable.

I learned a lot and I'm really pleased with the pieces I brought home at the end of the day.

Would recommend to anyone interested in learning a new craft."

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CYNTHIA & ANDY - PAIRS FULL-DAY WOODTURNING EXPERIENCE

March 2024

"My husband and I had a very enjoyable day refreshing our wood turning skills and proudly coming home with a practice eggcup each and a final one too.

My husband had accidentally broken two china eggcups a few days before so we were very pleased to have made replacements.

Simon was helpful and supportive and we enjoyed our lunch and the environment too." 

TOM - 1-2-1 HALF-DAY WOODTURNING EXPERIENCE

March 2024

"I loved this course - nothing more therapeutic or indeed rewarding than doing something practical and being rewarded with something made by your own fair hand.

I thoroughly recommend this course - my half day was extremely relaxed, informative and happy.

I was given a run down of all the basic techniques needed to make basic spindle-formed turned-wood objects.

Now all I need is a lathe, a good shed with electricity, some wood, some tools and some ideas for storyboards.

This time next year, Rodders…."

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STEPHANIE & MARK - PAIRS "2 CRAFTS IN 1 DAY" EXPERIENCE

March 2024

"We enjoyed the course very much.

Very relaxing.

Excellent teachers.

Simon and Louise were so welcoming and patient.

Made us feel at ease very quickly.

It was great to be able to do both the wood turning and pottery in one day and to be able to produce so many items.

Lots of fun!"

KAREN - 1-2-1 HALF-DAY SHARPENING EXPERIENCE

March 2024

"This is my second course with Simon.

1st was a full day beginners turning, this week was sharpening.

Well what a mess I had made of my tools at home, but Simon has given me the knowledge to be able to purchase equipment I need and be more confident.

Thanks so much.

I can't recommend Simon any higher."

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CHARLIE - 1-2-1 FULL-DAY WOODTURNING EXPERIENCE

March 2024

"I had been turning for around 8 months and all self taught.

I realised I needed advice on tool presentation and technique. I also wanted advice on tool sharpening.

Simon was excellent at giving me this advice and confidence. The day was first class. I felt very much at ease.

Simon tailored the day to best suit me. We chatted a lot and the lunch was very nice. Lots of cups of tea.

Thank you Simon and Louise.

It is something that I will definitely consider doing again with Simon. I would absolutely recommend this course for any novice woodturner."

KAREN & PETER - PAIRS FULL-DAY WOODTURNING EXPERIENCE

February 2024

"Absolutely fabulous day with Simon learning woodturning. Simon was a very patient teacher and was able to teach my husband and I the basics of woodturning despite our very different levels of confidence and ability. Thoroughly recommend and we will be definitely be attending an intermediate session once we have had a chance to practice our new skills."

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MICHAEL - FULL-DAY WOODTURNING EXPERIENCE

February 2024

"Such an enjoyable day -as a novice it didn’t feel at all intimidating, but friendly, relaxed and really informative. I made a couple of great pieces as well. Thanks, Simon. I’ll be back for the half day tool sharpening course!"

CHRIS - FULL-DAY WOODTURNING EXPERIENCE

February 2024

"I am in a dilemma as to where to direct my praise and appreciation first as I was fortunate enough to have been gifted this experience day by my beautiful partner Kelly for Christmas, but then the day itself was made special by Simon (although I think Louise may have made the lovely lunch).

Instantly upon arrival I was made to feel welcome and at ease with a cuppa as the formalities were completed.

The course itself consisted of two projects with an initial piece of work that helped you understand the basic fundamentals to complete the projects.

The tuition was very well pitched and Simon is assured enough of his teaching ability to set you up on a task and leave you to work whilst he undertakes other activities around the workshop.

I was very pleased with the outcome of both my projects and there was never any feeling of time pressure or personal inability.

The workshop is nicely proportioned for 1-2-1 tuition and the equipment is in very good condition.

Plenty of offers of drinks throughout the day, which seemed to fly by and a lovely lunch. Highly recommended course, excellent tuition from someone who genuinely makes you feel welcome and comfortable as well as giving the right amount of assistance without either neglecting you or being overbearing.

As well as taking away your projects, there were course notes provided and even a certificate! Thanks for a great day!"

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MICHAEL - FULL-DAY WOODTURNING  EXPERIENCE

February 2024

"Such an enjoyable day -as a novice it didn’t feel at all intimidating, but friendly, relaxed and really informative. I made a couple of great pieces as well. Thanks, Simon. I’ll be back for the half day tool sharpening course!"

