PLATINUM AWARD

FOR BLENDED MONKEY

RATED EXCELLENT BY

CRAFTCOURSES.COM

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STUDENT REVIEWS 2022

 
 
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DAVE & SUE - 1-DAY PAIRS 2 CRAFTS IN 1 DAY WORKSHOP

May 2022

This was a Christmas gift from my partner which we actually booked for my birthday weekend - double whammy!!! As we chose the 2 crafts in one day package, that was another double whammy!!!

Both Simon and Louise are friendly, welcoming, knowledgeable about their respective crafts and they made us feel comfortable and put us at our ease from the word go. Any concerns or preconceived ideas were quickly dispelled and soon enough we were creating amazing items in both wood and clay. I am so proud of my honey dibber and I cannot wait to see our pots after glazing and firing. We both had a thoroughly enjoyable day, learned so much, with the tea and biscuits and delicious lunch in the sunny garden being icing on the cake.

We also spent the weekend in the absolutely stunning 'Crafters Retreat' which they run on site as well. A very cosy, peaceful, immaculately presented and fully equipped lodge, with a hot tub under the covered veranda (so weather is not important) and a firepit/Kadai in the garden (a bit more weather dependant). The gardens and the Woodlet also offer secluded spots to relax in or to just breathe in a little calm/zen.

We could not have asked for more nor can we recommend Simon and Louise at Blended Monkey enough. You guys have a brilliant business and your passion and love for your crafts shine brightly. Keep sharing. Thank you for everything.

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MIKE & HIS SON - HALF-DAY PAIRS WOODTURNING WORKSHOP

 April 2022

I spent a wonderful afternoon in the workshop with my young son, who has special needs.
We were able to attend the workshop in advance of our actual day to make sure he was going to be comfortable with the surroundings, the noise of the lathes, extractors and band saw and what we would be doing - which he was and every day from then on he was so excited about going and how long it would be until we went.
On the day Simon was very attentive to his needs and we both had a great time and my son went away with a newly lathed Harry Potter wand which he very proudly took to school on the Monday to show everyone. Very much enjoyed by us both and would definitely recommend.

 

DAVID- 1-DAY WOODTURNING WORKSHOP

May 2022

Had a very enjoyable experience. Found lots of things very useful. Would recommend it to anyone who is interested in woodcraft.

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TAMARA & ADAM - HALF-DAY PAIRS POTTERY WORKSHOP

 May 2022

We had a wonderful time at Louise's pottery studio. She was very welcoming and friendly and we felt very at ease. We were shown three different pottery techniques and enjoyed them all. It felt really relaxed and creative freedom with you pieces was encouraged. Throwing was particularly fun and we had a good laugh. - Tamara

 

DANIEL - HALF-DAY WOODTURNING WORKSHOP

April 2022

I received a wood turning work shop for a birthday gift. I have always wanted to have a go at wood turning and this was an ideal way to do it. Simon is friendly and patient and very informative, I learned a lot, I would recommend it to any one and the added bonus I came away with a nice piece.

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MARTIN - 1-DAY WOODTURNING WORKSHOP

April 2022

I'd like to thank you for the woodturning workshop yesterday. The 1-2-1 tuition was really good. Not too much "technical speak" and the way you taught was very good. 
You clearly told me how to do various tasks but also told me why and what could happen if you didn't do it the right way. The workshop was very well lit, clean and comfortable to work in. Lunch was excelIent.
I came away feeling I had a very good day and learnt many things. I shall return for some more courses.

 

NIGEL - 1-DAY WOODTURNING WORKSHOP

April 2022

The perfect course for me, I came away with all the knowledge necessary for me to develop my wood turning skills.
A really good understanding of the machinery and tools.
Simon explained and demonstrated everything with great clarity which made it easy to understand.
Many thanks Simon definitely a 5 star experience.

