Wood, carving and turning

Woodturning – bowls and closed forms with Mark Hancock

Ref: SLW09483


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2 places available

About this course

Learn the skills necessary for turning bowls and closed forms. Unleash your imagination as you create a unique vessel. Suitable for those new to turning and those looking to refine their skills.

Course Description

Learn all the skills necessary for turning bowls from conversion of a log to finished piece and unleash your imagination to create a vessel of your choice under the guidance of the tutor. This course will benefit those new to turning, as well as those that need help refining their skills.

Over the course the tutor covers the safe use of tools and working practices, discussion on conversion of a log to a finished piece, tool selection and sharpening, an understanding of the timber you are working with, grain orientation on the lathe, what leads to good and bad design, and finishing techniques, in this open-minded approach to woodturning.

Hand-outs and reference sources are provided during the course.

The tutor's approach to teaching is to be as flexible as possible, and he requests you to email him in advance of the course with details of any woodturning experience you have to date, so that he can understand each student's needs and expectations, and tailor the course accordingly.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials

What students need to bring

  • Please email the tutor two weeks in advance of the course with details of your woodturning experience to date and what you would like to achieve on the course, email this via the bookingsoffice@westdean.ac.uk.
  • Overall, boiler suit or smock to protect your clothes against wood dust and shavings. They should be close fitting around the neck.
  • Comfortable sturdy covered footwear is essential (not sandals)
  • Any seasoned or unseasoned English hardwoods (e.g. sycamore, beech, ash) around 150-250mm in diameter and 250-300mm long or bowl blanks: at least 100mm thick, 150-250mm in diameter - if you wish to bring your own.
  • Your favourite finish e.g. oil, wax etc.
  • Woodturning tools are provided at the College for students to use, however you may wish to bring any you own - especially any bowl gouges, hollowing tools, shear scrapers. The use of a selection of hollowing tools will be made available by the tutor.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A selection of timber blanks (cost around £8.50 each)
  • Finishing oil
  • 80, 100, 150, 180, 240 grit, cloth backed abrasive
  • Available from tutor:
  • On this course the tutor will have available timber, abrasives and finishes including oils, lacquers and waxes. The cost will £15. This charge should be paid to the tutor before the end of the course, by cash or cheque.

"Excellent tuition alongside equipment made available not only from the college but also from the tutor to ensure each person attending the course could learn various methods and tools in woodturning.

Such a friendly and relaxed atmosphere."

Julia, 2019


Mark Hancock

Mark Hancock, a woodturner for over 26 years, trained full time with a professional turner in 1989. He has a teaching certificate (PTLLS) along with 15 years of teaching courses in his own workshop, the USA and Europe. Mark's work can be seen in UK galleries and collections worldwide.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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