In this comprehensive weekend long workshop you will fashion a longbow of sustainable Australian hardwood and beautiful bamboo, custom crafted to your own specifications. You will learn the theory, science and art of turning dead timber into dynamic and fearsome longbows. You will also learn how to craft bowstrings, and if you don't already know - be introduced to the rewarding pursuit of shooting a longbow.View Dates
This class is run by David Clarke.
The course runs from Friday afternoon until early Sunday evening - approximately 22 hours loaded with learning and doing.
On Friday students get a workshop tour and overview of the general theory of bow design. Students will also begin to prepare their bows and glue up their staves ready for Saturday, when the heart and soul of bowyery begins.
Saturday starts early with students learning how to make a bowstring that perfectly complements their own bows. Then it's time to start making wood shavings and getting the bow staves from the previous night to bend. Tillering, the process of carefully removing wood to cause the bows to bend in optimal arcs is pivotal in creating a longbow that is efficient, aesthetically pleasing and durable for years to come. By the end of Saturday, students will see what once was a slender, tapered splint of timber begin to come to life as a bending, loving wood bow.
Sunday picks up where Saturday left off. Students will finish tillering their bows, tillering the bows to precise measurements of draw length and draw weight...depending on the archer. When the bow is functionally finished, it comes time to bring the bows to an aesthetically pleasing finish with scraping, fine sanding and waxing. By Sunday afternoon the bows are ready for students to take to the shooting range to learn how to shoot, if need be, or otherwise test their new longbows.
Depending on the progress of students, there will also be the opportunity to craft some archer's accessories, such as an archer's arm guard or 'bracer', and a leather shooting tab to protect the fingers from the bowstring.
Each student will leave the course with a longbow and bowstring they crafted themselves and maybe some extras if they try very hard.
No prior woodworking experience is necessary. Neither is previous experience in archery. However, those that have experience in either or both skills will still find this challenging and rewarding. Those new to archery will be encouraged to make bows of moderate draw weight. Those that already have experience with heavier bows will be able to craft longbows or flatbows suitable for hunting or longer range target shooting.
The course is designed to be fun and rewarding. Your friends will look with wonder and amazement at the beautiful bow that you will have crafted with your own hands and newfound skill.
Cost - $850 (incl GST)
Cost includes: Tuition, insurance, materials, use of tools, workshop consumables, safety gear, morning and afternoon tea, photos.
Need to bring: Lunch, appropriate clothing and covered footwear
Booking in advance is essential
Learn the art of bowyery and experience the joy of crafting primal wooden bows that compete with modern fibreglass productions. This course will give you everything you need to take up archery and the pride of having made it all yourself.
Our Longbow Courses are taught by Dave Clarke, who has been coaxing bows from saplings, trees and lumber since he was 14. Dave has worked as a semi-professional bowyer and creates commissioned pieces. His bows have been sent as far as Townsville to Hobart, and Perth to Sydney. Dave's teachings are influenced by the acclaimed bowyers Adrian Elliot Hodgkins, Tim Baker and Jim Hamm, and his Longbow Course is based on his own original research that has rediscovered the secrets of the Longbow and codified it in formula and design rubrics.
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