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Student Reviews

"I have taken Laura's class three times now, and will absolutely be returning for a fourth. Thanks to Laura's great instruction (and patience), I have improved upon my skills each time, and each time have returned home with several beautiful bowls that I use daily. She is not only an excellent instructor for novice woodworkers, but also excels at teaching returning students more advanced turning techniques. Her workshop on Orcas is incredibly beautiful and peaceful, and is a great weekend escape. I can't recommend this course enough--it is a truly amazing experience."


- Catharine Killien, Seattle  2013
"My partner and I spent a fabulous weekend on Orcas making bowls. We had absolutely no experience with turning wood or making bowls but under Laura's skillful guidance and care we can home with 3 gorgeous bowls. When we look at them we still can't believe that we actually made them ourselves, starting from a stump of wood. It was an incredibly powerful and fun experience. Laura is an awesome teacher and getting to spend a weekend at her workshop was wonderful. We loved it!"


- Marjorie Mazie and Claire Barnett, Seattle 2013
"I can’t recommend this experience enough. The pleasure of having the day revolve around working with wood and focusing on creating was heightened by the joy of Laura’s good and steady company. It was easy to be brave and comfortable under her patient and cheerful guidance. We learned a lot, we had some good laughs; it felt like family by our last day together. And I use my beautiful walnut salad bowl everyday, giving me the excuse to tell anyone dining with us about this wonderful class with Laura."


- Rachel, Seattle 2013
"Working with Laura at the Stables this past summer I experienced the joy of making, the joy of sharing, and the joy of island life! In awe of the many amazing bowls of Laura’s that I had seen, and having never worked with wood, I was so curious and immediately excited when I learned about her class. Laura is generous with her wisdom and a patient, encouraging teacher. Participating in the meditative process of turning bowls gave me a deep appreciation for the process of making and the beauty of the wood itself; I fell in love with the way each piece becomes its own unique form through the fluid, sensory process. This was a wonderfully transformative time for me and I am filled with gratitude. Laura is an incredible inspiration!"

 

- Emma Dorland, 2012 Seattle
"Unforgettable experience!"

 

"I already have two of Laura’s beautiful wood creations, was very drawn to take her wood bowl workshop on Orcas Island, and what an incredible experience in every way!"

 

"Laura is a creative artist, an exceptionally gifted teacher and a kind and patient person. Her teaching style, a balance of demonstration, hands on guidance and encouragement, and keeping an eye on me while I worked on my own (and showing me how to fix my mistakes!), provided the fun and satisfaction of creating two gorgeous and unique bowls. She has an intuitive sense of just what each student, of any experience level, needs from moment to moment."
"When I look at the bowls in my home made from blocks of raw wood, I’m still amazed I could make them as a beginner. I found the experience of working with wood on a lathe and creating something with my hands to be a peaceful, nurturing and kind of meditative experience, and that happened because of the environment that Laura creates."


"The time structure of the four days I spent there, with about half of each day for the workshop and half of each day free to explore Orcas or relax, was perfect. The Stables are located in a pastoral setting among her horses and dog, and it was truly a delight to spend time there learning from Laura. I look forward to returning."

 

- Carol Baldwin, 2012 Bellevue
"I stumbled across Laura's work and had to meet the person who makes wood forms resonate eons beyond their mere materiality. The moment I learned she also taught classes I knew I had to become her student. Laura Yeats is quite simply an extraordinary teacher. She instills confidence measured with just the exact amount of encouragement. Her classes are a perfect balance between pushing you forward and allowing you to feel as though you have arrived. And, of course Orcas Island couldn't be a more perfect setting."

 

- Elizabeth Mead, 2012 Williamsburg, VA
Laura Yeats' fluency and mastery of wood turning, her good and patient nature, and her honest attention to her students make for a wonderful introduction to bowl making -- Laura is simply a fantastic teacher. She knows intuitively the necessary balance between guiding each individual student along and letting them work through problems as they arise. I've worked for years as a carver, but never understood the dynamical nature of green wood until Laura explained it. Her own turnings are simply astoundingly vibrant, just amazingly alive. I am in awe of them and of Laura's eye for form. And she is truly generous in sharing her knowledge . By the way, wood turning is massively fun! I look forward to my next workshop with Laura.

 

- Carey Bagdassarian, 2012 Williamsburg, VA
"The Wood Bowl workshop was so amazing and freeing for me. I'm a designer and I work almost solely on the computer. Learning a new skill and making something with my hands was so unbelievably satisfying -- even astonishing… I was truly amazed I could produce something so beautiful as a beginner."

 

"Laura is an incredible artist and a wonderfully knowledgable and gentle teacher, and the setting is sublime. I will cherish the memories from my time at the Stables forever."

