“I engaged Mr Stokes to introduce me to the art of woodturning and it was a very successful experience. We started at the basic level with making a small bowl that I still treasure to this day. Carving out the shape and depth of the bowl is crucial in the early learning stage, then making sure it is smooth, and then applying a coat of varnish makes it look very vintage but at the same time very sturdy.
I would encourage anyone that is interested in woodturning to engage Mr. Stokes, his integrity is unimpeachable.”
Craig V, CT, USA
“I so truly enjoyed my time with Stephen in his amazing workshop. He is a first-class tutor, very patient and very safety-conscious. Have a go at turning, it's much more fun than knitting - even at 84.”
Shirley F, Jersey
“I turned up on my first day woodturning with Stephen as a complete novice. Up until then my woodworking skills had extended to sawing wood for shelves. By the end of our day I was holding a rather beautifully turned (if I do say so myself) greenwood bowl.
There is something quite miraculous about the way that the form emerges from the rough chunk of wood that sits there on the lathe. The small changes in angle of the various tools and how this is translated into a perfectly symmetrical curve is incredibly satisfying.
Stephen is an excellent teacher. He mixes the technical and theoretical with the artistry and history to make the learning take place almost by itself. And thankfully (in my case) he has incredible patience and humour.
I can't recommend Stephen or his woodturning experience highly enough.”
Simon Berkowitz, London
“Working with Stephen at Bodden Cross was a fantastic experience. Walking into the workshop was like walking into a sweet shop with the range of tools, both traditional and modern. With Stephen's guidance and tutorials I made an oak drop leaf occasional table. I had never used a lathe before and never had access to a band saw or table saw, but Stephen helped me through every stage of the process, turning the legs, biscuit jointing and making mortice and tenon joints. At each new stage Stephen gave excellent tuition, giving me the opportunity to practice new techniques and then guided me through the process when working with my table timber. I was immensely proud of the outcome and am extremely grateful to Stephen for his patience and skill at teaching.”
Jonathan Sawyer, Glastonbury
“Stephen is a skilled and knowledgeable craftsman, who produced some first class work for me.”
William Yonge, Hampshire
“Having made fitted bookshelves for us some years ago, Stephen made a fabulous dining table for us. He talked us through the choice of the wood (sweet chestnut, grown within a few miles of his workshop) and we discussed the design of the table, taking into account our wishes. The resulting table is repeatedly admired by all who use it. It is easy to care for and is just what we wanted. We would unreservedly recommend Stephen's work.”
Kate Y, Hampshire
“Great day out. Have a go. It’s great fun for anyone."
Moira Allwood, Somerset
“Great day wood turning at Bodden Cross Studio. Great tuition from Stephen”
Andrew Fry, Somerset
“Many thanks for a great day yesterday Stephen! Very rewarding!”
Nigel Terry, Somerset
“What a totally unforgettable day! Myself and my Mum are so pleased with our first two bowls - Steven was such a fantastic, patient teacher so we will definitely be back to build on the basics. I would thoroughly recommend trying out woodturning - you won't believe what you are capable of until you try - I certainly surprised myself! Thank you so much for a great experience.”
Steph Fuller, Somerset
“Fantastic tutor, made me feel comfortable and gave me the confidence I needed! Recommend to everyone!”
Chelle Needle, Somerset
“Many thanks for a hugely enjoyable day today Stephen! Superb teaching, outstanding workshop, constant flow of excellent coffee, and best of all, great banter! I will definitely be back to turn another bowl sometime in the future!”