Chair-making Courses

Mike started running green wood courses in 1985, initially near Bristol, then in Devon, and since 1995, in Herefordshire: for 10 years at Clissett Wood and for 11 years at Brookhouse Wood. With each move, Mike has taken the opportunity to refine the content and format of the courses and to improve the facilities based to a large extent on feedback from students Over the years, Mike has found that of all the green woodworking projects he has offered, it is the making of a chair that has proved most popular and rewarding for course participants. Having reached retirement age, Mike has moved these chair-making courses from the woodland back to the workshop in his cottage garden. It is what he does best and he still loves doing it!


The fruits of a chair course

5-day Courses

The courses run for 5 days and are limited to four students. All necessary tools, equipment and green wood will be provided but you are welcome to bring your own. For those who have not been on a chair-making course before, you are advised to keep to one of the more straightforward chair making projects.


The schedule is as follows, although there is some flexibility within this format:

  • Courses run from 9am to 6pm each day with about an hour’s break at lunchtime during which Mike can take his 20-minute ‘siesta’.
  • The first 2 days are spent making the components for the chairs, using the processes of cleaving, shaving, tenoning and steam-bending.
  • With the aid of a tight schedule for drying the components, the following 2 days are spent assembling the chairs.
  • The last day is spent weaving the seat, usually with either Danish cord or paper rush, using weaving methods and patterns that have evolved on Mike’s courses over the years.


The cost of the chair-making ash plus seating materials are included in the course fee, as well as hot drinks and a light lunch.

Read about the first of these courses on the blog page


Make-along with Mike

As an alternative to the 5-day courses (described above), Mike also offers the opportunity for one or two people to work alongside him in production mode. This may be in one or more particular aspect of the chair-making process, such as cleaving/shaving, steam-bending, assembly or seat weaving. Other aspects of personal tuition can also be arranged to suit your particular needs. These sessions can be arranged at a mutually agreed time between May and October.


What will you take away from a green wood Chair-making course?

  • Your own unique wooden chair, created entirely from the log entirely through your own efforts;
  • The skills needed to continue on your own as a hobby or to develop further as a fulfilling occupation;
  • An awareness of just how much you can achieve without the need for sophisticated machinery;
  • Probably the most lasting memory will come from the experience of working with a group of like-minded people in a peaceful environment away from the pressures of everyday life.



Greenwood Cottage is located in the hamlet of Halmonds Frome, about a mile from the centre of the village of Bishops Frome in East Herefordshire, midway between the cities of Hereford and Worcester.

Course dates

Dates length Course title Maximum students Cost per student Availability @ 16th Aug
May to September various Make-along-with-Mike (outdoors) 4 £180/day for one

£90/day per extra person

May 16th – 20th 5 days Green wood chair-making 4 £480 done
June 6th – 10th 5 days Green wood chair-making 4 £480 done
June 20th – 24th 5 days Green wood chair-making 4 £480 done
July 4th – 8th 5 days Green wood chair-making 4 £480 done
July 18th – 22nd 5 days Green wood chair-making 4 £480 done
August 1st – 5th 5 days Green wood chair-making 4 £480 done
August 15th – 19th 5 days Green wood chair-making 4 £480 done
September 5th – 9th 5 days Green wood chair-making 4 £480 full
September 19th – 23rd 5 days Green wood chair-making 4 £480 full


Green wood and basic seating materials will be included in the price of the course but there may be a charge for any other materials that have to be bought in, such as unusual seating material for chairs or timber for making shaving horses.


A light lunch plus hot or cold drinks will be provided each day and included in the price.


There will be no on-site accommodation available at Greenwood Cottage but there are many alternatives in the area. We can notify you of some recommended options when you book a course place.

Course times

Each day will run from 9am to 6pm with an hour break for lunch.

For latest information on course availability:

e-mail or tel. 01531 640005 (8am to 8pm)


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