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RICHARD - HALF-DAY WOODTURNING EXPERIENCE

February 2024

"Great experience! Loved it! Learnt so much from Simon and managed to make a great little mushroom! Thoroughly recommend this course for anyone looking to bring out that inner creativity! Thanks very much!!!

Hopefully I’ll be back sometime!"

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AMANDA - FULL-DAY POTTERY EXPERIENCE

February 2024

"Fantastic, absorbing pottery day - I loved it.

To go at my own pace, explore techniques and learn from such a truly lovely teacher was a wonderful experience.

Thank you so much Louise for such a brilliant hands on day.

I recommend Blended Monkey completely."

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EDD - HALF-DAY WOODTURNING EXPERIENCE

February 2024

"What an excellent day!

Simon was fantastic, top bloke to chat to, made you feel comfortable and really knows his stuff.

The environment was perfect, nice and warm, lots of teas and that lovely wood shop smell.

The wood turning was so much fun, Simon shows you all the techniques whilst giving you enough space to try it for yourself and get a feel for it.

Amazing day, I will be back for another lesson for sure."

CAT & HARRIET - HALF-DAY POTTERY THROWING EXPERIENCE

February 2024

"My daughter and I have done a few classes with Blended Monkey now. Louise’s amazing, a great teacher and we make some lovely things every time.

She is also great with my daughter who is very shy. Thanks for all the great classes!"

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PAM - HALF-DAY POTTERY THROWING EXPERIENCE

January 2024

"Thanks Louise for being very patient with me on the wheel.

It was good to have a 'go' and make an attempt at throwing some bowls.

Looking forward to seeing finished items.. (I think!)"

MARK & SUSAN - HALF-DAY POTTERY THROWING EXPERIENCE

January 2024

"Thanks for a great morning Louise. Two novice's on the wheel and we learned a lot in a short time Loved every minute and would definitely recommend it to anyone.

Looking forward to picking up the pots in a few weeks." - Mark

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STEVEN - HALF-DAY WOODTURNING EXPERIENCE

January 2024

"My wife booked the half day wood turning course for me as a Christmas present. I thoroughly enjoyed my time and Simon's teaching meant I was able to produce something I was proud of. Would definitely recommend for anyone who has an interest or wants to learn a new skill."

COLIN - FULL-DAY INTERMEDIATE WOODTURNING EXPERIENCE

January 2024

"I felt I was not ready for an Intermediate One Day 1 to 1 Woodturning Course when my wife bought it for me, but I am very glad to have attended the course.

From the outset, Simon put me at ease as we discussed woodturning in general, as well as my own experience and concerns, in particular.

Simon informed me what we could do throughout the day, and we did.

Simon has a good training environment and setup in his workshop which assisted me to draw the maximum from the day. He is an extremely capable trainer, with a great deal of woodturning experience and knowledge, who instructed me in a relaxed professional manner.

He passed on both guidance and tips, including to stand even closer to the lathe and have the rest even closer to the wood, to good effect.

He encouraged me to take away all that I had learned and put it into practice, which I intend to do.

I very highly recommend this course to all woodturners who wish to improve their skills and knowledge, whilst drawing on the experience and guidance of a very capable professional and woodturning instructor.

I look forward to attending another course run by Simon, in due course."

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TRACEY & NEIL - HALF-DAY POTTERY EXPERIENCE

January 2024

"After watching the Great Pottery Throw Down, we thought we’d like to have a go but never go round to it.
However, we found Blended Monkey after my partner 54 suffered a stroke and thought it would be a great way to have some fun alongside rehabilitation with their expertise with working with stroke survivors.

Louise is amazing.

Welcoming, patient and encouraging.

Great tuition as we were complete novices.

We had a wonderful afternoon, full of laughter, plenty of tea and biscuits.

We won’t win any prizes for our efforts but thoroughly enjoyed having a go.

Can’t recommend highly enough and thank Louise for a brilliant time." - Tracey

MIKE - HALF-DAY WOODTURNING EXPERIENCE

January 2024

"What a fun morning. The beginners half day workshop was brilliant. As a complete novice with no tools or equipment I was a little apprehensive but Simon quickly put me at ease and the 3 hours flew by. Tuition was top rate allowing a lot of hands on experience at your own pace. Added bonus of not having to waste time taking notes as they were all sent out by email after the day so you had lots of time to get stuck in. Simon obviously knows his trade and his enthusiasm is infectious. Very friendly and engaging. Now of to get equipped so I can practice and then book up further courses, such as how to sharpen tools. It's incredible how much difference a properly sharpened gouge delivers. Thankyou so much."

