Weekend Courses


Beginner’s Upholstery Course & Antique Restoration
Available Spaces
February 10, 20185
March 3, 20185
March 24, 20185
April 14, 20185
May 5, 20180
May 26, 20181
June 16, 20180
July 7, 20185
July 28, 20185
August 18, 20185
September 8, 20185
September 29, 20185
October 20, 20185
November 10, 20185
November 24, 20185
February 10, 2018 - February 11, 2018
March 3, 2018 - March 4, 2018
March 24, 2018 - March 25, 2018
April 14, 2018 - April 15, 2018
May 5, 2018 - May 6, 2018
May 26, 2018 - May 27, 2018
June 16, 2018 - June 17, 2018
July 7, 2018 - July 8, 2018
July 28, 2018 - July 29, 2018
August 18, 2018 - August 19, 2018
September 8, 2018 - September 9, 2018
September 29, 2018 - September 30, 2018
October 20, 2018 - October 21, 2018
November 10, 2018 - November 11, 2018
November 24, 2018 - November 25, 2018
Type Price Quantity
Full Price €195.00
Course Price is €195.00 per person.
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Before you book please make sure that you have understood the cancellation policy that you find by scrolling down to the bottom of this page


We have never cancelled a weekend course

IN 2015 WE HOSTED 26 WEEKEND WORKSHOPS; and in 2016, 32

Same again in 2017

Two-day Weekend Courses – what you can expect (SCROLL DOWN)

Click here for directions to Clooneenagh House

We’ve been running weekend courses at Clooneenagh for over ten years now.

We are the original and we should be flattered that over the years we’ve had a few imitators so we’ve seen various slightly re-worded versions of our website offering something that looks similar.

They come and go but we are still here because so many people want to come back.

weekend courses, antique restoration course, upholstery course

The most popular course is the Beginner’s Upholstery and Antique Restoration weekend.

Click here for course details and prices

We take a maximum of five people at any weekend. We work through broken down and wobbly chairs and all sorts of scruffy or broken furniture.

Weekend courses, upholstery courses, antique restoration courses


Nigel guides through the various stages involved in the wood-work aspects: Pepie looks after the upholstery and natural fibre seating.

We put the tools in your hands and show you how the work is done.

Nigel is a member of the Institute of Conservator-restorers in Ireland




Weekend courses, upholstery courses, antique restoration courses


In our weekend courses you can learn about the social history of furniture and how to interpret antique furniture. How the social, political, economic, religious and aesthetic history of Europe shaped our furniture.

You can learn how to distinguish between the genuine article and the fake.


Our courses are designed around novices but lot of people return with more challenging projects.

Weekend courses, upholstery course, antique restoration course

We start about 9:30 each morning and aim to finish about 6 ish but we don’t mind if anyone wants to work on longer with a project.

Pepie provides tea and coffee breaks and lunchtime is an opportunity for discussion about anything at all. Its also an opportunity to research aspects of furniture from the collections of books about the subjects of the courses.




Weekend courses, upholstery courses, antique restoration course

Pepie does the upholstery in the old coach house. We provide the basic upholstery materials, springs, webbing and stuffing fibre. But we don’t keep a stock of upholstery fabrics so for anyone with definite design ideas its a good idea to bring fabric.







Weekend courses, upholstery courses, antique restoration courses

Pepie also does the natural fibre seating projects which includes cane-work, rush and traditional Irish (sugan) cord seats.

Click here for the natural fibre seating page.

Again we provide materials – the fibre in this picture is Seagrass, we also have 3-ply Sisal cord.

In this North Clare chair, the weave is started by winding from side to side and at every fifth loop, the cord is passed over the front spindle.



Weekend courses, upholstery courses, antique restoration courses

The chair frame is wider at the front than the back but as the weave is built up, the pattern will correct for that difference.

The cord is tapped with a wrapping iron to keep it tight of the frame.

To finish, the cord is looped from front to back.

Weekend courses, upholstery courses, antique restoration courses

antique restoration course

Conservation parts (top left and botton right) grafted into the carved arm supports of a William IV couch

Antique restoration involves a wide range of skills including wood turning and carving.



We run other courses – Nigel and Austin do the clock repair and appreciation weekends and Nigel also does weekends on clock cases.

Nigel and Austin’s book about longcase clock maintenance and restoration was published by Crowood Press in July 2013.

Nigel’s second book, written this time with Karo Ilmonen,  is about making and repairing clock cases. It was published in October 2014.

The country chair making course is slightly different. A maximum of two people but it is done more effectively on a one-to-one basis.

weekend courses

Winter sunshine at Clooneenagh House


Once you pay the € 195 your place on your specified course is guaranteed. If subsequently you want to cancel we will fully refund  if you give us a month’s notice. With less than a month’s notice we will refund if we can find somebody to fill the cancelled space.

If you want to change your booking date

If you find you can’t come on the date you booked, we will change your booking if you give us a month’s notice. With less than a month’s notice we will change your booking if we can find somebody to fill the cancelled place.