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Course: hurdle-making 23-24 March 2019

posted on November 2, 2018

Learn and practise how to split hazel and make hurdles with coppice worker and craftsman Simon Farndon during this two-day course at the Sylva Wood Centre.

Students will be taught hazel splitting and how to make hurdles on the Saturday and then will practise making hurdles on the Sunday.

Hazel hurdles are a very popular and attractive alternative to garden panels or garden screens and wind breaks. Split (cleft) and round hazel rods are woven around hazel uprights (zales). There are slight variations on design between different regions, but students will learn to make the most robust hurdles using good quality graded split hazel, which is twisted around end posts to produce a very strong and robust hurdle.

The hurdles that students make will be used in the Anglo-Saxon reconstruction of the House of Wessex, to be built over the summer of 2019. If they wish, students on this course will be welcome to volunteer to help with this by making more hurdles later in the year, or by helping fix hurdels to the wall annd roof structure of the building.

By taking part, students will not only help in this exciting volunteer project, but leave with the requisite skills to make their own hurdles at home.

Cost £200. Lunch provided. Maximum of 8 places.

 


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Course: Make a Canoe Paddle April 2019

posted on October 31, 2018

Make a canoe paddle

Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th April 2019

9.00am to 5.00pm

During this two-day course with award-winning boat builder Colin Henwood, you will learn how to shape a single canoe paddle from Ash using hand tools.

“I can’t think of anything that could have improved a perfect couple of days – I will signing up for another one soon.”
Student on Paddle making course, January 2018.

Colin was fantastic; his attention to detail and support ensured we all left with a paddle I think even he was happy with!
Student on Paddle making course, January 2018.

Make your own canoe paddle at the Wood Centre

Make your own canoe paddle at the Wood Centre

  • Working with ash – our superior native hardwood.
  • Using traditional skills and tools you will produce a complex shape with hand and eye.
  • Learn how to finish your smooth and elegant design.
  • Take home a unique and usable canoe paddle ready for a varnish or an oil finish.
  • Tools and materials included (if you wish to bring your own tools please discuss this with the tutor).

Cost: £225 per person (materials included)

Venue: Our new purpose-built Education Barn at the Sylva Wood Centre, Oxfordshire, OX14 4QT

Tutor: Colin Henwood

book-now

Book your place

 


About the tutor

Colin Henwood founded his boatyard, Henwood and Dean Boatbuilders, in 1982 specialising in restoring and building wooden Thames launches. The boatyard received many awards in the UK and abroad, and in 2014 Colin was awarded Maker of the Year by the Heritage Crafts Association. In October 2016 Colin handed the boatyard over to two of his team who are successfully continuing the tradition he began 35 years ago. Not one to retire, Colin has established a workshop at the Sylva Wood Centre where he is currently re-building a 1920 Thames motor canoe.

Colin Henwood with students making a canoe paddle at the Sylva Wood Centre

Colin Henwood with students making a canoe paddle at the Sylva Wood Centre

Paddle course_Jun2018

Paddle course at the Sylva Wood Centre, Jun2018


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Course: Make a Canoe Paddle February 2019

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Make a canoe paddle

Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd February 2019

9.00am to 5.00pm

During this two-day course with award-winning boat builder Colin Henwood, you will learn how to shape a single canoe paddle from Ash using hand tools.

“I can’t think of anything that could have improved a perfect couple of days – I will signing up for another one soon.”
Student on Paddle making course, January 2018.

Colin was fantastic; his attention to detail and support ensured we all left with a paddle I think even he was happy with!
Student on Paddle making course, January 2018.

Make your own canoe paddle at the Wood Centre

Make your own canoe paddle at the Wood Centre

  • Working with ash – our superior native hardwood.
  • Using traditional skills and tools you will produce a complex shape with hand and eye.
  • Learn how to finish your smooth and elegant design.
  • Take home a unique and usable canoe paddle ready for a varnish or an oil finish.
  • Tools and materials included (if you wish to bring your own tools please discuss this with the tutor).

