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Turn a wooden bowl outdoors on a foot powered pole lathe

5(82 reviews)
Learn how to turn a wooden bowl using a foot powered pole lathe at our woodland workshop in the city. Suitable for beginners and improvers.
Hackney
In-person
£85 pp
7hrs
Next available date:9th December 2023
What happens in this class?

Learn a heritage craft at the London Greenwood workshop. You will use a foot powered pole lathe to turn your own wooden bowl from locally grown green wood. Starting by learning good axe technique to prepare your bowl blank then how to set up a pole lathe you will move on to master the use of bowl turning hook tools. Powering your lathe by foot you will create a functional wooden bowl to take home with you. We will also talk about drying, oiling and caring for your bowl as well as selecting materials and how to continue. We will…

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Things to remember

We'll be working outdoors in all weather (under a tarp if it rains) so dress suitably.

Sensible foot ware, no sandals or bare feet. A thick sole will help keep your feet warm in winter.

Please bring reading glasses for detailed work if you wear them.

If you are…

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FAQs
Can I turn a wooden bowl left handed?
Yes you can. We can set up a lathe specifically to suit left handed participants.
Do you offer concessionary rates?
Yes we offer one concessionary rate on each weekend. There is no eligibility criteria, these discounts are available for anyone who needs them. This is a trust based system, we do not require proof or even an explanation of the rate you choose. If someone has already booked the space you will be asked to reschedule to another date. You can choose the low income ticket type in the booking system.
Latest Reviews
5(82 reviews)
Jo - 23 November 2023
I loved my wood-turning class! Our class was a mix of complete beginners (me!) and others who had a little experience. Our tutor was fantastic at teaching and helping us. We were all delighted with our bowls. The location was a lovely little oasis in London too.
Grant - 20 November 2023
Brilliant course, professional and safe. Will definitely go back and do a different course.
Ross Raftery - 20 November 2023
This was my second course at London Green Wood, having previously also carved a fruit bowl. The tuition from Dave and Steve was excellent - they took us through the process clearly and provided guidance throughout the day. The day-long course is an ideal length, and Dave works with you all to make sure you come away with a great looking bowl. It is a process that finds muscles you didn't know you had, but the end result is hugely rewarding! I would highly recommend this course.
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Booking Options
7hrs workshop1 class
from £60
Private BookingMinimum 1 guests to book
£250
Book for a large groupAre you looking for a large group/private event?

Obby Guarantee

We ensure quality. If your class doesn't reach your expectations, we'll give your money back.
Obby guarantees good classes

Age Requirement

18

Flexible cancellation policy

Any class can be cancelled and fully refunded within 24 hours of purchase. See cancellation policy.
Your Teacher

London Green Wood is cooperative of woodworkers practising rural crafts in the city. Based at Hackney City Farm, we work with green wood straight from the log and hand tools. All the wood we use has been felled locally.

We have been running events and teaching courses since 2011. We promise a beautiful setting, friendly people, the satisfaction of learning new skills and a fire when it gets chilly. We run courses for adults and for families. We offer low income and unwaged concessions on many of our courses.

People who have completed our Induction to the Workshop course can…

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Class Location
Hackney City Farm
Hackney
1a Goldsmith Row
E2 8QA
London

