Main content

Upcoming courses at Wooburn Craft School: Mosaic tiles, Marquetry and Wood Carving

Mosaic Tiles with Karen Wones Monday 12th June till Friday 16th June, 9am to 4pm
You will learn about basic mosaic design, mosaic tools, choosing and cutting materials, adhesives and grouting. We will start with a small, simple piece of work and progress to a bigger project as the week goes on. The pace of work depends on the materials and the amount of detail you choose. The tutor has a large collection of images/books for inspiration and a great selection of glass materials for making your mosaic.

Beginners are welcome – students don’t have to bean amazing artists to create beautiful pieces of mosaic art! The completed project will give students a great sense of achievement and they will have a beautiful work of art to decorate their home or garden.

Advanced students are also welcome; the tutor will guide and help facilitate your custom designed work of mosaic art.

• Icon member: £300 (plus booking fee)
• Non Icon-members: £325 (plus booking fee)
• Students: £275 (plus booking fee)
Plus a small material cost (less than £25)

​You can book here via Eventbrite

Marquetry with Paul Tear, MBE Monday 26th June till Friday 30th June, 9am to 4pm
Marquetry is frequently called the art of ‘painting with wood’. And indeed it is, as furniture makers and artists have been using this technique to produce beautiful pictures with wood for hundreds of years. Examples can be seen in many 18th 19th and 20th century pieces of furniture. The course will concentrate on the saw cut marquetry techniques used in the 18th century by using two exercises; the Boulle technique, using brass and pigmented horn, and a floral design in wood veneers using the piece-by-piece method. There will also be the opportunity for the participants to use a marquetry donkey and electric scroll saw.

Each day will begin with a short lecture, then a series of group demonstrations will be given on the techniques and procedures for each project. Each participant will carry out the two exercises, working at their own pace; the exercises will get progressively more complex as the week progresses.

Each participant should at the end of the week have two marquetry panels attached to brown paper for ease of transport, which they can glue onto a substrate of their choice following the course. Of course, if time permits, these can be glued to a substrate in the class.

The tutor, Paul Tear MBE, has been working with marquetry furniture for well over 35 years. First he was the head of conservation at The Wallace Collection, then course leader of the Furniture Conservation Course at Bucks New University in High Wycombe. During that time, one of his primary specialties has been in the restoration and creation of marquetry furniture and design.

• Icon member: £300 (plus booking fee)
• Non Icon-members: £325 (plus booking fee)
• Students: £275 (plus booking fee)
Plus a small material cost (less than £25)

You can book here via Eventbrite

Wood Carving for Furniture Makers/Conservators with Ernest Riall, PhD 

Monday 17th July till Friday 21st July, 9am to 4pm
In this course, students will learn the basics of woodcarving as it applies to furniture conservation

It begins with a discussion about the tools used in woodcarving – Chisels, mallets, clamping devises, and other related tools and how to care for them. Included will be how to sharpen chisels.

Every day will begin with a brief discussion about different topics such as the different types of carving, some historic wood carving examples as well as more practical issues such as buying chisels, different approaches to sharpening, and working with different types of wood.  

During the week, students will practice carving through two different exercises. The first will be to carve four concentric circles using four different chisels.  This will teach the student how to control the chisel, how to read the grain, and how to produce a smooth well-defined cut.  The second exercise will be a decorative element.  The student can select out of a set of options including a corbel, an acanthus leaf, a flower design, and a rococo design. Also, they can select the type of wood from oak, mahogany, walnut or lime.

The instructor is Ernest Riall, PhD. Ernest has studied under some of the most renowned wood carvers in England and France. He has studied his craft in both Bucks New University (as part of his BA (Hons) and PhD in furniture restoration) and at Ecole Boulle in Paris. He has been teaching Woodcarving for over five years both at Bucks New University and finally as a tutor and director of The Wooburn Craft School. Ernest carves private commissions as well as in support to his restoration work.

• Icon member: £300 (plus booking fee)
• Non Icon-members: £325 (plus booking fee)
• Students: £275 (plus booking fee)
Plus a small material cost (less than £25)

You can book here via Eventbrite

Additional Information for the above courses:

All tools and materials are provided.
Tea, coffee and biscuits are also provided, however the student will be responsible for their Lunch.  There are several local options available:  A pub across the street, two shopping areas within walking distance (15 minute walks) with restaurants, stores, bakeries, etc.  You are welcome to bring your own lunch, as a refrigerator and microwave are available.

Please contact the school, visit their website, or call Ernest Riall at 07753322609 for more information.

Upcoming events at Knole House, National Trust

Approaching it Differently – Upholstery Conservation, joint event with Icon Textile Group 

Monday 4th September till Tuesday 5th September 

The Textiles & Furniture Groups are collaborating to host a joint workshop on upholstery conservation. Using Knole as a backdrop, this 2-day course will be led by the National Trust’s senior upholstery conservator, Heather Porter.

The course will combine theoretical and practical elements, providing delegates with a basic knowledge of the history of upholstered furniture, and the process of upholstery, including tools, materials, and techniques. Techniques for investigation, including where to look for evidence, and how to understand it, will also be discussed.

Heather will illustrate the evolution of upholstery conservation, discussing the pros and cons of traditional upholstery methods as a jumping off point for discussion about alternative techniques. Using case studies from Heather’s wide-ranging career, she will also explore approaches to the recreation of profiles and replication of historically accurate upholstery.

In large institutions, upholstered objects may be passed between studios for the separate elements of the frame and covers to be treated. In smaller institutions or private practice, a single conservator may have to complete the entire treatment. In either case conservators can benefit from a course focused on providing a holistic overview of approaches to upholstery conservation.

To this end, and in addition to the taught skills on offer, the workshop aims to provide a space for dialogue between participating conservators from both furniture and textiles backgrounds at this point of overlap between the specialisms.

The workshop programme includes an opportunity to see the new conservation facilities and showrooms at Knole. Ticket prices are offered at a subsidised rate, and for both days include morning and afternoon refreshments, a buffet lunch, and a shuttle taxi service to and from Sevenoaks station at specified times.


Icon member: £120
• Non Icon-members: £157.79

You can book here via Eventbrite

​​For further information please contact Alex Owen or Katy Smith.

Visit to the new conservation studio at Knole House, joint event with the Gilding and Decorative Surfaces Group

Monday 25th September

This one day event involves a tour of the new conservation studios at Knole with Gerry Alabone and other staff. Recent projects will then be presented in the Hayloft. Then after a lunch, provided in the cost, there will be a tour of the house. As this event is still to be fully confirmed please keep an eye out for further information through this page or via Iconnect emails.

• To be confirmed