Zoe Gertner  - Professional Woodcarver & Tutor

Woodcarving Tuition

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  This page gives details about Zoe's woodcarving courses, suggests dates for  wood carving lessons and shows you some examples of  carvings made by students, including children's woodcarvings.

Zoe's woodcarving courses are suitable for beginners or more experienced carvers, and are held in the pleasant rural county of Devon, convenient to the M5 Exeter and A30 highway, the North Devon A361 link road, Cornwall, Dorset and Somerset. Tuition can also be arranged at times to suit by mutual agreement.


  • Professional tuition, for all abilities and ages, of various durations, at times to suit you.

See Course Dates and Fees

  • Full range of wood carving skills taught, with tuition tailored to your requirements.
  • Specialist wood carving tools provided for your use, with some available for purchase.



Zoe teaches all types of carving skills including carving in relief or in the round, creative sculpture, lettering, utilitarian items such as signboards or decoration and carving detail on furniture and boxes. This flexible approach enables Zoe to tailor her teaching to the requirements of each individual student during his/her wood carving instruction.

The setting is tranquil with unspoilt views across our south-facing tree bordered meadows - a peaceful haven in which you can fully concentrate on your carving without distractions. A specially selected range of tools is provided for your use so that you do not need to purchase any beforehand, thus avoiding expensive mistakes. A good selection of relevant books and magazines is also available for reference and inspiration.
During your time with us you will receive individual attention and also benefit from seeing other aspects of woodcarving being carried out at the same time. Zoe's teaching style emphasises direct carving using hand tools in the traditional manner, experience showing that learning a good basic grounding in correct hand techniques is essential to be able to carve wood successfully and safely, and also because most students have neither the space nor desire for expensive power equipment and machinery.

Rose polishing her carving of the family cat.

Rose with her flower relief and her polished cat.

Chris carving 'Mrs Daley' in Yew wood. This is a project from Zoe's book, "Woodcarving, A Foundation Course" GMC Publications 1997.


Formerly Zoe lived in Somerset where in 1980 she started teaching woodcarving to students of all ages and ability. A session may have a mixture of newcomers and those who have attended previously; complete beginners being especially welcomed as are the retired and those who feel they have no artistic ability. Although for many the relaxed atmosphere of a woodcarving class provides both "Leisure and Pleasure," several students have won awards in national and regional competitions and others have acquired a most pleasurable hobby in their retirement. See Course Dates and Fees


Children are also welcome, but must be over 8 years old and accompanied by an adult family member or grandparent participating at the same time.


Nina used a piece of Cherry wood and carved a leaf in relief which she is waxing then polishing.



 Henry aged 11 years with his mallet and trophy, and his Mother who carved a sign for the garden gate.




Trevor with his carved head and his running hare.


Lunches and refreshments are included each day thus leaving you free to concentrate entirely on your carving for the day. You will be guided through your particular carving project, given advice about selecting suitable wood carving tools for your style of carving (some of which may be available for you to purchase), how to sharpen and maintain them, and be shown the appropriate finishing methods for your individual project.


Paul's first carving was a fine detailed fish carved using Acacia wood and polished with wax to finish it. Afterwards, on his own at home, he carved the sitting hare shown on the right.




For complete beginners or those who have not handled wood working tools before a course of longer duration is recommended, for example, five or six days, which should give ample time to master tool handling and basic woodcarving techniques without feeling pressurised - a relaxed and pleasant way of learning.

Or why not try a a 'Taster Day' and see if woodcarving is for you! You are welcome to come by arrangement for a day during any of the course sessions.

Former students are most welcome during the days that suit them, space permitting, or at any other mutually convenient times. We can usually arrange accommodation for students in the Farmhouse or close by. Non - participating partners and well behaved pets are also welcome to stay with us.


Suggested Woodcarving Tuition Dates



How to Book your Wood Carving Tuition

1. Choose from the  dates suggested or if none is suitable, suggest an alternative time that you would like to come for tuition and  e-mail  the details to the address below, or telephone me on  (+44) 01409 261648  (please leave a message if necessary).  I will return your call/email as soon as possible to discuss arrangements, including accommodation if you need this while you are here.

2. Please confirm your dates and accommodation arrangements in writing within a week of making your booking, enclosing a non-refundable cheque deposit of 80 (82 in 2019) per person payable to Zoe Gertner. You will then be sent confirmation of your booking and further information about your tuition. A place will be kept for you for one week pending your confirmation by post.

Suggested Tuition Dates


A Gift for a Lifetime.

 more details

Could you be looking for that special gift for someone?  Instruction in woodcarving may be the answer. We can issue  gift vouchers  for any combination of days, suitable for that Christmas, special birthday or retirement present, perhaps?

 You purchase the voucher, and the recipient chooses when he or she would like to come.


Jessica's 14th birthday present from her grandmother was a few days woodcarving. Her relief carving will be included as part of her GCSE schoolwork assessment.

See more carvings by children


back to top of page  / go to next page  / see Carvings by Students / 2018 &19 Tuition Dates


 Updated October 2018                  Puddleduck Farm, South Wonford, Holsworthy, Devon. EX22 7DR 

        Telephone:  01409 261648                  e-mail: mail@zoegertner.co.uk              www.zoegertner.co.uk