Reviews

Jo - 23 November 2023
I loved my wood-turning class! Our class was a mix of complete beginners (me!) and others who had a little experience. Our tutor was fantastic at teaching and helping us. We were all delighted with our bowls. The location was a lovely little oasis in London too.
Grant - 20 November 2023
Brilliant course, professional and safe. Will definitely go back and do a different course.
Ross Raftery - 20 November 2023
This was my second course at London Green Wood, having previously also carved a fruit bowl. The tuition from Dave and Steve was excellent - they took us through the process clearly and provided guidance throughout the day. The day-long course is an ideal length, and Dave works with you all to make sure you come away with a great looking bowl. It is a process that finds muscles you didn't know you had, but the end result is hugely rewarding! I would highly recommend this course.
James Rega - 20 November 2023
This is great fun and such a rewarding experience. I recommend to anyone with even a little interest.
Mark Chandler - 19 November 2023
The course was informative and very enjoyable. The tutor was patient and clearly explained each stage of the wood turning process, his assistance was also most welcome. Excellent and all round a relaxing day away from the day job. Pleasant setting in a wooded glade in the heart of Hackney. I will be attending another course in the future.
Elyot Chambers - 19 November 2023
Great day Thanks Dave Really enjoyed everything
Erez fogel - 29 October 2023
Great day. Excellent guidance in a beautiful setting.
Laura Bucero Descalzo - 16 October 2023
Got a gift of a bowl turning workshop, one of the best things iv done in ages, would highly recommend it!!
Amanda Canning - 7 October 2023
Had a brilliant day leaving how to make a bowl on a manually powered lathe. Beautiful setting, lovely people and instructor Dave was so helpful. Would highly recommend.
Alice - 29 September 2023
Fantastic day! Dave was a great teacher, very patient and supportive. Delighted with my bowl and would highly recommend the course!
Dave Saunders - 6 September 2023
An excellent day out and learnt a great deal about using the pole lathe. Dave, the tutor was great in explaining techniques and methods. Ended up with a decent (ish) bowl that will remind me of the course.
John Reid - 4 September 2023
Loved it. Great setting, super chilled friendly people. Rewarding day.
Veronica Pasteur - 20 August 2023
Great fun learning new skills with a lovely bunch of people. Excellent guidance from Dave.
Simone Citeroni - 7 August 2023
Best experience
Sharon Chen - 30 July 2023
Fantastic workshop. Dave is a very patient teacher. He knows exactly when to help and how to do so without making feel the pupil feel silly for asking. I am delighted with my bowl and am now thinking which course to go on next. Having done all the one day ones, I think my favourite has been the spoon carving.
Magd Bird - 26 July 2023
Great class! I would highly recommend!
Natasha Almeida - 24 July 2023
As with all the other courses I've done at London Greenwood (bowl carving, spoon carving, whittling), this day of bowl turning was absolutely brilliant. It's a lovely, inviting and peaceful space, our instructor (Dave) was clear, kind, always ready to help, and, with a fair bit of hard but enjoyable work, I came away with something beautiful that I'm super proud of, and skills that I hope to use in the future. Highly recommend, please go if you can! Thanks again LGW.
Mark Hallows - 26 June 2023
Absolutely brilliant course and loved every moment of it! Really friendly group of students and Dave is a great teacher
Paul Shrubshall - 19 June 2023
Thank you very much for a confidence-building introduction.
Sara Lee - 14 June 2023
A brilliant and and absorbing day of wood crafting, wonderfully supported by Dave who was as hands on or off as we needed. It was great to work through all the stages, from the initial axe work to the final smartening up and there was a real sense of achievement as we saw our creations morph into something recognisable from the piece of tree trunk we were handed at the start. Hugely satisfying and highly recommended.
Maggie Walters - 12 June 2023
Dave was a brilliant tutor, patient, encouraging and kind. Came away wanting to practise and learn more woodwork. Nice being in a small group to be able to share experiences. Will definitely recommend and I'm looking forward to do another course. Thank you 😊
Jane Douglas - 12 June 2023
Extremely enjoyable and relaxing day on the pole lathe. Lovely setting and great teacher. Thanks!
Liz Edmunds - 12 June 2023
The venue was good for a hot day: underneath the trees. Felt like a little haven. The tutor Dave was welcoming, patient and encouraging and was willing to stay later when we ran behind schedule so we could all finish. The bowl turning workshop is more physical than I had imagined (!) but you can take breaks. It's great to actually make something usable in a day and feel you've had a thorough intro to pole lathe. The one thing I would mention is that was glad that I took a small bag so I could have my valuables such as phone/cards etc actually on me as I worked as the only place to leave bags is in an area which is accessible to the public which carries an element of risk as you may be absorbed in the work with your back to this area.
Mark Cartwright - 6 June 2023
Helpful and patient tutors, friendly atmosphere, delightful venue. The course ran to time, and we all got to take a handmade piece home. All round, a great day!
Flo - 4 June 2023
Really great day with Dave carving a bowl with a foot-powered work. Such a nice man and was always super helpful whenever I needed it. Highly recommend any course at London Green Wood. Will definitely be returning :)
