Fine Furniture Making and Woodcarving
Tools supplied or bring your own
Small friendly classes (maximum 6)
Carve, turn, build, or burn - choose your own style
No experience is necessary
25 Stephens Road
South Brisbane, Queensland
Tuesday 6pm – 9pm
Wednesday 9am – 12pm
Wednesday 1pm – 4pm
Wednesday 6pm – 9pm
Thursday 1pm – 4pm
Thursday 6pm – 9pm
The fee is $90 per class,
payable per calendar
month in advance.
As a student, you are free to choose your level of engagement. The classes might be your ‘Wednesday afternoon activity’, or they might be the highlight of your week, an all-consuming passion. Either way, my primary concern is that you enjoy your time with me, and that you receive from me the knowledge and the skills that you require.
People of all ages come to my woodworking classes for many different reasons. I vividly remember a doctor telling me what a relief it was to be able to make a mistake and not have someone die because of it. That certainly put it into a novel perspective.
Others want to make real objects that they can see, feel, and use, especially if they spend their working hours in cyberspace. Some simply want to learn how to make quality objects or furniture for use at home. A brave few dream of one day being able change careers. My fellow baby boomers, on the other hand, are looking for useful and fulfilling ways to spend their retirement years.
No matter what the reason is, all can hope to find some small corner of the enormous woodworking world to satisfy their needs. My partner, who is a psychiatrist (thank you, God) says that there is a branch of woodwork to suit any personality, and she is right. You can work large or small, or anywhere in between. You can carve, turn, build, or burn. You can work with green wood, or dry. You can make anything from musical instruments to boats. You can build a business, or work splendidly alone. You can make it a wonderful hobby, or a full-time career.
There is so much to know and learn that you will never, ever, come to the end of it.
Whichever part you choose, it will mean having a physical interaction with the world, which requires solving physical problems. For some this is familiar and straightforward, but for most, it requires a huge change, from a lifetime of working only with their head to having to use their hands as well. It means learning to think mechanically and practically, and learning to use and master tools and machines.
Quite a few of these people find satisfactions beyond their wildest imaginings, and benefits that extend way beyond woodworking.
For a very fortunate few, it is not too much of an exaggeration to say that they fall in love, just as I did many years ago.
Learning woodwork is similar to learning to speak a language, or play a musical instrument. It usually does not happen quickly, or easily. Your hands are not going to immediately and perfectly obey the instructions of your mind. Hopefully, though, the pleasure you get from handling the tools, working with wood, and knowing that you are on the way to some level of competence, is enough to sustain you through the basic learning process.
No experience is necessary, and you will know very quickly whether you want to continue or not. I am happy to refund any unused money if you wish to leave. Once you are in a class, you can continue for as long as you want.
I supply the tools and, in the beginning, the materials. I do encourage you to eventually build up your own tool kit, but it is not necessary, especially if you do not have anywhere at home to use them. Bringing your own tools to class can have a double benefit, however. Not only do you learn how to get them into full working condition and how to keep them that way, I believe you will also find that your familiarity with them will make it easier and more likely for you to use them at home.
There is a strong emphasis in the classes on mastering the use of the basic hand tools. For me, this is where the deepest satisfactions lie, but you also will learn to use the basic woodworking machines and hand power tools when they are required. Your first challenge will be to familiarise yourself with the basic tools as you work through some initial projects that I set. After that you are free to discuss with me any project you would like to make.
The classes cost $80 each, and run for 3 hours. Payment is per calendar month, and is paid at the beginning of each month. Please note that when you join a class, you put your name on one of the few spaces available in that class, and while your name is on it I cannot give it to anyone else, so you must pay for it. Whether you attend or not is up to you.
However, if you do need to miss a class (and you probably will, sooner or later), I will do all I can to enable you to make it up by coming twice in a week, by attending another class, until you make up what you have missed. I certainly do not want you to pay for something you do not receive, but the system has to work for me, as well as for you.
Although the classes are small, with a maximum of six students, there is a social aspect to attending classes as well. For most of us, working alone is enjoyable in small doses, but we need to spend at least some time sharing our interest with like minded people. This also has a double benefit, because in addition to the way it enhances the pleasure you gain from woodworking, it also enhances your learning as well, as you become an interested observer of the progress of your classmates with their projects, which often require skills and knowledge you have not yet acquired.
In my experience, the woodwork community worldwide is broad and generous. One result of this is the enormous amount of material available, both online and off, that we can access to assist our learning. However, it does help to have a basic understanding of the craft so that we are able to search out the specific information we require, and to sort the good material from the rest.