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MICK & LORRAINE - 1-DAY PAIRS 2 CRAFTS IN 1 WORKSHOP

 April 2022

What a lovely experience!
Having recently retired we challenged ourselves to try something different. Our hosts Simon and Louise were brilliant, giving the right balance of guidance and instruction, and freedom to ‘have a go’ on our own!
Both sessions flew by but we were amazed at just what we managed to achieve in the time. We would recommend them to anyone wanting to have a go at either or both crafts.

 

COLETTE & MARTIN - 1-DAY PAIRS POTTERY WORKSHOP

April 2022

My husband Martin and I had a great full day pottery with Louise. Right from the beginning we felt at ease. The setting is perfect and the activities were pitched just right. Martin particularly liked that Louise joined in the activity, making what we were making.

Everything was relaxed, from the pottery, to the lovely lunch and the freeflowing tea!

Would thoroughly recommend the pairs experience. Even if you are not good at crafts, you will have a lot of fun and may surprise yourself! - Colette

We both had a thoroughly good time. Hosts were very welcoming, friendly and knowledgeable. Lots of fun was had and we look forward to seeing our finished creations! - Martin

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KIRSTY & TERRY - 1-DAY PAIRS POTTERY WORKSHOP

 April 2022

Fantastic day - great fun trying the different pottery techniques and chatting with Louise, enjoyed every minute, Louise and Simon were lovely hosts and we highly recommend Blended Monkey. - Kirsty

 

BARRY - 1-DAY WOODTURNING WORKSHOP

April 2022

Very enjoyable and a lot to try and remember, but good guidance given by Simon throughout. The time went too quickly.

Lovely lunch by Louise and pleasant surroundings.

Definitely recommend this course.

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NIKKI - HALF-DAY POTTERY WORKSHOP

 April 2022

I had such a wonderful morning with Louise learning about the joy of pottery. An experience ive been wanting to do for quite some time. With Louise's guidance i made some 'unique' pieces to collect and treasure. Louise was so warm and welcoming, i felt like we were already firm friends. Thank you so much 💓

 

VIVIEN - 1-DAY WOODTURNING WORKSHOP

April 2022

The course with Simon was a birthday treat from my husband. The day slipped by quickly as Simon guided me through the course. Simon is a very good humoured and exceptionally knowledgeable teacher who is very patient and encouraging. A thoroughly enjoyable day that has left me pondering whether this craft is something I want to explore further.
Many thanks for the lovely lunch Louise provided
Thoroughly recommend the day.

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KEVIN - 1-DAY WOODTURNING WORKSHOP

 April 2022

Really enjoyed my first woodturning experience at Blended Monkey.


Simon made it a very enjoyable experience, explained and demonstrated and answered all my questions, more importantly he was very patient.


Thank you Simon and Louise for your hospitality throughout the day.

 

TREVOR - 1-DAY WOODTURNING WORKSHOP

April 2022

First time wood turning since I was at school 50 years ago, really enjoyed my day, great venue one on one tuition, very pleasant people, Simon really knows his stuff. I am seriously looking at woodturning as a hobby for my retirement, highly recommend this training venue.

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PAUL - 1-DAY WOODTURNING WORKSHOP

 April 2022

An excellent day with Simon, such a brilliant teacher.
Would reccommend him to anyone wishing to give woodturning a go.
I just need to get my own lathe and tools now.
Simon and Louise were so welcoming to ther home, plenty of coffee, and a superb luch as well.

Thank you Simon and Louise for such and enjoyable day.

Paul

 

TINA & JACKIE - 1-DAY PAIRS 2 CRAFTS IN 1 DAY EXPERIENCE

April 2022

This was a fun packed day, being taught wood turning and pottery in one day. Louise and Simon were very knowledgeable and patient with a sense of fun throughout the day. No hesitation in recommending them. - Jackie

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STEVE & ANN - HALF-DAY PAIRS WOODTURNING WORKSHOP

 April 2022

We attended a half day turning course in April 2022.

Simon is very patient and takes his time to explain the reason why things should be done in a certain way and doesn't rush you.

Very enjoyable afternoon along with the coffee and biscuits.

