Create your very own carvings on our new courses.

Sign up for a fun and relaxed one or two-day course to learn the basics of this ancient craft from award-winning local woodcarver William Barsley.

These courses are aimed at complete beginners - you really don’t need to have any experience of woodcarving at all. They are also suitable if you’ve dabbled in carving before - we can focus on building on your existing skills. The courses are carefully structured to build your confidence throughout the duration so that you will leave feeling you can progress your carving at home.

One-to-one or small group options available. Choose between a one or two-day course.

The courses are run at William’s workshop in the heart of Dartington in Devon, with the famous Dartington Hall Estate and Cider Press just a 10 minute walk away. The beautiful town of Totnes is only a 5-minute drive making it the perfect location for creativity.

What you will learn

  • How to sharpen and use carving chisels most effectively
  • How to draw and transfer your design onto wood
  • Which type of wood to carve when and why
  • Carving techniques to bring your work to life, with the focus on shallow relief carving, which enables you to decorate any surface
  • Tips to reduce mistakes
  • Different ways to protect and seal your carvings

You will leave the course understanding the basics of woodcarving and knowing how to further develop these skills safely and effectively in your own time. You will also, of course, take home the piece you will have made during the day to proudly show your friends and family.

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  • 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.
    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.
    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


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