Cost: £225 per person (materials included)

Venue: Our new purpose-built Education Barn at the Sylva Wood Centre, Oxfordshire, OX14 4QT

Tutor: Colin Henwood

book-now

Book your place

 


About the tutor

Colin Henwood founded his boatyard, Henwood and Dean Boatbuilders, in 1982 specialising in restoring and building wooden Thames launches. The boatyard received many awards in the UK and abroad, and in 2014 Colin was awarded Maker of the Year by the Heritage Crafts Association. In October 2016 Colin handed the boatyard over to two of his team who are successfully continuing the tradition he began 35 years ago. Not one to retire, Colin has established a workshop at the Sylva Wood Centre where he is currently re-building a 1920 Thames motor canoe.

Colin Henwood with students making a canoe paddle at the Sylva Wood Centre

Colin Henwood with students making a canoe paddle at the Sylva Wood Centre

Paddle course_Jun2018

Paddle course at the Sylva Wood Centre, Jun2018


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Course: Saxon Building Woodwork, or ‘Treewrighting’

posted on October 10, 2018

Saxon Building Woodwork, or ‘Treewrighting’

10am-4pm, Saturday 23rd March 2019

Led by Damian Goodburn BA PhD, a leading archaeological woodwork specialist, this workshop will be held in our new purpose-built Education Barn at the Sylva Wood Centre.

Saxon broad axe work

Saxon broad axe work. Damian Goodburn demonstrating.

Learn about Anglo-Saxon building woodwork, based mainly on the study of surviving wooden remains, including a review of relatively new evidence, with live demonstrations of tools and techniques, and opportunities to watch treewrighting in action.

Morning activities will include illustrated talks covering the themes below, starting with evidence for how woodland resources were managed. Samples of books and publications will be discussed, including many rare items.

  1. The variation in woodland materials from ‘wildwood’ to intensive coppiced woodland.
  2. An overview of the range of waterlogged building woodwork remains found in Saxon and Saxo-Norman period England c.500-1180 AD when ‘carpentry’ and formal ‘timber-framing’ arrived from France.
  3. Evidence for basic techniques carried out without saws, including felling, bucking, radial, tangential cleaving, hewing various shaped timbers, styles of wattlework.
  4. Evidence for the range of joints and fastenings used, taps and locks, tusk tenons, laft joints, tongue and groove, scarfs, treenails and rove nails.
  5. Tool marks and tool kits, narrow axes, broad axes, ‘groping irons’.
  6. Evidence for ‘built-in’ furniture and fittings such as beds, benches, hearths, storage bins, and coops, doors and windows.
  7. Relevant ethnographic evidence from later timber buildings in the ‘Homelands’ areas on the east side of the North Sea, less influenced by French-style timber-framed carpentry, and how that can be used to extend archaeological evidence from England.

Afternoon activity will involve handling real samples of Saxon woodwork, and high-quality replica tools and fastenings.

Throughout the day demonstrations will be used to illustrate some basic techniques essential to treewrighting, including cleaving a small straight green log (oak or ash c. 150-200mm diam by 1.8-2m long) using wooden wedges, hewing with a narrow-bladed and broad-bladed ‘T’ axe, simple Saxon joint cutting, and willow treenail (wythenails) making.

While the course is underway, delegates will be able to to witness a range of related treewrighting activities nearby, thanks to members of the Carpenters’ Fellowship working on the frame of the House of Wessex.

Cost £75.00. Lunch provided. 20 places maximum. Safety boots essential.

book-now

Book your place


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Anglo-Saxon Treewrighting course (Day 3) 14Oct2018

posted on August 20, 2018

14th October 2018 (Day 3)

As part of the exciting House of Wessex project we are running three consecutive one-day treewrighting courses with tutors from the Carpenters’ Fellowship. Places are available for one, two, or three days. During the courses, samples will be made of the key building components for a major historical reconstruction taking place in 2019.