I would recommend a visit to Simon if you're curious about what's involved in wood turning or as we did, just wanted a bit of fun and something different. Steve

 

DEBBIE - 1-DAY WOODTURNING WORKSHOP

March 2022

This was something I have always wanted to try and it totally lived up to my expectation. Simon is an excellent teacher and i was amazed at what i managed to achieve in such a short time. Very enjoyable day.

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EDD - 1-DAY WOODTURNING WORKSHOP

March 2022

Really great day with Simon, he made the day relaxing, educational, informative and inspirational, great facilities I have total workshop envy now!

 

JOSEPH - 1-DAY WOODTURNING WORKSHOP

March 2022

My parents got me this experience day for my birthday and I absolutely loved it would highly recommend it.

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JEFF - 1-DAY WOODTURNING WORKSHOP

March 2022

Very interesting and informative day spent with Simon learning some of the basics of wood turning. I'm completely new to this but after only one day I think I'm already hooked- thanks to Simon for being very patient! It's great to be able to focus entirely on one thing- the piece of wood spinning round in front of you so is excellent mindfulness training!! I even managed to produce a couple of pieces to take home! Highly recommended- I'll be back!!!!! - Jeff

This was a gift for my hubby, something new to try. He really enjoyed the day, finding Simon very patient and supportive throughout and was very pleased with the pieces he came away with. He was amazed at how therapeutic he found it too. Lovely lunch provided by Louise. He said he would highly recommend the experience to anyone. - Josie

 

CHRIS - 1-DAY WOODTURNING WORKSHOP

March 2022

I was given by my wife as a Christmas present, a one day course in wood turning from Blended Monkey. It is always difficult for her to know what to get me and, with my abilities to be practical she thought it would be a good idea. Well she wasn't wrong, I loved it! I had no preconceived ideas about how the process worked other than I knew roughly what was made on a lathe, this in mind I couldn't wait for the day to arrive.

Once I had booked a day for the course, I was kept well informed about what would happen on the day and assured that COVID guidelines were in place, should I have concerns. I was warmly welcomed by hosts Louise and Simon on my arrival and taken to the wood turning room and offered a drink with biscuits, the first of many through the day.

Simon then went onto talk about health and safety and the equipment we would be using and told me not to worry about remembering everything, as detailed notes would be emailed to me the next day, The notes incidentally were very in-depth and repeated in print, the whole day which is and will be a great help going forward. We started on the basics and by the end of the morning I had produced a honey drizzler which, I don't mind saying without being big headed, was amazing for a first attempt.

Lunch followed and here, I have to say a big thank you to Louise who, after being made aware of my dietary preferences beforehand, this being plant based, served up a lovey platter of sweet and savory offerings.

Onto the afternoon and Simon went on to explain the next project which was a bowl made out of cherry wood. Again The process was explained and by the end I had produced a lovely bowl which again, I am really proud of and looks beautiful.

I am hopefully going to retire in a couple of years and am seriously thinking about investing in the equipment to give me a great and totally enjoyable pastime when the great day finally arrives.

To finish, I would thoroughly recommend this course with Blended Monkey, you will not be disappointed.

Many thanks to you both. :-)

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ANTONELLA & NICK - HALF-DAY PAIRS POTTERY WORKSHOP

March 2022

We had such a great time!
I have booked the pottery class as a birthday gift and it was brilliant. We had such an amazing time learning and chatting. Louise is a fantastic and knowledgeable teacher and made us feel so welcomed and relaxed throughout the day :)
She took us lovely photos too which we will treasure forever as well as the ceramics that we made.

I cannot recommend this experience enough!!! Thank you!

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JENNY & HOWARD - 1-DAY PAIRS 2 CRAFTS IN 1 DAY EXPERIENCE

February 2022

Absolutely fantastic day!

We were given a very warm welcome right from the start by Simon and Louise in in their beautiful home and garden, having morning tea and biscuits while we had our introduction in the wood turning workshop. Simon gave very clear guidance, and really useful demonstrations and explanations. We had plenty of time on the lathes and before lunch we had learned useful basic skills and finished a simple turning project.

