Tuition

Woodcarving course students with their carvings
Chris and Rose carved a large carved ram and a ewe to reside in their garden
Woodcarving student wax polishing finished first relief carving of Hare
Brenda is wax polishing her finished Hare relief carving with her friends admiring her first carving
Acorn decoration woodcarving carved on Oak furniture piece by woodcarving student
This acorn relief carving will enhance the leg of an oak chair which Mike is making at home
Wood spirit and relief carvings by woodcarving course students
Lee and Suzanne with their first carvings, and a Wood Spirit carved on a log
Carving a Celtic pattern during a woodcarving course
Carving a Celtic strapwork design

Zoe’s woodcarving courses are suitable for beginners or more experienced carvers and are held in the pleasant county of Devon, convenient to the M5 Exeter and the A30 highway, the North Devon A361 link road, Cornwall, Dorset and Somerset. The setting is tranquil with unspoilt views across our south-facing meadow – a peaceful haven in which you can  concentrate fully on your carving without any distractions.

Zoe teaches all types of woodcarving skills including carving in relief or in the round, creative sculpture, lettering, utilitarian items such as signboards, spoons and how to carve decoration and detail on turned bowls, furniture and boxes. This flexible approach enables Zoe to tailor her teaching to the requirements of each person  as an individual while you are here.

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 carry on with your wood carving successfully and safely in the future.

A specially selected range of woodcarving tools is provided for your use so that you do not need to buy any beforehand, thus avoiding expensive mistakes. A good library of relevant books and magazines is also available for reference and inspiration. A session may have a mixture of newcomers and those who have been before; complete beginners are most welcome, as are the retired and those who feel they have no artistic ability. One-to-one tuition can also be arranged.

Jenny, a woodcarving course student with her relief carving of Fritillary flowers
Jenny with her relief carving of Fritillary flowers

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, demonstrated at local Shows and others have acquired a most pleasureable hobby in their retirement. 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.

Large garden carvings in oak made during a woodcarving class
Chris and Rose made large carvings in oak for their garden
Large garden woodcarvings made in oak by woodcarving students
Decorative garden carvings in relief showing Squirrel, Mermaid and Crab in oak
profile side view of Claire's dog
When she returned home, Claire took a photo of her dog's head from the side
woodcarving student with relief carving of dog's head
From the photo Claire carved the side view of her dog
Side view of dog's head carved in relief
Claire's dog carving is lovely and was all her own work

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

Although you do not need any previous experience, for complete beginners or those who have not handled hand woodworking tools before a course of longer duration is recommended, for example,  5 or 6 days, which should give you 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 Taster Dayand 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 time. We can usually arrange accommodation in the Farmhouse or close by, and non-participating partners and well-behaved pets are also welcome.

Wax polishing a carving of cat made during a woodcarving course in devon
Rose is wax polishing her carving of 'Poppy', her cat
Carving a Cornish engine house in relief during a woodcarving course in devon
Peter is working on his relief carving of a Cornish Engine house, his family gave him a birthday voucher for some carving days with Zoe
Woodcarving a house signboard during a woodcarving course
Adam is carving a signboard for his house
Ammonite fossil carved during woodcarving course in Devon by woodcarving course student
Ammonite fossil carved in Oak
Polishing a finished carving of bulldog with wax polish
Josh is finishing his carving of his bulldog, 'Honey' with wax polish

How to Book your Woodcarving Tuition

Choose from the tuition dates suggested, or if none is suitable, suggest an alternative time you would  like to come for tuition, then contact Zoe  to discuss arrangements, including  your accommodation if required.

Please confirm your dates and accommodation arrangements in writing/email within a week of booking, and post a non-refundable cheque or make a Bank Transfer deposit payment of £82 (£85 in 2020) per person, payable to Zoe Gertner. On receipt you will be sent confirmation of your booking with further information about your tuition; the balance/s will be payable when you are here.