House of Wessex timber frame

House of Wessex timber frame

Learning will include a selection of the following:

  • Timber conversion – cleaving and hewing timbers into shape for posts and plates (no saws were used in this period)
  • Foundations – earthfast anchoring of the posts
  • Axe carpentry – The shaping of stubby tusk tenons and through-mortises, grooving boards, fashioning halvings and lap joints
  • Fixings – Shaping the characteristic Saxon “treenails”, a peg with an enlarged head, often wedged internally
  • Walls and roof – creating wattle panels and hurdles, for the walls and the roof underthatch respectively

Full training will be provided (no prior experience necessary). Although you will be working undercover, the course will be ‘outdoors’, so you will need to wear appropriate clothing. Drinks and food will be provided. Overnight camping (bring your own tent) is available on the site. More details will follow your booking.

Carpenters Fellowship

You may book for one or more days, up to a maximum of all three days. Please book separately for each day that you want to attend.

book-now

Read more and Book your place for Day 3 (14 October)

Category: Courses, House of Wessex
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Anglo-Saxon Treewrighting course (Day 2) 13Oct2018

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13th October 2018 (Day 2)

As part of the exciting House of Wessex project we are running three consecutive one-day treewrighting courses with tutors from the Carpenters’ Fellowship. Places are available for one, two, or three days. During the courses, samples will be made of the key building components for a major historical reconstruction taking place in 2019.

House of Wessex timber frame

House of Wessex timber frame

Learning will include a selection of the following:

  • Timber conversion – cleaving and hewing timbers into shape for posts and plates (no saws were used in this period)
  • Foundations – earthfast anchoring of the posts
  • Axe carpentry – The shaping of stubby tusk tenons and through-mortises, grooving boards, fashioning halvings and lap joints
  • Fixings – Shaping the characteristic Saxon “treenails”, a peg with an enlarged head, often wedged internally
  • Walls and roof – creating wattle panels and hurdles, for the walls and the roof underthatch respectively

Full training will be provided (no prior experience necessary). Although you will be working undercover, the course will be ‘outdoors’, so you will need to wear appropriate clothing. Drinks and food will be provided. Overnight camping (bring your own tent) is available on the site. More details will follow your booking.

Carpenters Fellowship

You may book for one or more days, up to a maximum of all three days. Please book separately for each day that you want to attend.

book-now

Read more and Book your place for Day 2 (13 October)

Category: Courses, House of Wessex
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Anglo-Saxon Treewrighting course (Day 1) 12Oct2018

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12th October 2018 (Day 1)

As part of the exciting House of Wessex project we are running three consecutive one-day treewrighting courses with tutors from the Carpenters’ Fellowship. Places are available for one, two, or three days. During the courses, samples will be made of the key building components for a major historical reconstruction taking place in 2019.

House of Wessex timber frame

House of Wessex timber frame

Learning will include a selection of the following:

  • Timber conversion – cleaving and hewing timbers into shape for posts and plates (no saws were used in this period)
  • Foundations – earthfast anchoring of the posts
  • Axe carpentry – The shaping of stubby tusk tenons and through-mortises, grooving boards, fashioning halvings and lap joints
  • Fixings – Shaping the characteristic Saxon “treenails”, a peg with an enlarged head, often wedged internally
  • Walls and roof – creating wattle panels and hurdles, for the walls and the roof underthatch respectively

Full training will be provided (no prior experience necessary). Although you will be working undercover, the course will be ‘outdoors’, so you will need to wear appropriate clothing. Drinks and food will be provided. Overnight camping (bring your own tent) is available on the site. More details will follow your booking.

Carpenters Fellowship

You may book for one or more days, up to a maximum of all three days. Please book separately for each day that you want to attend.

book-now

Read more and Book your place for Day 1 (12 October)

Category: Courses, House of Wessex
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Make a canoe paddle course 8th June 2018

posted on June 1, 2018

Make a canoe paddle

8th and 9th June 2018

9.00am to 5.00pm

During this two-day course with award-winning boat builder Colin Henwood, you will learn how to shape a single canoe paddle from Ash using hand tools.

“I can’t think of anything that could have improved a perfect couple of days – I will signing up for another one soon.”
Student on Paddle making course, January 2018.

Colin was fantastic; his attention to detail and support ensured we all left with a paddle I think even he was happy with!
Student on Paddle making course, January 2018.

