I love receiving feedback from my courses, furniture and gun box commissions – so here’s a small selection of some of the great comments I’ve had – which really makes it all worthwhile!
This intensive beginners course is superb and Ciaran is the best instructor I've ever come across. I really cannot rate the experience high enough.
Where to start ...... first Ciaran himself ... he is pleasant, friendly, attentive and so good at explaining and demonstrating techniques. The course has a maximum of six people on it and we each have our own bench and tool set. This is a perfect number to create a great atmosphere and allow Ciaran to spend time with each of us individually. You start with an intro to the basic woodworkers tool kit and learn how to sharpen blades. Then move on to sawing and planning and by the end of day one you're cutting a mortice and tenon joint.
On day two you start to make a display stand (similar to a light weight bar stool). Over the next three days Ciaran teaches you a large number of techniques which are used in its construction - measuring and marking out, squaring up, cutting, planning, chiselling, jointing, sanding, gluing, clamping, oiling and thoughout you learn how to handle all the tools correctly. It's so easy when someone with his great skills and communication shows you how. Our group arrived with varying degrees of experience ranging from none at all, through to long forgotten lessons at school to occasional home diy exponent. We all made an attractive stand of equal quality and amazed ourselves with what we'd achieved.
Throughout the course Ciaran made us regular cups of tea, supplied endless packets of all sorts of biscuits and took us to lunch every day at the White Lion. We all arrived at 8:30 and started straightaway. Most days we finished about 17:45 and the last day about 18:30 but time flew by and I was on such a roll I could have stayed all night. Ciaran stays with you every minute of every day. You are totally immersed in a world of woodworking - Ciaran has his own workshop next door to the class workshop and he shows you bespoke pieces he is working on and discusses wood selection, hardwood suppliers, how to buy wood for your own projects and where to buy tools and what to look out for.
I strongly recommend that before you set off for the course you search your home tool box (and any that the family may have) and take old tools along to show Ciaran. He is an enthusiast for old tools and emphasises that they are often much better quality than modern equivalents and urges you not to throw them away. He'll show you how to clean them up and sharpen them and during the odd quiet moment you can use the tools around you to sharpen blade and restore them.
Above all you'll come away with great confidence and enthusiasm and eager to tackle projects that you never dreamt of being able to tackle. I found it important to take notes throughout the course otherwise I'd never remember the steps and many tips that Ciaran provided.
Go for it - if you have the slightest interest in woodworking and would like to explore whether it could become a meaningful hobby, then book onto this course. You don't need to have done the one day beginners course. Fantastic experience, thank you Ciaran and thank you Cathy, Loz, Rich, Iggy, and Chris. 28.1.20
really great experience. Learning to work with wood is one of my bucket list skills and this woodworking course by Ciarán at Cheshire Woodworking launched me on my way.
The course was a great blend of theoretical and practical - Ciarán firstly introduces you to a topic, explains the details, answers questions, performs a demonstration and then sets you off to practice. He guides you step-by-step through everything you need to know, from tools to techniques, to wood types and joints, etc. Every question was answered! This all culminates in you building a piece of furniture.
I was a total novice but there were a couple of more experienced students in my class and they expressed that, like me, they were constantly learning. Ciarán managed the class so as to ensure that no one was left waiting or wanting - each individual progressed at their own pace.
The class was a mixture of men and women of various ages, all of whom were very friendly, fun and chatty – there was a real sense of comradery in the class.
Ciarán is a lovely guy, very friendly and welcoming. He developed an immediate rapport with all students. Most importantly, his skills as both a craftsman and teacher were equally impeccable. He has a few great Irish turns of phrase that add to the enjoyment of the course – keep an ear out!
The greatest testaments to the quality of the course are that:
a) every day the students arrived early and departed late because we were enjoying ourselves so much – the days fly by!!
b) I will be booking onto another course and I know that other students from my course are doing the same.
Cheers to Ciarán
I have just completed this course and cannot rate it highly enough. Ciaran is a lovely chap with a real passion for his craft. His gun boxes are outstanding examples of his ability. The course is very intensive and we produced a very nice tall table. I have done basic woodwork with power tools but now know the difference between this and real carpentry. The facilities and equipment provided are great and the lunches at The White Lion very sociable. I have already booked myself on the intermediate course and am going to upgrade my tool kit. Thanks again Ciaran.Rob Stephenson
“I've just finished the intensive four day beginners course with Ciarán and I have to say, it's the best course I've ever been on. I had very little woodwork experience before I started but now have the confidence to make my own piece of furniture using mortise and tenon joints. Ciarán is an excellent tutor, very patient and a fantastic host. He has an impressive range of teas and caters well for food allergies too. With just 5 people on the course, Ciarán was able to spend time with each of us individually to ensure we understood each task. I can't wait to get started on my own project now, as soon as I stock up on plasters. Then will hopefully be back soon to do the intermediate course.”Katherine Culshaw
“I have just completed the four day intensive beginners course with Ciarán and I could not recommend it enough. The understanding that Ciarán has for the materials and the passion he shows for his craft is both infectious and an absolute joy to be part of. If you're a complete beginner or have done some woodwork previously Ciarán's relaxed approach to the group ensures his time is given to everybody and you will come away with something to be really proud of. The intensive course is exactly what it says on the tin but you will have some great laughs and meet some really great like minded people.
A big thumbs up and a thank you to Ciarán for sharing his time and knowledge with our group and I have learned skills I will treasure. See you on the intermediate course.”
“An absolutely superb course!
Having just completed the four day intensive course I can highly recommend it. Ciarán is a great teacher and excellent craftsmen. His knowledge of woodwork is outstanding and he passes this on in a thoroughly enjoyable fashion. His patience, enthusiasm, great humour and plentiful supply or tea makes the days fly by (although his choice in music can sometimes leave a little to be desired). He encouraged us throughout the course, helped rectify any mistakes and was as proud of our work as we were. To top it all we not only came away with a beautiful piece of work but also the skills and knowledge to carry our own woodworking forward. Thank you Ciarán.”
Ciarán is an excellent teacher, a very talented man, and a lovely chap.
I did a 2 day beginners wood turning course with him and absolutely loved it. I learned so much in a short space of time and feel confident to start my own wood turning projects on my own lathe.
Excellent course. Ciaran led us through the various works needed in an easy to understand method and was always there to help you if you were having any problems. Friendly and sociable atmosphere. Above all it has given me confidence to go off to design and make my own items of furniture