After a very nice lunch, we then moved to the pottery workshop, where Louise was very inspirational helping us to design and create pinch pots and a slab-formed vase. She was lovely to spend time with and learn from. We then finished the day on the wheel learning to throw pots. One of us seemed to be a natural at this, the other less so (but she’s very keen to come back and try it again!). Again, excellent demonstrations - and patience when the student takes “throwing” slightly too literally… We are really looking forward to seeing our creations when they’ve been fired and sent out to us.

Overall an amazing day, very enjoyable and we learned loads. We very highly recommend this course and we will definitely be back for more!

 
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BECKIE - HALF-DAY POTTERY WORKSHOP

February 2022

I had a fantastic afternoon with Louise. She explained the processes and techniques so well and was very patient. She gave me loads of helpful tips and encouragement. Also she was so friendly and chatty. It was a lovely relaxed atmosphere to learn in and so enjoyable. I would thoroughly recommend this experience. I'm really looking forward to seeing my finished pieces. Thank you!

 
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NIGEL & HUGO - 1-DAY PAIRS WOODTURNING WORKSHOP

February 2022

Thank you for this course which my son, Hugo, and I greatly enjoyed. Simon's love of what he teaches really shone through and that inspired us both! He seemed to strike just the right balance between active guidance and periods of letting us have a go on our own. Simon's perfectionism was admirable, and his encouragement to us that we aim for shapes that pleased the eye and hand as far as possible was a valuable challenge. He imparted loads of very valuable advice during the day about various aspects of wood turning, tools, equipment etc and even sharpened some of my own chisels for me!
The next day we received extremely helpful online copies of his illustrated teaching notes and information about equipment etc.
Finally, thank you for the refreshments during the day and the delicious lunch. All in all, a great day!

 

HAYLEY - 1-DAY WOODTURNING WORKSHOP

February 2022

I had an amazing day and although I am not the best at being a student, I was made to feel relaxed from the moment I met Simon and Louise. The day then got going and didn’t stop.
It was the escapism I needed for a day and I learnt lots too. Now I just need to remember it and practice!! Thanks again for your patience and for the much needed caffeine and lunch.

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LEE - 1-DAY POTTERY WORKSHOP

February 2022

I had a great day.
My wife bought me a one day pottery experience with Louise as I've always fancied having a go especially at throwing a pot or two. I'm so glad she did.
I learnt so much but had one of the most relaxed days I've had in a long while due to the environment, the hospitality and the training style. Which clearly worked as Louise had me throwing cylinders/pots shortly after lunch!
Can't wait to see what comes out of the kiln.
If you have an interest and like me, have never used a potters wheel or touched a bit of clay since I was at school (some 40 years ago) then you won't go wrong by spending a day in the studio with Louise. Highly recommended!

 
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SIMONE & HOLLY - 1-DAY PAIRS 2 CRAFTS IN 1 DAY EXPERIENCE

February 2022

My son and I enjoyed our days woodturning so much last year we returned with the girls for pottery and woodturning, again, not disappointed enjoying a superb days experience, can't recommend enough Lovely lunch too. Thanks Blended Monkey.

 
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PAUL - 1-DAY WOODTURNING WORKSHOP

January 2022

I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed my woodturning workshop with you last month. It took me a while to pluck up the courage to book the session as I often find new experiences difficult to cope with. Having a 1-2-1 session with you Simon really took the fear out of the whole situation as I didn’t have to worry about a group of strangers. As you know from our chat at lunchtime, my Asperger’s means that I struggle grasping some of the social skills needed within a group. 
I wanted to thank you again for having the patience and for taking the time to understand my requirements. I feel I really got to grips with the spindle turning, but I need a little more practice where the bowls are concerned 😊.
I also wanted to thank you both so very much for allowing me to stay in your wonderful cabin! I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve avoided booking an event or a workshop because I can’t find a quiet self-contained let in the vicinity where I can check in without having to go to a reception desk or deal with strangers. I can’t handle hotels. There are just too many people and too many unknown possible situations. Being able to park privately and then let myself in to your retreat took the anxiety out of the situation. I love to read and so having that wonderful covered decking area meant it didn’t matter what the weather did, I could still have my own space in the fresh air. What can I say? I hope you’ll be able to let me stay there when I return for my next woodturning session.
I’ll be in touch soon. I have some annual leave booked and I’d like to arrange something regularly with you if possible as I found the whole experience to be very relaxing. 
Yours thankfully.
Paul.

