Courses

All courses and events are held at our outdoor workshop at Abney Park Cemetery, please dress for weather and sturdy footwear is recommended. Warm clothes in winter, keep your feet covered in summer and waterproofs whenever. We have a tarpaulin to protect us from the worst of it and will continue to work outside in all of it.

The courses we run (see below for detailed information on each of these courses)

  • Whittling: knife skills (1 day, usually Saturdays)
  • Spoon carving (1 day, usually Fridays and Saturdays)
  • Improving your spoon carving (1 day, usually Fridays and Saturdays)
  • Bowl carving (1 day, usually Fridays and Saturdays)
  • Introduction to Green Woodwork ( a 4 day course held on Thursdays over 4 consecutive weeks)
  • Family whittling workshop, for 8-18yrs (courses are half a day during school holidays)
  • Family stool making (one day courses held during school holidays)
  • Green woodworking for home-schooling families (one day taster sessions and a regular group for those who want to return)

All our courses can now be booked online
Our Green Woodworking Classes on Obby

Making parties and experiential events
If you have a small group of people who’d like to get together and make stuff together, we can also create a course especially for you on a date that suits you. Birthdays, parties, bonding, away-days, presents or for no good reason at all.

  • Bowl carving 3-4 people £75/head
  • Knife skills 4-5 people £50/head
  • Spoon carving 5-6 people £50/head

Our Bowl Carving Classes on Obby

Gift vouchers
Are your friends and family keen to get carving? We now sell gift vouchers.

  • £75 will give your favourite prospective whittler their own carving knife and a voucher for a Spoon Carving course, or a voucher for a bowl carving course (no knife).
  • £225 will give the would-be woodcarver in your live their own knife and a voucher redeemable on any of our Introduction to green woodwork courses.

Gift vouchers are non refundable and must be redeemed within 6 months of purchase.
For further information or to buy a gift voucher: please email londongreenwood@gmail.com

Weekly workshop
Every Thursday we open up the London Green Wood workshop and tool shed and welcome anyone who has attended our introductory course or has previous green woodworking and tool sharpening experience. There is no formal teaching but there are people around to advise. We ask those who can to make a small donation to help with the upkeep of the workshop (tea, coffee, new tools etc). Tools and wood are provided.

Introduction to green woodwork course
Taught over 4 consecutive Thursdays, this course is designed to give participants an introduction to green woodworking using an axe and a knife. Suitable for complete beginners, those who have carpentry experience but are new to green woodwork, and those who have done a little green woodwork and would like to learn more.

This course is also an induction to the London Green Wood workshop at Abney Park and participants are invited to continue using the workshop after the course.

We will make a series of practice projects (e.g. spoons and spatulas) using unseasoned timber straight from the tree and hand tools.
You will learn:
– The principles of green woodwork
– Safe and confident axing techniques
– Knife grips from the Swedish tradition of spoon carving
– Tool sharpening and tool maintenance.

By the end of the course we hope participants will feel confident to continue to make things in wood, either on their own or at our regular Thursday open workshop session. So this course should be seen as the beginning of a wood affair.

Cost: £200 (£150 concessions)
Suitable for: over 18s only, no previous experience required
Courses held: on Thursdays over 4 weeks.
Times: 9am-4pm

For further information: please email londongreenwood@gmail.com

Our Green Woodworking Classes on Obby

Whittling: knife skills (1 day)
Learn to use a shave horse and draw knife, and a carving knife; make your own cooking utensils; and spend a day playing with knives. Everyone will make a spatula and a butter knife. Suitable for complete beginners or those who want to hone their knife skills.

Cost: £50
Suitable for: over 18s only, no previous experience required
Courses held on: Fridays and Saturdays
Times: 10am-3pm

For further information: please email londongreenwood@gmail.com

Our Green Woodworking Classes on Obby

Spoon carving (1 day)
Using an axe and knives, you will make your own cooking spoon from a locally grown tree. This course covers axe skills and safe knife grips. Aimed at complete beginners and those who’ve made the odd spoon but would like to develop their skills.

Cost: £50, £40 concessions (only available on Fridays)
Suitable for: over 18s only, no previous experience required
Courses held: on Fridays and Saturdays
Times: 9am-4pm

For further information: please email londongreenwood@gmail.com

View All Our Classes on Obby

Improving your spoon carving (1 day)
Get together with other spoon lovers and learn from each others work, techniques and mistakes. Try new woods and tools. Make spoons!

