THE FINEST QUALITY

ENGLISH WOODCARVING


Quality work by passionate carvers that will last for generations.

Specialising in bespoke carving, William Barsley undertakes a wide variety of projects, from heraldry, gilding and one-off sculptures to the restoration of antiques or listed properties. Carving courses are also now available for groups or individuals to learn the craft for themselves.

We pride ourselves in the quality of our work and use the finest materials and skills to capture the essence of this traditional craft in your bespoke piece. With a strong emphasis on customer service, we help take your ideas from concept to reality. Situated in the beautiful countryside of South Devon in the UK, we work on projects and with clients across the world.

BEGINNER WOODCARVING COURSES

Learn the fundamentals of woodcarving on a beginner's woodcarving course taught by William in Dartington - a fun and relaxed way to learn with no prior experience needed. Courses range in length from 2 hours to 2 days and you can choose from a range of products to make and take home with you. Gift vouchers are now available so you can gift the joy of woodcarving to a loved one.

William Barsley
5.0
Based on 18 reviews
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Sarah MorrishSarah Morrish
12:12 04 Oct 22
My husband and I requested a day's tuition with William and we were very impressed with the format of the teaching session. Each technique and tool was explained clearly and enough time given to practice specific carving techniques. The afternoon was then given to us working on our own projects where the high quality tuition continued. We followed this up with a one day workshop to practice techniques further. We would highly recommend attending one of William's workshops if you are interested in learning more about wood carving.
John GillilandJohn Gilliland
17:13 17 Sep 22
Outstanding great course, Will is without doubt a hugely talented tutor, enjoyed every minute of my day with him and got answers to even my most mundane or esoteric questions, without doubt Will can walk the walk and talk the talk enabling both myself and others on the course to benefit from his wide range of knowledge and experience. I will certainly be back to build on the new skills already picked up
Kareen HansardKareen Hansard
00:21 25 Apr 22
William Barsley was recommended to us by the College Of Arms and we cannot fault his craftsmanship or his professionalism. He kept us informed the whole time on progress right up to the tracking and delivery of our family crest. We could not be more happier with our finished product. His skills are paramount. He is a very clever man.
Fran WilliamsFran Williams
17:09 28 Feb 22
I was pleased to find Wills one day carving course. Will was friendly and accommodating from the start and I found the course to be pitched at a suitable level. I especially valued the opportunity to be in Wills workshop surrounded by his magnificent work. I learned about different techniques, timbers and tools, and then had the opportunity to use his chisels and gouges on some practice pieces . Will was easy going and happy to share stories about his work, answer questions and pass on tips. Just what I was looking for. Thanks
Peter LanyonPeter Lanyon
20:37 17 Feb 22
I attended this course with my apprentice, to refresh my letter-carving skills. We both came away with a very good knowledge of carving many different lettering styles. Will is a gifted craftsman and talented and patient teacher, who tailored the workshop suit our needs and skills level. I was very impressed with the research and prep he had done prior to the day. All tools were extremely sharp, and the materials provided were excellent. The workshop is very well situated on the outskirts of Totnes, with great lunch facilities on the doorstep. I would highly recommend Will's courses.
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HAND-CARVED WESTMINSTER HALL ANGELS


Carved by hand from the finest English Oak, these exquisite sculptures are unique scale replicas of one of the 26 angels that decorate the medieval hammerbeam roof of Westminster Hall – the oldest part of the Palace of Westminster.

OUR STORY


Following his passion, William Barsley let go of his office job in 2013 after finding himself yearning for something more creative. Five years later, after retraining as a historic woodcarver and gilder at the renowned City and Guild of London Art School, William was honoured to be asked to work on the restoration of medieval carvings at the Houses of Parliament. He has since undertaken a wide range of projects with a focus on bespoke carving commissions. He is also passionate about teaching others in order to help preserve this traditional craft. It's safe to say that he's never looked back!

