We’ve just held our last introductory course of the year, with one student travelling all the way from Hong Kong.

Our one-week course is always popular, with students coming from near and far, including a student from Taiwan who is also studying English in Edinburgh.

On the course, our students are introduced to a variety of equipment, while also making a wooden box and stool – which, of course, they can take away with them.

They also learn the rudiments of wood-turning using a lathe, and at least two of our December students will be taking that particular interest further.

We were also pleased that, from the ten students on the course, five were women – making it the first time that women have made up half of a course.

Over the years, we’ve noticed a significant increase in the number of women on all of our introductory, intermediate and professional courses – reflecting, perhaps, a welcome change in attitudes towards woodworking as a male preserve.

Every year we run a number of introductory courses, the first one in March 2019 – which still has vacancies.  These courses are designed to give you basic woodworking skills and allow you to pursue woodworking as a hobby.

However, a number of introductory course students also use their week with us to decide whether woodworking is something that they want to pursue as a new career.

If they then enrol on one of our 30-week professional courses, their introductory course fees are deducted.

However, if you’re already a keen hobbyist, but want to raise your skill levels even higher, why not consider a one-month intermediate course?

We only introduced the intermediate course this year, and have been delighted with its popularity – with one student coming from Germany and another from Brazil.

We only ever take two intermediate students at any one time, to maximise one-to-one tuition, and start and finishing dates can be organised around you – with the option of completing the month in shorter chunks.

We’ll profile a couple of our December introductory course students next week.

In the meantime, from all of us at the Chippendale school, we wish you a very merry Christmas and happy New Year.

Picture: Our December students with Anselm Fraser, school principal, seated centre.