Class size and personal guidance
The courses are explicitly focused on individual guidance and personal contact with (and among) course participants. For this reason, the number of participants per course is limited to a maximum of 4
The small size of the class makes it easy to switch between plenary instructions and individual guidance. If you don’t fully understand something or need help with a particular skill, you will easily and quickly be assisted by the instructor, because there are just 4 participants in the group, including you!
Similarly, because the instructor is overseeing just the 4 of you in the workshop, he can quickly step in if he sees that you are doing something wrong, even when you are not aware of it yourself.
Necessities and location
All necessary tools and materials are provided in the atelier. The materials are included in the course fee.
Participants are recommended to wear comfortable and sturdy clothing and shoes with a hard front. Choose fabrics that can keep out sawdust and fibers. It is not necessary to acquire special work clothing for the course.
The courses are offered in Espenaer’s own atelier, located in Het Ambachtslab in Amsterdam-West. The atelier is easy to reach by bike, car, and public transportation. There is ample parking space in front of the building (Paid parking). Participants will receive more detailed directions upon registration.
In addition to the four lessons of the course, you are granted two hours of free use of a workspace for an unaided solo-session. You may use these hours to do additional work on your project or to practice skills and techniques. This ‘bonus session’ can be booked in-between lessons or after the end of the course.
You can schedule this on day and time of your choice, depending on availability of workspaces, as given on the online calendar on the Workspaces page. For bonus sessions on Saturdays there is a supplement of €5.
Workspaces are also available for use beyond these two hours for a rate of only €7.50 per hour on week days and €10 per hour on Saturdays, with discounts for longer bookings. For more information read our page on booking workspaces (click here).
About the instructor
The courses are instructed by artisanal furniture maker and founder of Atelier Espenaer, Umut Lucas Espenaer. Umut has over 15 years of experience in woodworking and specializes in artisanal skills, techniques, and hand tools. He originally started woodworking as a hobby before turning it into his trade and is self-taught. He has been offering woodworking courses since 2017 and has had the pleasure of instructing to several hundreds of participants up till now.
For a furniture maker, Umut has a somewhat unusual professional background. He was originally trained as a political scientist and worked as policy officer at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and as lecturer at the University of Amsterdam for most of his professional life. He decided to switch careers and pursue his passion, left his career in academia, and founded Atelier Espenaer. He is very passionate about artisanal woodworking and enjoys helping others explore their own creativity.