 
  • Scarlet Hodge
    Will was extremely welcoming upon arrival and held a very thorough yet fun course. Techniques and equipment explained well and great attention to detail regarding covid regulations. We enjoyed every minute and time flew by! And what an amazing location!
    Scarlet Hodge
    One day beginner woodcarving one-to-one
  • Adam
    Having no previous woodcarving experience, i didn't know what to expect and was a little nervous about the course. I shouldn't have been though. Will is an excellent teacher and very patient.  We started by learning the basics such as the tools and how to sharpen the chisels (I'd never even sharpened a knife before!) before trying out some woodcarving techniques. Before long, I'd gained enough confidence to start on my own piece and am delighted with the final result. Considering I had zero experience, it's not that bad at all 😊 Thank you Will for a great, fun experience.
    Adam
    Two day woodcarving for beginners
  • Becky
    I completed a woodcarving course with Will and was blown away by his carving skills, his knowledge about the craft and his ability to teach a complete novice how to use the tools. He was incredibly patient throughout the day, and guided me to produce a letter carving I was thrilled with. I thoroughly recommend Will to anyone out there with little, or no knowledge of woodcarving, that wants to give it a go. Thank you Will. I shall definitely be back for another day carving with you soon.
    Becky
    One day woodcarving for beginners
  • Danny Danjuma
    One of the most amazing courses I’ve taken, from the friendly and focused attention of the facilitator to the free yet safe feeling in the opportunity to create, I’ll definitely be looking to take up wood carving after this. Can’t recommend this enough!
    Danny Danjuma
    One day woodcarving for beginners
  • Sophie Louise Hull
    William recently completed some beautiful carving for us, the quality of the work was exceptional and his communication throughout the project was fab!
    Sophie Louise Hull
  • Alison and Anthony
    ‘We commissioned William Barsley to carve three oak newel post finial caps for our very ancient staircase.  They listened very carefully to our requirements and produced drawings for our approval.  Each drawing was faithfully translated into a beautiful carving together with the initials and dates of the wedding. William Barsley’s team is highly recommended for careful interpretation of the client’s requirement which is followed up with beautiful craftsmanship.’   
    Alison and Anthony
  • Right Said Lead (Roofing Company)
    ‘William responded within hours and within a couple of days had sketched up the exact idea I had. From sketch to wax model to oak to my house, all in just over a week. I used it to give some creative flare on a custom made lead extractor vent. My customer was over the moon. I'm looking forward to working with William again in the near future.’  
    Right Said Lead (Roofing Company)
  • Marie-Claire Guttery
    ‘William designed and created a stunning bespoke carving as a present for our 10th anniversary celebration. This personalized wooden gift was exactly what we were looking for. It was unique, playful and expertly carved, showcasing William’s quality craftsmanship. We will certainly be using his services again in the future’   
    Marie-Claire Guttery
  • Karen Langston
    ‘I commissioned Will to design and carve a sign to commemorate the publication of my novel, Bluemantle. Working from a limited brief, Will created a striking and imaginative design which captures perfectly the spirit of the novel. The finished piece is a wonderful work of amazing craftsmanship and huge talent. We are absolutely thrilled with it.’
    Karen Langston
  • Simon Calderwood
    We entrusted Will with our 400 year old family Coat of Arms which had seen better days. Will’s expert and detailed craftsmanship and attention to detail to recreate the missing parts were incredible.
    Simon Calderwood
  • Windsor Herald
    William has so far carved two heraldic crests for me and both are exquisite, they pay careful attention to the desires of the client before the carving begins.
    Windsor Herald
    The Royal College of Arms
  • Nick Pladstow
    William produced a stunning piece of work, which all who see comment on.
    Nick Pladstow
    Chartered Institute of Insurance
  • Damon de László
    Exquisite carving and painted to perfection.
    Damon de László
    Grandson of Philip de László - 19th century Hungarian Painter