“A belated thank you for a very useful and interesting course back in July. I had only done the tool tuning course before, the dovetailing course was an opportunity for comparison and a useful revision and measure of its effectiveness. Like all the people on this year’s course we all agreed that the tool tuning training had considerably improved everyones expertise and understanding. We all experienced daily revelations as to the reasons why things work and others don’t in woodworking, with tools being the centre point of this. In my past life, I went though a period as a technical professional trainer trying to convey difficult technical concepts and skills to a wide range of student ability. I was intrigued how you would approach training in an comparably difficult area. The concepts that you are presenting to trainees are often extremely novel and are aimed at working towards producing exhibition standard objects. From that point of view you are not providing half measures which from my point of view was one of the sole reasons for joining the course. Too much of modern life is focussed on the mediocre, rather than perfection, it makes a refreshing change to spend a week in retreat refreshing these principles. It was interesting to see the ways that you coped with the range of student abilities within the group and still managed to enable them to achieve the principal course objectives. This is even more remarkable given to the high level of performance that you are aiming for. All I can say is keep doing what you are doing! On a practical level, the course has altered my perception of what is important in working with wood or other materials. I am approaching my work in a more careful and methodical manner, checking and thinking more about the next procedure rather than just rushing in as I have been prone to do”

Francis Mason