Steve - 4 June 2023
What a great course! If you’re at all into working with green wood do yourself a favour and book a place on this pole-lathe course.
Iona Wills - 16 May 2023
A really rewarding course, but requires a lot of strength so be prepared to use muscles you didn't know you had.
Aaron Mangaram - 8 May 2023
Really cool experience and day out, I thoroughly enjoyed the process of making my own wooden bowl - makes you appreciate the difficulty of the craft! Dave was great in explaining and assisting along each step, would recommend others to give it a go!
Elizabeth Crane - 16 April 2023
Teaching was excellent. Small group size meant there was plenty of guidance. Thoroughly thrilled with my day and my bowl!
Brooke - 4 April 2023
A wonderful full day of intense craft! fabulous instructors, patient and helpful. I am very pleased with my first attempt at a turning a bowl! Would very highly recommend!
Katy - 27 March 2023
What a brilliant day! Lucy and Joey are amazing teachers. I learned loads, met lovely people, and took a beautiful bowl home. This course is a great gift for people who like making things.
Tim Wakeford - 5 March 2023
A great course. The teacher (Dave) was very good and knowledgeable, we all had a lot of fun and all ended the day with some nice looking bowls. I'd definitely recommend it.
Brett Banks - 7 February 2023
Great day learning firstly ace work to partially round my piece, then only turning using the pole lathe, a really enjoyable process, Overseen by a great tutor. One suggestion, make the set up more adaptable for left handed users.
Vasoulla Savvidou - 5 February 2023
I loved making my own wooden bowl. The instructions were clear and the teacher was friendly and patient. Well worth it. And we got coffe and biscuits. Thank you. ❤️🙏🏽
Ed Thompson - 30 January 2023
Absolutely great all round!
Steve - 30 January 2023
I had such a brilliant day with Dave @ London Green Wood. We used axes, knives and the most incredible foot powered lathe! The day was both challenging and satisfying, and I came away with aching arms and a beautiful wooden bowl! Dave was very knowledgable, patient and skilled. He made it really easy and fun, and nobody hit themselves with an axe! I'm going to book onto the spoon carving course next!
Christopher - 12 December 2022
Fantastic day, great surroundings, instructor was a great teacher, really clear and helpful. Ended the day with a great little bowl!
Sarah Bailey - 5 December 2022
Really enjoyed the Bowl Turning course led by Dave. He's a lovely and knowledgeable teacher, and London Green Wood is a lovely space to be in even when it's cold!
jenny - 4 December 2022
A brilliant day out in the open air learning how to turn a bowl. The team were very welcoming and the instruction careful and accommodating . I would highly recommend this experience learning to work with green wood with a great teacher ( Dave) and great facilities!
Francesca Savvides - 27 November 2022
Highly recommend - a full day of fun crafting.
Lesley Smith - 21 November 2022
A great course held in lovely surroundings. The teacher Dave provided very clear instructions on what to do and gave help when necessary. I really enjoyed making my first bowl and would like to do more.
Arent Warren de Jong - 20 November 2022
Amazing experience, can highly recommend! Only cons where - we were running out of time which made the end a bit stressed, and we spend less fine tuning time on various aspects of our bowls than we wished - the main lathe+turning tools where for right handed people, as were the setup and the instructions. Handling this as a left handed wasn't trivial
Emily - 19 November 2022
Such a brilliant day! Dave was calm and kind taking us through all the stages of making. Thoroughly recommend their courses as always. (I also recommend investing some time in stretching before making :) )
Nicky - 13 November 2022
Lovely people, great outdoor workshop (we were lucky with the weather) A really cool thing to try, just be aware it’s hard work…
Steve De St Croix - 16 October 2022
First class teacher and nice venue
Alex Andronic - 27 September 2022
Great experience, it has been fun and interactive. It was hard work but definitely worth it.
Jordan Elboim - 9 September 2022
Amazing workshop! Would definitely recommend.
Tessa Booth - 29 August 2022
What a great day! The setting is utterly delightful, all of the equipment and tools beautifully cared for, and the instruction was amazing- thank you Dave, we had a smashing day!
Michael Johnson - 28 August 2022
I had an excellent day turning a wooden bowl on the foot powered pole lathe. I was rather pleased with my finished product - greatly assisted by the advice and instruction given on the course. I would recommend.
Yahia Elgamal - 26 June 2022
The class was great. Was very intensive, starting with axing a piece of wood that was prepped slightly for us. Then we started turning the wood for many hours. At the end, we used a carving knife to get the stem out of the bowl. Dave, the instructor, was very patient and helpful. I definitely recommend this course, but be prepared from some physical effort. The place was fabulous in the middle of hackney farm, was a great experience overall.
Belinda Edwards - 22 June 2022
Very intense, but fabulous day! We wee working in a stunningly beautiful setting. Tutor is very patient and helpful. I totally recommend this course.
Laura Sedgwick - 18 June 2022
Fantastic workshop in a beautiful location. Anyone wanting to spend a day crafting would highly recommend!
Stuart Walker - 17 June 2022
Fabulous day learning bowl carving in hottest weather ever. Exceptional instruction.
