I recently completed a short course at David Savage’s ‘Atelier’ and want to describe my experience for the benefit of anyone who might be looking to do something similar. Overall, I felt I learned quite a bit but this was tempered by the fact that I really did not warm to the man. I will explain why, but first, I would like to begin with the positives. On a good note, the tutors working for DS, Darren and Ed, are exceptional. Darren is one of the best teachers I’ve ever met. I felt lucky to have had the benefit of their input and wonder if DS realizes just how good they are. As far as DS himself goes, well, he's a good designer and furniture maker, but he’s not a teacher. Or at least he’s not a good teacher. I found him too caught up in his own aura (and money – so much talk about money!). Perhaps this is the marketing angle he has devised and which has reaped him the best financial rewards in the past? I don’t know. But it didn’t contribute to learning. Furthermore, for what I was paying, (750 pounds for 5 days), I didn’t like that every time I wanted feedback or needed to move forward I had to interrupt him at his computer. A teacher would be more attentive. By contrast, Darren and Ed circulated among the students and overall I found their feedback far more useful. As far as the facility goes, I wasn’t bothered by it, as one student was. But let me say that if I was signed up for a year, the single toilet probably would become an issue. The atmosphere in the ‘atelier’ was okay, nothing more. I thought I noticed a split between those renting workbench space and those on the year course. I didn’t really have a chance to get to know the other students because I was working separately and only there for a couple days. But in the conversations I did have nobody said they were unhappy. But then again nobody said they were particularly satisfied either. Overall, I’d say I achieved my goal of bettering my woodworking skills. Would I go back for seconds? Probably not.