Our Woodworking Courses

furniture design from our woodworking courses

Students into cabinetmakers, cabinetmakers into award winners

Rowden has a long standing reputation for training the next generation of cabinetmakers.

For over 35 years we have carried a philosophy to respect the craft of fine furniture design and making whilst pushing our students to do the best work they can, regardless of their experience or background.

David Savage founded his workshop in 1984, after attending the Ruskin Art school in Oxford and thereafter training with the great maker, Alan Peters. The Rowden teaching methods and ethos David instilled, were inspired by both the Arts & Crafts movement, David’s time at Ruskin and with Peters.

For over 15 years these tried and tested teaching methods have been pushing our students to be exceptional woodworkers under the tutorage of the team that David hand-picked and assembled here at Rowden. We have trained both beginners with no experience in the craft; through to seasoned makers with a decade or more as professional furniture makers. Coming to Rowden is about upping your game, regardless of where you are starting.

We aim to train you to be an exceptional woodworker, designing and making exceptional furniture. For each student there is a transformative capacity to the course, for instance; when learning for the first time how to use a tool correctly, or the deep fulfilment that can come from newly found confidence at the bench.

At Rowden we take the students beyond simply designing and making beautiful furniture, to provide an education in artistic drawing, business classes and technical and computer aided design – all the composite parts of being a cabinetmaker in the 21st century. We know this has to work in the real world, not just the bubble of a learning workshop.

This contributes to the continuing success of the Rowden alumni who come to train here from all over the world. Our commitment to the values associated with the Arts & Crafts movement, teaching woodwork from the fundamentals to the complex, and a finely honed in the curriculum, continues to turn ideas for a piece of furniture into a reality, students into cabinetmakers and cabinetmakers into award winners.

We offer classes suited to the aspiring beginner, through to those looking to build a career as a woodworker and everything in between. Get in touch to discuss our upcoming availability below.


Woodworking Course Options

Read on for the different course types available at Rowden Atelier

Weekend Course Starting on the Right Foot

For those looking to dip a toe in the ancient craft of woodworking but want to start doing it right, our weekend courses look at the most fundamental aspects of working with hand tools. Courses are run by tutor Ed Wild and are for everyone from beginners, to those looking to develop specific skills as a woodworker. See our weekend course page for details on the courses available.

One Week Woodworking Course An Intensive Week at the Bench

One week courses are extremely intensive, run in small classes over 5 days, with expert guidance. You will cover the basic principles of woodwork and cabinetmaking, learn to create perfectly flat and square timber, and start to apply this to precise, professional standard joints. Each student gets time in front of the bench, sees the immense progress they can make in just a week and often, it ends up being a prelude to our full six and twelve month courses.

One Month Woodworking Course Serious Hand Tool Woodworking

When you want to transition into serious woodworking but cannot join us for a year, the one month course is often a perfect fit. You will focus on working with hand tools to learn the fundamentals of cabinetmaking, just as our students do in our six and twelve month courses.

After 4 weeks, you will leave with a new-found confidence in your hands, demonstrating a capacity to create a professional level of joints and apply these skills to a multitude of projects. This course also starts to touch the drawing and design work that we are so well known for. Each student is lifted to a high level of craftsmanship, necessary for creating fine furniture.

Six Month Woodworking Courses Full Initiation into the World of Professional Woodwork

This course covers all of the fundamentals and some of the more advanced aspects of cabinetmaking. It goes through our full making curriculum, from the basic hand worked joints, through to demanding machining tasks of building the famed Rowden workbench. It culminates in the intricate task of a French polished box with piston fit components.

Drawing, design work, business classes, this course gives you the full gamut of skills necessary to be a cabinetmaker. Six Months at Rowden offers full immersion at a level associated with professional woodworking.

Twelve Month Professional Designer / Maker Courses For Those of You Who Want to Change Your Life

The full twelve month designer / maker course is designed to meet the needs of those wanting a complete change, moving their lives in a more purposeful direction. Our intention has been to provide a complete course, giving you all of the making skills as well as the artistic and technical design knowledge to be a cabinetmaker at the highest level. Covering the practicalities associated with being a designer / maker too is vital for our students and as such, this course digs deep into what’s practical and necessary to run a business in this niche.

Whilst professional cabinetmakers often join us on this course to push their skills to the next level, experience isn’t necessary for 50 weeks at Rowden. Quality of craftsmanship is your marker here, not volume of furniture produced. Being prepared to learn, and to be pushed makes your success at Rowden more to do with attitude and intention.

You will work with our full tuition team over the course of twelve months at Rowden, all of them exceptional makers in their own right. See our team page for details on who you will be learning from and guided by at Rowden.

After leaving us, students coming through this course are often making their way as a fine furniture designer / makers, showing at exhibitions and even starting to take commissions for bespoke work. Others are going on to work in some of the finest cabinetmaking workshops around the world. What is consistent across all, is that they have the skills and knowledge to create outstanding furniture and are now at a level where their work will stand alongside the best makers in professional woodworking today.
American walnut maloof chair, made at Rowden woodworking school

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Course Price List

Twelve Month Designer / Maker – £19,950

Six Month Designer / Maker – £12,810

One Month course – £3,486

One Week course – £870

Weekend course – £360

Contact us

Want to find out more about our woodworking courses?

Fill out the form below to get in touch and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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