Mike Dallimore - 21 May 2022
Enjoyed the class. I would recommend all the classes at Green Wood London.
David Young - 16 May 2022
A really great course - just what I was looking for to get back into pole lathing after a break of two decades! It was good to see complete novices doing just as well as self proclaimed carpenters like myself, and tantamount to the skill and care our trainer took with each of us. Thanks Dave!
Mat Jones - 15 May 2022
Really fun day learning how to turn a bowl on a pole lathe
Sara Karlsson - 17 April 2022
Turning my own bowl was a great experience! It made me inspired to turn more bowls and other things in the future!
Borja Lorente - 10 April 2022
An amazing workshop, through and through. Aided by the great weather, the quiet day spent in the tranquil respite of London Green Wood was as enjoyable as it was didactive. And we ended up with nice bowls to boot!
Jem Roberts - 10 April 2022
Excellent course, really great pace and calming direction.
Eleanor Turner - 28 March 2022
Great day! Super helpful teacher and a lovely setting.
Justine - 28 March 2022
This was a brilliant day! The whole experience with an idyllic setting on a spring day, with all the helpful people involved, friendly staff & yummy food served in the on site cafe. Wood Turing on foot powered lathe was so much fun. It felt like peddling a bike with one leg, whilst scoring a wooden record, to carve the bowl. Definitely requires some co-ordination & concentration to get right. David the tutor made it look easy. Am looking forward to oiling the finished bowl, once the green wood dries out. Have already recommended this course to friends. Just do it!
Belinda Edwards - 27 March 2022
Fabulous course! Supportive and helpful teacher. Lovely place. I really enjoyed the whole day
Nicholas Clegg - 21 March 2022
Really great day. Well structured, really nice instructor. Left feeling tired (it's a physical day) and really happy with my bowl. Would definitely recommend it.
Chris Turpin - 12 March 2022
Fantastic course - professionally (and patiently) instructed by Dave. A really good day - I learnt a lot.
Emily Knight - 27 December 2021
Brilliant course, with a very kind and knowledgeable instructor. Highly recommended
Yoav Ronat - 20 November 2021
Had a great day and a wonderful experience. Dave is an excellent tutor and I’m very pleased from the result. Definitely recommended!
Alana Jelinek - 17 October 2021
Brilliant fun. Actually achieved a pretty good bowl. And a good workout
Sean - 17 October 2021
Fantastic - really enjoyed it and would recommend
Jeff Jackson - 7 June 2021
I really enjoyed the day, the the process and technique were explained very well and I would definitely recommend this course to anyone interested in learning an ancient craft.
Rachel Alabaster - 17 May 2021
It was a fantastic day. Really well taught by lovely guys. Will definitely be coming back! Thanks to all.
Keith Clarke - 17 May 2021
Great day with excellent teaching and lots of fun
Hedley - 15 May 2021
Great course. Lovely location. Very sensible and attentive instruction just when needed, but very hands on without too much standing around.
Jane Myat - 11 May 2021
Fantastic day: well organised, great setting, clear, focused and personalised tuition in a friendly supportive environment. Huge gratitude to Dave, Graham and the team at London Greenwood
Jenny Baker - 10 May 2021
Really enjoyed this day. It's hard physical work but very satisfying. Dave, the tutor, explained things clearly and demonstrated what to do. He was really patient and encouraging. would highly recommend this course
Anonymous - 9 May 2021
A hard but rewarding day with excellent tuition. So pleased with my bowl 🙂 Thank you!
Ben Harvey - 8 May 2021
We loved the course and the bowls! Dave was very knowledgable and patient, and the location at Hackney City Farm was beautiful. Highly recommended!
Jessica - 9 October 2020
This was a great day, and had the best time - definitely want to come back to make more. Thanks very much!
Heini - 6 October 2020
I certainly learned new ways to work with a foot powered lathe and Dave was an excellent teacher with lots of skill and patient. Green Wood Abney Park is a great set up and I will be back again. Heini
Alice - 6 October 2020
This class was a great day (despite the rain!), we learned a lot under the excellent teacher Dave. We had a lot of fun, got a bowl out of it and were totally exhausted after (in a good way :).
Thida - 21 September 2020
Amazing class! Dave is a great teacher, he was really helpful and patient with us. I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in doing something crafty :)
George - 13 September 2020
Great course with helpful knowledgeable teacher with small class size so you were never left waiting for guidance. Lovely location and atmosphere. Pole lathe bowl turning is a fun challenge. Highly recommended
Valerie - 12 September 2020
I've done a number of classes at London Greenwood and have enjoyed them all. This new wood turning course was no exception. It is the only manual pole lathe class available in London and taught in the outdoor workshop within Abney Park. Our teacher Dave had prepared the blanks and the tools so we were able to get straight down to using the pole lathe. We all completed very handsome bowls (for a first go!) by the end of the day and I feel i have acquired a good understanding of the process. This class is taught in small groups (4 of us on this occasion) so there was plenty of individual attention. As Dave had warned us, it's a physical day (foot-powered!) but there were plenty of stops for lunch/tea/coffee and a great feeling of satisfaction on completion.