 

- Deborah Brown, 2012 Portland, OR
"Laura's classes are remarkable! I have taken three classes, starting with no experience in wood turning, and I'll keep taking "returning student" classes as long as she offers them! Laura is an incredible teacher--skilled, patient, inspiring, and she makes the whole experience really fun!"

 

"This class is about making something useful and beautiful with your hands out of locally sourced material, a rare experience in a world increasingly dominated by computers, text messages and outsourcing---rewarding for the brain as well as for the hands!"

 

- Steve Badanes, 2010, 2011, and 2012, Seattle
"Having seen Laura's beautiful wooden bowls displayed in Seattle's Urban Hardwoods showroom, we were excited at the opportunity to take one of her classes. Laura is a gifted teacher who explained how to look at a block of wood and read its ultimate potential. The day long class was the perfect balance of hands on demonstration and gentle guidance that resulted in a beautiful wooden bowl and an terrific sense of accomplishment. Visiting the Stables property and getting to know Laura made the experience that much more memorable!"

 

- Mat Albores and Jeff Murdock, 2012 Seattle
"Last summer, I made a simple, but marvelous wooden bowl that makes me happy every time I look at it, a marvelous accomplishment for someone who had never used any wood working tools in her life. Laura's instruction, watchful eye, and encouragement made it easy and fun. There were beautiful materials to choose from and the physical setting was a delight. Two gorgeous horses and a lovely dog. I will return, getting ever more creative, as I gain experience. For anyone who loves wood, the look, the smell, the feel, working alongside Laura is not to be missed."

 

- Susan Scott, 2012 Orcas Island
"The weekend workshop I attended last summer at your studio on Orcas Island was a truly memorable experience. I came away with a deeper understanding and appreciation for the craft and design of wooden bowls—from the selection of the appropriate wood to the finishing work on the bowl. Your instruction style was very approachable and your frequent use of hands-on examples helped to showcase the art of bowl-turning. I left the weekend feeling more inspired than I have in years and look forward to taking another workshop with you this summer."


- Ashley DeForest, 2012 Seattle
"I am an experienced woodworker who finally bought a lathe with no other justification than every shop should have one. After letting it sit there for a couple of years, I decided to try the workshop that Laura was offering on Orcas Island. If I didn’t learn anything, it would at least be a lovely experience to stay on the island that I had often visited in a sailboat."


"As we prepared to begin the workshop, we introduced ourselves and frankly, I wondered how it would work out because two of us in the class were experienced woodworkers and the other two were beginners. How would Laura handle the difference in experience? In a word: exceptionally well. At the end of the workshop, everyone had at least two beautiful bowls and a reasonable foundation to design and turn bowls, especially using green wood..."
"Laura has a wonderful knack of being there when you need her and keeping out of the way when you are finding your way. She used a model of sharpening the gouges for us so that we could spend full time turning. We learned how to select a source of wood, rough out a blank, mount it, and turn a bowl. We learned to plan the orientation of the blank to achieve a desired grain orientation. Just as important, we learned what to avoid and why. I recommend the workshop for anyone, even those who have some turning experience, because there is no substitute for working at the side of a wonderful artist. She’s also a wonderful human being and was the catalyst for our little group to enjoy a lovely social experience with a backdrop of the beautiful island and Laura’s horses and dog."


- Barney Bales, 2012 Seattle
"Our son and daughter-in-law are friends of Laura, and they gave us a bowlturning workshop as a Christmas gift in 2011. So, in September of 2012, we were off to Orcas to learn from the master. Neither of us had ever worked at a lathe. There are many joys working with Laura. She strikes a deft balance between instructing students and letting them make their own decisions. She has carefully thought through the process of converting a chunk of wood into a bowl; and she has provided subtle shortcuts that keep the student engaged with the wood. It probably saves on tool damage as well! After two days, we came away with two bowls that we are proud to display. They are really ours, and they are quite different from each other. They are not "kit" pieces. This was a satisfying learning experience. We highly recommend this for anyone who thinks that exploring a lathe would be a good experience."


- Warren and Carol, 2012 San Luis Obispo
"The learning experience at The Stables on Orcas Island is unique and inspiring for creative individuals of all levels of artistic ability. The founder of The Stables, Laura Yeats is a gifted artist and an encouraging teacher who has turned a vision for a fine arts and crafts destination into a compelling reality. Students interested in woodworking, particularly turning, learn about techniques, tools and design at the lathe. It is furthermore rewarding to work with wood that is native or local to the region. The Stables experience goes beyond the studio and into the surrounding great outdoors. Time spent exploring the artisan culture and beauty of Orcas Island is highly recommended."