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PAUL & CHARLOTTE - HALF-DAY PAIRS POTTERY THROWING EXPERIENCE

January 2024

"Wonderful day with Louise. Great experience would highly recoWe thoroughly enjoyed our morning’s throwing lesson. Louise was an outstanding teacher, knowledgeable and talented. This was for my partner’s birthday, and he really loved the experience, and now wants to be a potter! We both managed to produce pieces worth firing, which we weren’t really expecting and my partner was brilliant and made 4 bowls! We are returning to decorate the pieces ourselves so that they are all ours 🥰 Thank you so much Louisemmend, hand building in the morning, lovely lunch then in wheel in the afternoon."

ZOE - FULL-DAY 1-2-1 POTTERY EXPERIENCE

January 2024

"Wonderful day with Louise. Great experience would highly recommend, hand building in the morning, lovely lunch then in wheel in the afternoon."

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WILLIAM - HALF-DAY 1-2-1 WOODTURNING EXPERIENCE

January 2024

"I enjoyed it a lot, it was so much fun making a bowl with Simon and I’m excited for my next woodturning session. William - Aged 10."

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DEBBIE - HALF-DAY 1-2-1 WOODTURNING EXPERIENCE

January 2024

"A most enjoyable experience. I was made to feel welcome and comfortable throughout the whole experience. This is not something I have ever done before, but thoroughly enjoyed the time spent learning what to do and how to use the different tools, and then making my own little gift to take home with me, which has pride of place on my Welsh dresser, along with the test piece used to learn how to work with the tools."

SIMON & HELENA - HALF-DAY PAIRS POTTERY EXPERIENCE

January 2024

"My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed our 1/2 day instruction and the actual making of our labours, both our first time at making pottery, Louise made it simple, instructive and fun (as well as coffee, tea and biscuits) we are both very pleased with the results, we would highly recommended for all."

LYNN & PAUL - PAIRS HALF-DAY POTTERY EXPERIENCE

January 2024

"Excellent course, never laughed so much at my pathetic attempts on the wheel ! I’m clearly not destined to be a potter, my husband on the other hand was heading for a full dinner service set! Great host, clear explanations, knowledgeable tutor. Highly recommend this course." - Lynn

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PAUL - 1-2-1 HALF-DAY WOODTURNING EXPERIENCE

January 2024

"A fantastic morning, learning the basics of wood turning. I was bought it as a gift (I had no idea before I arrived). It bought back fond memories of turning at school (that ages me🤣) Simon made the mornings lesson something I will never for get, he is so understanding, knowledgeable and enthusiastic about turning and all things to do with turning! He took me through all the safety of the machines & tools I would be using. He got me turning quite quickly on a pice of wood to practice different techniques needed for each turning tool and after some mistakes I went on to turn a mushroom out of a piece of pine. He also got me to sand it smooth, seal it and polish it. I loved the class so much I have been looking at getting my own wood turning lathe. I would recommend this course to anyone (you don’t need to be big and strong to be able to turn just have comfy foot ware and be able to stand in one place for a while. Over all a fantastic morning (he even provided me with great gluten free biscuits🤗)"

GILLIAN & TONY - PAIRS HALF-DAY WOODTURNING EXPERIENCE

December 2023

"We spent an excellent morning woodturning with Simon who has so much knowledge to share. He's an experienced teacher and we both came away with finished items - impressive! We wholeheartedly recommend his workshop to anyone interested in woodturning - fun and informative." - Gillian

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DAVID - 1-2-1 FULL-DAY POTTERY EXPERIENCE

December 2023

"Readers - do not hesitate! Louise is a wonderful tutor, (complete with a relaxing background audio playlist!) willing and able to share her ceramics skills in a clean and welcoming atmosphere. A few pottery failures (too tall, too wide, too thin... oops!) going into the recycling tub, but with lessons learned, six classy pieces achieved from my own hands with Louise's guidance and encouragement. A fine lunch included, shared with Simon and his trainee allowed for free conversation and shared experiences. The peaceful concentration achieved throughout the day helped make this course one of the best learning/doing days of my life - using a sensual material that transforms from lump to artwork before your very eyes. Slab, coil, and finally to the wheel - where subtle skills are learned to centre, spread, and raise the clay to form stable sides of dish or pot. Thank you Louise for your friendly tutoring, light touch, and plenty of tea! A brilliant day - can't wait to see my pieces fired and glazed, each to my choice of colours."

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