 
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DAVID & LUKE - 1-DAY PAIRS 2 CRAFTS IN 1 DAY EXPERIENCE

February 2022

My son and I enjoyed our days woodturning so much last year we returned with the girls for pottery and woodturning, again, not disappointed enjoying a superb days experience, can't recommend enough Lovely lunch too. Thanks Blended Monkey.

 
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KEVAN - 1-DAY WOODTURNING WORKSHOP

February 2022

It was a great woodturning course that encompassed everything and more. Simon is a patient teacher and thoroughly understands his craft in detail. The day was very relaxed with coffee and lunch provided by Louise.
I made a honey wand a bowl out of a really nice piece of wood. I enjoyed learning about the finishing products and process.
The next day I turned 2 bowls at home thanks to Simons tuition. I would highly recommend Simon (Blended Monkey) to anyone wishing to get off to a god start in Woodturning. I’ll be back!!

 
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JEFF - 1-DAY WOODTURNING WORKSHOP

February 2022

I've been trying my hand at wood turning (with a small amount of prior knowledge) through lock down! Simon's course was just what I wanted. He took me though all the basic principles and then slowly taught me the basic cuts for spindle work and for bowl turning with lots of hands on practice and careful guidance. I came away exhausted but very satisfied. More importantly I came away with a MUCH better understanding of what I was trying to do and how to do it safely.
A great day.
I learnt so much and had a lovely lunch to boot!
Thank you Simon and Louise.

 
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JO & NIAMH - 1-DAY PAIRS 2 CRAFTS IN 1 DAY EXPERIENCE

February 2022

Both Simon (woodturning) and Louise (clay work) were wonderful!

They made us feel very welcome and were great at getting two complete beginners (mother and daughter) to feel confident in using the tools and equipment available. It didn't matter when we went wrong, it was just used as a learning moment and they then helped us to rectify any issues that we wanted rectifying. They both had a very calm and approachable manner. The day was delivered in an upbeat, positive and friendly way. Although the course had said lunch was included, we both assumed a quick sandwich, how wrong we were. Simon and Louise invited us into their kitchen and presented us with a wonderful farmhouse lunch which we ate with them whilst chatting. As well as new skills, we took home our turned wood and are excited about receiving 3 pieces of our pottery work once they are fired and glazed.
We couldn't recommend this day more highly! what an amazing way to spend quality time with each other and learn some great, new skills.

 

HANNAH - 1-DAY POTTERY WORKSHOP

February 2022

I had a really enjoyable day learning and making lots of pottery pieces. Louise is a great teacher and a lovely lady. Lunch was so good! :-) All in all a brilliant day had, thank you x

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SEBASTIAN - HALF-DAY WOODTURNING WORKSHOP

January 2022

There are already so many nice words for this course and Simon and I can only agree and confirm.
It was a very nice 3 hours course I had with Simon and because we had a nice Chat about the world.


We had to make it even a bit longer so I can take my own Honey spoon home with me ( That I am now showing proud to any visiter coming for brunch).


Simon is a great teacher, with passion for what he is doing that makes sure to give each person the best learning exciting fitting there individual needs.
I can recommend this course to anyone that want to get to the next level with his Woodturning skills or if you just want to find out if woodturning is something for you.