- Dani Davis, 2011 Seattle
"Laura is a talented artist and gifted teacher - and has created an amazing workshop experience at her Orcas Island studio. She makes wood turning very accessible, even to beginning wood workers. You'll leave invigorated and eager to get back on the lathe. Her studio provides a gorgeous setting for a fun, relaxing, and creative retreat. The panoramic island view outside the Stables is worth the trip alone, and the location is perfect for easily exploring the rest of the island. I am always looking forward to my next chance to work with Laura - the hardest part is the ferry ride home!"
 
- Katie Freels, 2011 Seattle
"An Amazing Orcas Getaway!"


"My wife and I took a class at Laura's Orcas studio for the weekend. You couldn't ask for a better setting to turn bowls and the cottage is an absolutely beautiful space. Nestled along the Madronas and overlooking the Straight of Georgia, the only thing that could top Laura's enthusiastic (and patient!) instruction was the setting itself."


- Matt Allert, 2011 Seattle
"Amazing and Rewarding!"


"In two days Laura taught me to make 3 beautiful wood bowls, all different woods and sizes! I'm not at all power tool-savvy, so this is/was a major accomplishment for me. She is a gifted artist AND a generous and encouraging teacher. Working with local wood reveals another facet of the mystery and beauty of the Northwest."


- Trina Deines, 2010 and 2011, Seattle
"Magical experience!"


"During the two days I spent with Laura in her studio on stunningly beautiful Orcas Island, I learned how to transform green, local hardwood into two lovely bowls, despite never before having touched a lathe. Laura is an inspiring, fun teacher, whose passion for woodworking, creativity, and graciousness combine to make an unforgettable experience. I look forward to returning soon."


- Judy Wasserheit, 2011 Seattle
"Laura is a great teacher!"

"I really enjoyed Laura's workshop. I think I was a challenging student, as I came to Laura with a just a bit of turning experience combined with large and specific ambitions about what I wanted to get out of the class. She did a great job tailoring our sessions to match my knowledge level and meet my goals. I highly recommend Laura's classes to turners of any experience level."

- Dave Hunzicker, 2011 Seattle
"So Much Fun!"


"I took this class as a mini-vacation from school and work. I had never used a lathe before, and managed to make two bowls of different kinds of wood. One even had a partial live edge, which was tricky! Laura is an awesome teacher, a talented artist, and also just fun to be around."


- Sarah Marshall, 2010 Seattle
"Wow Laura! That is beautifully humongous! It means so much to both of us to have a bowl from that grand beauty. Our drive home was filled with gratitude for taking your class. It was a powerful weekend for both of us in many ways. Thanks for being a part of it. Thanks for sharing your gift; your wood turning passion! Keep in touch and be sure to stop by and see us if you are near Gustavus or Glacier Bay National Park."


- Melissa and Paul, Gustavus, Alaska 2010
"Very Rewarding!"


"I took two of Laura's wood bowl making classes. I found that "green turning" was a great creative outlet and very rewarding. The experience was almost zen at times. Laura was amazing. She used the perfect balance of instruction and encouragement. I would recommend this class to anyone who wants to make something beautiful."


- Kevin Howard, 2010 New Jersey
"A Very Satisfying Experience!"


"I had done a bit of wood turning long ago and came to Laura wanting to make some bowls from a particular piece of wood. Laura is a wonderful teacher and helped me to remember what I had learned and prepared me to accomplish my goals. I enjoyed the turning sessions very much. Laura gave me freedom to work and make my own mistakes and then taught me how to repair them! I learned a great deal and now look at wooden bowls with much greater appreciation. It was wonderful to see the work that she does--really amazing--and understand better what it took to create it. I would recommend the class to anyone interested in trying something both physically and artistically challenging."


- Penny Lewis, 2010 Seattle
"Turning Wood is Good For You!"


"Working one on one with Laura was a highly educational, therapeutic, and rewarding experience. Her studio offers a uniquely wild, urban retreat, and the opportunity to work with wood directly from tree to lathe satisfied so many woodworking yearnings for me. If you want to learn about wood, and enjoy discovering beauty in rough things, you must take Laura's workshop."


- Gus Sinsheimer, 2009 Seattle
"A Master Teacher"


"I gave myself a birthday present of Laura's bowl turning class and it was the best present I ever got. A master teacher, great fun and a perfect combination of hands on instruction and letting us find the beauty in a wonderful medium..........and great snacks!"


- Hope Hensely, 2009 Seattle
"Laura is an Awesome Teacher!"


"By working one on one with her, I was able to learn the skills necessary to become independent. Her teaching style allows for a great deal of creativity. I recommend her classes to anyone who has a passion for woodworking."


- Mason Robison, 2009 Bellevue