Run by James Mursell, each course is held in a purpose built workshop on his farm in West Sussex.
A maximum of eight students per course ensures that everyone receives all the individual attention needed. Students will be guided through the course by professional chairmaker James Mursell, who has taught over 800 students at The Windsor Workshop over the past 13 years.
The chair making courses are action packed with new techniques being introduced all the time. However there are plenty of breaks for coffee, lunch and tea in the adjacent farmhouse. These breaks are a great time to get to know your fellow students and are an important and enjoyable part of the course. All food and drink is provided and few students leave the course lighter than when they arrived!
Great emphasis is put on making a Windsor chair that is soundly constructed using traditional techniques that have stood the test of time. On the 5-day chair making courses the use of green wood is essential in order to make the finest possible chairs and this wet wood is fully dried before being incorporated into the chair.
Each person can expect to take a completed Windsor chair/stool away with them at the end of their course along with the skills to make more on their own at home.
Working with the wood
Windsor chair making is unlike most other branches of woodworking, with the emphasis being more on shaping wood than making the joints. Unlike cabinet making, the joints which are vital to the integrity of the chair are easy to make
James Mursell set up The Windsor Workshop in 2004 to teach the art of chair making and to help to keep the craft alive and the courses are designed to give an enjoyable and fulfilling experience, available to all. Absolutely no previous experience is required to take a course and this has been proved time and again by scores of students over the past seven years. Testimonials from past students
Motivation to join a course
Students come on these chair making courses for a number of reasons: just to have a go and to gain the satisfaction of making an attractive and useful Windsor chair; or in the hope of finding a new hobby or career.
Whatever your motivation, why not give it a go? You will be guaranteed a busy week learning a wide range of new techniques.
No previous experience is necessary to successfully complete a Windsor chair making course and yet experienced woodworkers will still be fully challenged. Individual guidance and assistance will be provided as appropriate, and every effort will be made to ensure a rewarding and enjoyable course.
Written by James Mursell, this book was the first new book about the making and design of Windsor chairs for over 10 years. It was written with a broad readership in mind and is aimed at existing Windsor chair makers and also at those who are contemplating making their first chair.
Ben Orford makes the blades for my travishers.
Watch his short video about this great tool and the uses it can be put to.
“This tool is phenomenal. I bought two, one for myself and another for my Windsor chairmaker instructor. Compared to the other travishers I have used, yours is very good to work with and everyone who has tried it loves it. I just ordered a second one and your two spokeshaves which I trust will be as enjoyable to use. Thanks again for making such great tools.” LG (USA) 2015