What you will do
Twelve session course
Ladies and gentleman, come and witness history! Obby is bringing you the first greenwood chair-making course in London EVER. Twelve weekly sessions may be a commitment but it will be well worth it at the end after you walk away with your own heirloom in the form of a simple Windsor-style side chair, without requiring any woodworking experience at all!
In this class
You'll learn how to fashion fresh timber, straight from the log, into the legs, stretchers and spindles (chair's main components). You'll be using axe, drawknife and spokeshave to do this or, for the more adventurous amongst you or for those who've taken part in my introductory course, you can try your hand at turning these parts on a traditional foot-powered lathe.
You'll then make your seat, using traditional 'bottoming' tools; the adze and travisher. Then, time for some bending - using steam and a bit of magic to bend the comb (top bit) of your chair to a nice head-cradling curve. After a bit of jiggery-pokery to put it all together, you'll have the finished article, for all the world to see!
Please note, there will be a longer kick-off session for this course on the afternoon of 5 January 2020 that will cover the basics of using a lathe. It will be necessary to attend this if you sign up to this course.
Ben is wood-crazy and has plenty of teaching experience - he'll help you throughout the course to make sure you're happy with that Windsor chair of yours!
Now you can
- not be embarassed when you sit on a chair and break it - now you know how to make your own!
- fashion all kinds of wooden creations in the comfort of your own home (pending a few tools here and there)
Did you know?
We ensure quality. If your class doesn't reach your expectations, we'll give your money back.
About your host, Ben Willis Woodcraft
Ben Willis Woodcraft is an independent wood workshop based in Crystal Palace offering a chance to get back to nature by using green wood to make a bowl, stool or chair from scratch.
Ben makes bespoke furniture and it all starts this way - as a log, as far as is possible freshly cut from the woodland. Aside from the practical advantages of using material in this form, as previously described, an added benefit is that it sustains the ancient practice of coppicing, a sustainable method for managing woodlands in which trees are cut, allowed to regrow again for a period of time, before being harvested once more - and so on.
Ben was for a long time fascinated watching demonstrations at craft shows by skilled craftsmen and women of some of the old woodworking techniques. Eventually, Ben got around to signing up to a week-long chair-making course in Herefordshire with Mike Abbott, one of the leading recent exponents of the craft and a key figure in the revival of traditional woodworking techniques. Predictably, he was hooked, and jumped on the chance of returning to Mike's workshop in the woods the following year to work as his assistant for a season.
This gave Ben chance to learn the craft in depth from someone with a huge amount of knowledge. Since then, Ben has been honing the skills he learnt from Mike learning more from others and developing his own ideas and approaches to the craft.
Basic materials are covered, but there will be an additional charge for the seat material. This will be £20-40, depending on what I have in stock at the time.
Flexible cancellation policy
Any class can be cancelled and fully refunded within 24 hours of purchase. See cancellation policy.