Make your own canoe paddle at the Wood Centre

Make your own canoe paddle at the Wood Centre

  • Working with ash – our superior native hardwood.
  • Using traditional skills and tools you will produce a complex shape with hand and eye.
  • Learn how to finish your smooth and elegant design.
  • Take home a unique and usable canoe paddle ready for a varnish or an oil finish.
  • Tools and materials included (if you wish to bring your own tools please discuss this with the tutor).

Cost: £225 per person (materials included)

Venue: Sylva Wood Centre, Oxfordshire, OX14 4QT

Tutor: Colin Henwood

book-now

Book your place

 


About the tutor

Colin Henwood founded his boatyard, Henwood and Dean Boatbuilders, in 1982 specialising in restoring and building wooden Thames launches. The boatyard received many awards in the UK and abroad, and in 2014 Colin was awarded Maker of the Year by the Heritage Crafts Association. In October 2016 Colin handed the boatyard over to two of his team who are successfully continuing the tradition he began 35 years ago. Not one to retire, Colin has established a workshop at the Sylva Wood Centre where he is currently re-building a 1920 Thames motor canoe.

Colin Henwood with students making a canoe paddle at the Sylva Wood Centre

Colin Henwood with students making a canoe paddle at the Sylva Wood Centre

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Greenwood DIY for women 5May2018

posted on March 2, 2018

Greenwood DIY for women

5th May 2018

9.00am to 5.00pm

Come and learn to make some shelves to your design, shape and size, which you could use for books, shoes, clothes, tools or much more besides in the company of women.

Greenwood DIY for women

Greenwood DIY for women

During the day, you will learn to use common hand tools such as drills, knives and saws to transform ash poles and larch boards into some shelves. You will learn the basic principles of green woodworking and leave with the skills to tackle more green woodwork projects at home.

The course is aimed at those who self-identify as a woman.

Suitable for beginners / no woodworking experience necessary!

Cost: £100 per person (materials included)

Venue: Sylva Wood Centre, Oxfordshire, OX14 4QT

Tutors: Amy Cox and Ffion Jones

 

book-now

Booking now closed

 


About the tutors

Amy and FFion crossed paths at the Cherry Wood project, where they did an apprenticeship in green woodworking and woodland management.

Amy now works as a coppice worker and crafter based in Gloucestershire. Her coppice products are sourced from Westonbirt arboretum, where she is an active member of the coppice restoration project. She also loves making baskets. www.amyrosecrafts.org.uk

Ffion is a green woodworker and builder based in the bristol area. She uses traditional hand tools and techniques to create beautiful and functional items.She cuts her own materials or uses local sawmills supplying British timber, and likes turning bowls.


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Introduction to Woodcarving course

posted on February 16, 2018

Introduction to Woodcarving course

Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd June 2018

 

A two-day workshop for woodcarving newcomers and those with some experience who would like to develop their skills.

Vine carving in progress Simon Clements

Vine carving in progress, Simon Clements

The ‘Fruit of the Vine’ has long been a favourite motif for carvers both in stone and in wood. Using stencils students will learn how to mark out and carve a simplified design of vine leaves and grapes in lime wood.

Students will learn:

  • How to transfer a drawn design to a block of wood
  • How to mount their work for carving
  • How to clamp and hold the work piece securely
  • How to use the appropriate chisel or gouge for each stage of the carving
  • How to use a carver’s mallet
  • Students will learn to overcut the surface and background, and how to undercut the finished design.

Cost: £225 per person (all materials and tools provided). Please bring your own packed lunch.

Venue: Sylva Wood Centre, Oxfordshire, OX14 4QT

Tutor: Simon Clements, Wood carver

book-now

Book your place

 


About the tutor

Sculptor Simon Clements standing next to the Charter Pole at the Sylva Wood Centre

Simon Clements

Simon Clements is came to woodcarving after a career which included teaching art, sculpture and pottery, working as a mast spar and oar maker for an Oxfordshire company and restoring heritage carving.

He now works from his workshop at the Sylva Wood Centre, carving sculptural pieces for architects, interior designers, private clients, and for exhibitions. Sculptural work ranges from table-top sculpture to kinetic garden pieces. He is currently half-way through 11 very large commemorative carved poles for the Woodland Trust as part of the Tree Charter.

www.simonclements.info


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