This course is for people who’ve carved spoons from wood before, a few or many. We’ll all bring our spoons along for show and tell, and help everyone to develop their designs and technique. Whether you struggle making a crank in your spoons, want to improve your knife finish, practice your axe technique to make better spoon blanks, try making scoops and ladles, or just want to stop making spoons that all look the same, this course will help you get there. Everyone will work on individual projects, tailored to help each person with their spoon dilemmas. We’ll share a picnic lunch and talk spoons some more. Then we’ll end the day with a spoon club.
Tools and wood are provided, but if you have your own tools please bring them along too. We’ll advise on buying tools and if you’re thinking of buying your own you can try out a range of axes and crook knives at our workshop.

Cost: £50, £40 concessions (only available on Fridays)
Suitable for: over 18s only, no previous experience required
Courses held: on Fridays and Saturdays
Times: 9am-5pm

For further information: please email londongreenwood@gmail.com

View All Our Classes on Obby

Bowl carving  (1 day)
Using an axe, an adze, gouges and knives, you will make a carved bowl from a log of wood. Perfect for a fruit bowl, a serving bowl or for picnics. This is a very physical course, there’s a lot of wood to remove to transform a log into a bowl in just one day, so you’ll enjoy this course more if you’ve already done the Intro course or have some previous green woodwork experience from elsewhere.

Cost: £75, £60 concessions (only available on Fridays)
Suitable for: over 18s only, no previous experience required
Courses held: on Fridays and Saturdays
Times: 9am-4pm

For further information: please email londongreenwood@gmail.com

 

Our Bowl Carving Classes on Obby

Family whittling workshop, for 8-18yrs (half day)
Learn safe whittling skills and explore the woods at Abney Park Cemetery. This workshop is for children and young people with an accompanying adult to learn whittling together. Using locally grown green wood we’ll practice safe carving knife grips and make staffs, spatulas and spurtles, wands or wooden knifes.

For families that want to start whittling at home, this is great introduction for both adults and children to learn how to work safely with knives. We recommend that parents join this course so that they can keep their child safe when whittling at home and be confident in their child’s abilities to work with knives and wood.
Cost: £25 or £20 concessions
Courses held: during school holidays only
Times 10am-12pm
Our Bowl Carving Classes on Obby
Family stool making
For children and young people (aged 8-18yrs) with an accompanying adult. Each pair will make one stool together. The finished stools will range from rustic to finely finished depending on the age and experience of each pair. We’ll also build a fire and bake potatoes for our lunch on it.

Cost: £75 per pair (£60 concessions)
Suitable for: 8-18yrs with an accompanying adult, no previous experience required
Courses held: during school holidays only
Times: 9am-3pm

For further information: please email londongreenwood@gmail.com

Our Bowl Carving Classes on Obby

Green woodworking for home-schooling families (one day taster session)
Come and try a taster session, see if your family enjoy working with wood outdoors. Through these taster sessions we will build a network of home-schooling families who will be invited back join longer courses for home-schooled families in the future.

We will learn whittling and green woodwork, explore the woods at Abney Park Cemetery, build fires and cook outdoors. Space on these taster sessions are limited to one child per family, minimum 8yrs old.

“I feel… happy, involved. I learnt… about different kinds of wood, using different tools. Fun, and now I have a lovely stool!”
Feedback from Johar, 11yrs, on recent family stool making course.

“I peeled the bark off with the knife, I felt so relaxed! I found this course challenging but then satisfying.”
Feedback from Mo, 9yrs, on recent family stool making course.

“Felt completely out of my normal Hackney – into another world! Loved the space, the time with my daughter and learning something together. Great idea and lovely teacher. Magic wilderness nature learning, time well spent together.”
Feedback from parent, on recent family stool making course.

Cost: £40 per family (limited to one adult and one child over 8 years)/ £30 concessions, including lunch
Times: 10.30am-2.30pm.

Our Bowl Carving Classes on Obby

 

Other events we recommend

The Bodgers’ Ball – annual gathering of the Association of Pole-lathe turners and Greenwood Workers.  The Bodgers Ball is held every May in a different part of these isles each year.

Spoonfest – the international celebration of the carved wooden spoon, featuring:  masses of green wood, the best carvers in the world doing free demonstrations and paid workshops, campfires, a spoon gallery full of inspiration, local beer sold for charity and a wood fired pizza oven. Held in Edale on the first weekend of August, expected to sell out.

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