 
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BRUCE & PETE - 1-DAY PAIRS WOODTURNING WORKSHOP

January 2022

Many thanks to Simon for an excellent day's wood turning.
It was an extremely friendly, professional and comfortable atmosphere in his workshop.
I would recommend this course to anybody looking for an introduction to wood turning.
Also many thanks to Louise for a delicious lunch.

 
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HOLLIE & SHANE - 1-DAY PAIRS 2 CRAFTS IN 1 DAY EXPERIENCE

January 2022

My husband and I had a wonderful day at Blended Monkey. Learning new skills from Simon and Louise who are so knowledge and very patient. Thank you both.

 
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LACHLAN & QUENTIN - 1-DAY PAIRS WOODTURNING WORKSHOP

January 2022

Bought a pairs woodturning course for my Dad and I for Christmas, it was well worth it! Simon is an enthusiastic, friendly and knowledgeable teacher and we both enjoyed the experience immensely. Thanks also to Louise for preparing a lovely lunch and catering to my dietary requirements. Highly recommended!

 
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INGA & LUKE - 1-DAY PAIRS WOODTURNING WORKSHOP

January 2022

We had a great day with the super knowledgeable Simon! From absolutely zero knowledge regarding the craft of woodworking we left feeling inspired and looking for our nearest club as we clutched our newly carved bowls and honey twizzles!

A lovely day nattering, learning and getting thoroughly covered in wood shavings. Thoroughly recommended as Simon puts you right at ease.

 
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AMY & MARTIN - 1-DAY PAIRS 2 CRAFTS IN 1 DAY EXPERIENCE

January 2022

We booked the 2 crafts in 1 day for a couple and had a brilliant day!
We carried out woodturning in the morning and pottery in the afternoon… Louise and Simon showed a huge passion for their craft which was contagious. They guided us through the basics giving us lots of interesting information to help but then stood back and allowed us to get into our own groove and enjoy experimenting with the woodturning and pottery.
Well run and thorough... a lovely relaxing day was had!

 

MAUREEN - 1-DAY POTTERY WORKSHOP

January 2022

I had a full day Pottery Workshop Experience as a gift from my children. I have had a few goes of some pottery many years ago but had always wanted to have a go on a potter's wheel.
Louise introduced a pinch pot, a coil pot and a slab pot in the morning and there were pictures and other people's work to give me ideas. However Louise encouraged me to be as creative as I wished and really helped me explore my ideas. I made a hanging wall decoration in the afternoon and then made a few pots on the wheel.
Louise's instructions were so clear and she gave good advice as I progressed through the stages. The day was brilliant and the time seemed to go so fast. I joined a couple doing the woodturning workshop for lunch which was a lovely spread, and it was a very relaxed atmosphere.
The day is very good value. Apart from the six hours of one to one tuition and a lovely lunch, Louise had obviously spent a good deal of time preparing all the clay to be used in advanced and once the day was over would be sanding the pieces when dry, then glazing and firing them. I loved it so much that I hope to return and do some more pottery. A really great day.

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COLIN - 1-DAY WOODTURNING WORKSHOP

January 2022

This was purchased as a Christmas gift for me from my Wife! Simon and Louise greeted me and made me feel very welcome! Thoroughly enjoyable day!
Simon is very professional and patient, I made some fabulous pieces and had a lovely lunch.
I will be returning for further courses with Simon! I would highly recommend.

 
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ROB - 1-DAY WOODTURNING WORKSHOP

January 2022

I really enjoyed learning the basics of woodturning with Simon!

Great instruction and friendly chat with it. I was very proud of the pieces I made on the day with Simon's help.

Woodturning is very satisfying, with a real zen quality about it once you get in the zone. It is definitely something that would be hard to learn from a book or videos as it was all about feel, and small changes to angles. However, with an expert helping guide me by showing me the exact movements the tools needed it felt like I made really good progress in just one day. (I'm sure I'm no woodturning prodigy; Simon is just nice).

Lunch was great - way better than expected. I'd imagined something basic so I was delighted by a delicious spread.

Overall a great day, highly recommended.