Pat and Ted, Youghal, Co. Cork.
As two woodturning hobbiests for a number of years and wishing to undertake a refresher course we browsed the internet and discovered that Robert O’Connor was offering a level 2 course at a time which would suit us both and we duly enrolled for same.
Our wish was to become more proficient in the use of the woodturning tools and develop our skills. Over the course of the two days Robert managed not only to hone and sharpen our skills (he also gave instruction on how to hone and sharpen our chisels).
Robert demonstrated each individual exercise and skill before the class practised them, after which he selected a project which brought all of these together.
We both came away buzzing with enthusiasm as well as our completed project of which we were so proud.
We found the experience both enlightening and educational yet challenging and would recommend to any novice (or indeed advanced) woodturner out there wishing to improve their skills or techniques to consider such an option, as not only is Robert a highly acclaimed woodturner both at home and abroad, but he has the ability to transfer his knowledge and passion for his work in a manner that would do any teacher proud. His patience, tolerance and encouragement for us amateurs was so heart warming and put us so much at ease that the two days absolutely flew. His use of just a few chisels to do everything was eye opening (so instead of spending money on special tools for specific tasks why not learn the full potential of those you already have. Believe us you will be very surprised at how few extra chisels if any you really need).
So impressed were we that we may have to ask Robert to put on a course for a group of us from Youghal and the surrounding area.
And of course the tea and scones were a big hit with everyone.
Jerry Nininger, Newport Beach, California, USA
Planning a vacation in beautiful Ireland from the United States, my wife made a side trip to visit a longtime friend. Knowing I would have a few “free” days, I went to the website of the Irish Woodturners Guild where I found contact information for several members. A search of their individual web sites focused my attention on the lovely work of Robert O`Connor and I arranged for two days of classes at his studio in Gorey.
I was even more impressed when I saw the variety of his work in person and knew right away that I had selected the correct instructor. Since I was traveling, I could not bring any of my own tools, chucks and accessories but I did not need to worry as Robert had fully equipped work stations for multiple students and always seemed to come up with the right equipment for each projects.
Robert was not only knowledgeable about what he was doing but was also able to transfer that knowledge to me. He used an excellent combination of instruction, demonstrating and allowing me time to accomplish the work. I was interested in learning new techniques and methods rather that rushing to make finished projects and we were able to accomplish both in my two days of instruction.
I have taken classes from Richard Raffan, Jimmy Clewes, Gramme Priddle, J. Paul Fennell and David Elsworth among others and I would rate Robert`s teaching ability the equal of any of them. I would highly recommend Robert as both a great personality and a great instructor.