Open House For a Few Days

In our moving from North Wales to central England we no longer have the same opportunity to host visitors as we did at Penrhyn Castle; mostly because of the increased demand on our time. The quality of our work is ever improving because, as with our making fine furniture and woodworking, we put a great deal of effort to remain faithful to the art of our craft and what we see as the future for real woodworking.

Our new location is just 9 miles from Oxford city centre in the tiny hamlet of Long Wittenham. Pending the building of our new studio, which is likely to be here the Sylva Wood Centre, our present studio serves as our temporary answer until later in the year.

So many of you have asked if you can visit us here in Oxford to see where we are and how we work and that would be great if we didn’t need to work to a pretty exacting schedule. I have decided to have an open day periodically throughout the year when people can come to the studio workshop. This next month of May is Oxfordshire’s ArtWeeks when artists and crafts people throughout the Oxfordshire region open their workshops and studios to the public for visitors to experience the work and the workings of the artists working quietly in the background of our British culture.


The Sylva Wood Centre hosts several workshops where artisans like myself can work at their craft. This can be anything related to wood such as furniture making, green woodworking, upholstery, forestry and woodland management, wood carving and much more. It is a new venture that is proving ever more successful for the resident artisans and the Sylva Foundation and will become a model for other venues around Britain and indeed the world. ArtWeeks for our area will be May 14—22 2016 and Sylva Wood Centre will be open to the general public on these days except Wednesday 18th.


Our first day of ArtWeeks, Saturday 14, Sylva Foundation will be hosting a literary symposium of authors to introduce their current offering surrounding the wood and woods we rely on in our day to day lives. This link will fill in the specifics of each author and you may well want to stay for the evening by booking your seats now for the 14th. I suggest those who have asked me whether I will be signing books or opening my workshop for visitors that this is indeed the week to to come as I will be in the workshop most days. We have kept Wednesday 18th set aside for children’s groups from local schools to spend time here and on this day the workshops will not be open to the general public so please make sure to note this. I will be here every day except Friday and Saturday of ArtWeeks but Phil or Joseph will be available on those days to greet and meet you and show you around.

The address for you arranging your visit to Sylva Wood Centre is:

Sylva Foundation
Sylva Wood Centre
Little Wittenham Road
Long Wittenham
OX14 4QT

The drive out here is a very pleasant country drive that nudges the Thames from time to time and there are local hostelries for you to sample Oxfordshire’s food fayre.

8 thoughts on “Open House For a Few Days”

    1. Paul Sellers

      It is. It’s basic but works so well for me. In filming we can drop it down and our of the way and when I am writing/photographing working at my bench I have a whole office area set up for me.

  1. Planning a potential visit spring next year good Lord willin and the creek don’t rise, have family near Swindon, not too from your location me thinks. Thanks for the wonderful book as well, just received last week, what a great reference to have.

  2. Don Hansford

    Hi Paul, due to some changes in plans, our schedule has been altered. I was hoping to give some more notice to pick up a copy of your book and DVD. We will be going past the Oxford area tomorrow (Saturday) morning. Would there be any chance of dropping by?
    If so, an address, and any advice on where to park a motorhome for a few hours would be gratefully received.
    Regards, Don & Julie Hansford (Australia, temporarily in England)

  3. Larry D Grigsby

    Hi Paul,
    I was thrilled to receive your book and DVD here in Northwest Pennsylvania.
    My day job takes me deep into aerospace manufacturing, extreme stress to hold tolerances that move when the temperature does.

    I have started to assemble a small wood-shop to come home to relieve some of the stress built up. I have enjoyed your teaching methods, and the no-nonsense illustrations, guides and tips in all aspects of working with hand tools. I have just begun to rebuild a bailey number 4 wood plane. with patience I hope to have it looking and cutting as good as new.
    looking forward to many more lessons to pass on to the next generations of wood workers.
    Larry G

  4. Mike Towndrow

    Hi Paul,
    Very much looking forward to a visit to you at Sylva Wood during Arts week. Presumably as it’s open house there’s no need to give advance notice of a planned visit?

    1. Paul Sellers

      That’s right. I will not be there the whole time but there are others there. It is also closed to the general public on Wednesday because that’s a schools day.

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