“The first thing to say is that I got everything out of the course I hoped and expected to. I had already watched all the DVDs and enjoyed them so I was pretty sure what the course would involve. This certainly was what I experienced and so, in this limited sense, it was a fulfilment of my expectation. But there was a lot more besides.
I was quite apprehensive beforehand since I had not attempted any work as exact as this before and to work under the close supervision of a legend in exactitude was a bit daunting. I was not sure whether I would be able to achieve the fabled ‘one thou full width and length shaving’. While I am sure one could follow the DVD instructions and achieve good results, the gentle personal guidance on the spot was invaluable. This gave me confidence and I came away with my pot of shavings as predicted. One has to be rather selective in whom one tells that one has spent a week in the depths of North Devon in order to come away with some wood shavings. I am glad John was there too since I can counter the odd looks by saying that there was someone willing to come from the other side of the world to do so. The production of such shavings is indeed quietly rather blissful.
There was more on general technique than I expected shooting and chisel work which was all to the good. I need to review and type up my notes supplemented by reference to your books – to consolidate what I have learned. The logic and especially the counter-intuitive stuff (using a curved blade for accurate work etc) was compelling.
The whole package of the course, B&B with Merlyn next door and the feeling of being albeit temporarily part of the community was really good.
Thank you again for a really memorable, productive and enjoyable week. I am coming back if I may.”

Steven Cruikshank
Student