What participants said

Thank you for my chair-making experience. I enjoyed everything about it and have such a beautiful chair to admire and sit upon.   Irene

Thanks Peter, a great course. I learnt a lot, and not only about chairs!     'Follow the grain.’     John

Sitting at home in my comfy new spindle-back chair, I find myself astonished to have come so far in only five days. To have made something this sound and marvellous with little to no prior knowledge has been a satisfying experience at every level. I feel that Peter's course has initiated us into an old and dignified tradition which we are part of now. That feeling is priceless.       Hester

Embarking on the course was an adventure from the start since I had never worked with wood before. It was soon obvious that the task was as huge as my lack of experience, and that it would be wise to let myself be carried along - by the process, the instructions, and the material itself. Every component part had to be shaved to size from a freshly cleaved ash log. It felt a bit like a sculptor facing a raw block of marble. The statement that it would be 'like butter' was met with some doubt, but then we did discover the wonderful way of working WITH the wood. The meaning of 'going with the grain' was brought home constantly, tangibly. Physically it was hard work, with sore muscles and the occasional blister and splinter. But the repetitive actions and intense focus can soon lead into a meditative state, where you find 'all of yourself' being present, surrendering to the needs of the chair-to-be. Here also going with the grain, metaphorically, and a taste of what 'doing without doing' might be. Peter accompanies through the process with his skills, as well as caring and sensitive presence, quite aptly 'teaching without teaching'.       Evelyn