On the 17th November, 4 A-level students of Product Design, and seven Year 11 GCSE students attended a one day intensive wood turning course sponsored by the Association of Wood Turners of Great Britain. The course was held in a large workshop in Portishead (near Bristol), which was donated to the AWGB by a former member and is now run as a charitable trust which provides a Youth Training and Development Programme to attract young enthusiasts into the art of woodturning. Once an interest has been established, the trust provides further training and apprenticeships, with the support of professional wood turners who give their time and expertise, and with financial assistance from the Worshipful Company of Wood Turners, which is the overseeing organisation for all wood turners in Great Britain, and is based in the City of London.
The course was run by the Educational co-ordinator of the Wood Turning Association of Great Britain assisted by six additional, professional wood turners, who each tutored 2 students. All of the students had a lathe to them- selves so there was no waiting around, and everyone could get the utmost from their experience throughout the whole day. The tutors were excellent teachers, very friendly, and enthused to see young people taking an interest in their craft. Students were taught how a lathe works and how to use different techniques and tools to shape wood, but most importantly we all learned the basics of a skill that can easily be developed into a hobby or even a profession.
If this opportunity comes around again, I would definitely be one to repeat it and would recommend that anyone who gets the opportunity should go for it. Such a satisfy- ing, rewarding, and enjoyable opportunity should not be missed.