Celebrate the unique world of wood at the
2019 Illawarra Festival of Wood

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Every tree has a story, so take a trip to Bulli on the serene South Coast of NSW this October 12 and 13 to see those stories come to life through a range of exciting workshops, exhibitions, performances and much more.

Enliven your senses and celebrate some of the world's most respected artisans with a love for wood who have honed their craft to share their skills and creations with you at this special event the whole family can be part of.

With a passion for preserving and inspiring the tradition of working with wood, a diverse selection of handpicked artisans from across the globe welcome you to roll up your sleeves and get some hands-on skills or simply sit back and relax to learn, reconnect, discover or discuss woodwork with skilled makers of all ages and cultural backgrounds.

In a world of mass consumer consumption, take time out to observe and appreciate the skills and craftsmanship of those working with wood and teach our next generations the value of this sustainable way of creating goods for the good of the planet, whilst rekindling a connection to the style of woodworking shows from years ago through authentic experiences.

Come along to this one-of-a-kind festival in beautiful Bulli just minutes from one of the best beaches on the South Coast for an up close and personal experience with some of the world's best spoon carvers, knife makers, traditional tool makers, timber surfboard makers and woodturners, with the opportunity to see some of the finest jewellery, floristry, sculpture, chainsaw carving, crafts, timber milling and more.

There will also be talks on forestry and wood-related industries, with a variety of workshops on across the weekend suitable for all ages and abilities (see website illawarrafestivalofwood.com.au for details).

With a selection of tasty gourmet food, a barista cafe and bar plus some top-notch live music and entertainment including free activities for the kids, you'll be spoiled for choice at this annual exciting event that celebrates a global love for wood!

Scroll down to view some of the action from last years festival.

Read about the Coledale couple behind the 2018 Illawarra Festival of Wood  CLICK TO READ

Read about the Coledale couple behind the 2018 Illawarra Festival of Wood CLICK TO READ

Read about the Illawarra Festival of Wood in Coal Coast Magazine -  CLICK TO READ ARTICLE

Read about the Illawarra Festival of Wood in Coal Coast Magazine - CLICK TO READ ARTICLE

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2017 Illawarra Festival of Wood featured in the Illawarra Mercury - Click to read more ...

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Read about the 2017 Illawarra Festival of Wood as featured in Australian Woodsmith - Click to read the article

The people behind the Festival

This inaugural event in 2017 was the brainchild of Stuart & Suzanne  Montague from The Illawarra Woodwork School and Christian & Tomiko Timbs from Japanese Tools, who have a long association with the fine woodwork industry. Stuart & Christian decided to tap into the enormous interest in woodworking by organising a festival.The festival is returning woodworking back to its grassroots where people can enjoy hands on experience and learn about the tools, the skills and the craft of wood artisians. Part of the inspiration behind the festival  is to rekindle the style of woodworking show from years gone by where it meant more than just an opportunity to sell finished products..

2019 Wood working EVENTS Calendar

QLD: 13 July 2019
Open Day & Craft Expo
Maryborough Woodturners and Woodcraftsmen Guild
Maryborough Showgrounds, QLD

USA: 17-20 July 2019
Las Vegas Convention Centre, USA

VIC: 13 July 2019
Australian International Furniture Fair
Retail displays and seminars, includes VIVID Design
emerging makers

VIC: 1-31st August 2019
Craft Cubed Festival
Exhibitions and public programs, Melbourne

WA: 2-4 August 2019
WA Wood Show & WA Craft Show
Includes Out of the Woods 2019 by Fine Woodwork Association (WA) Claremont Showgrounds, Exhibition Centre, Claremont, Western Australia

VIC: 8-11 August 2019
Wood Dust Designer Maker
Masterclasses, weekend conference and demonstrations
FAB9 Makerspace
90 Maribyrnong St, Footscray, Victoria

VIC: 23-25 August 2019
Timber, Tools & Artisan Show
Melbourne Showgrounds
Epson Rd, Ascot Vale, Victoria

VIC: 12-29 September 2019
Fringe Furniture 32
Open access experimental design Abbotsford Convent,

UK: 14-22 September 2019
London Design Festival
Events, Exhibitions, Projects
London, UK

NSW: 20-21 September 2019
Cooroora Woodcraft Show
Cooroora Woodworkers Club Inc
Coorey Memorial Hall

VIC: 5-6 October 2019
Hand Tool Event/Open Day Weekend
Melbourne Guild of Fire Woodworking
14 Cottage St, Blackburn, VIC

NSW: 5-6 October 2019
Spoonies in the Tweed
Spooncarving weekend with
Robert Howard Uki, Tweed Valley NSW

NSW: 5-6 October 2019
Lost Trades Fair NSW
Hawkesbury Showgrounds,

NSW: 12-13 October 2019
Illawarra Festival of Wood
Bulli Showground, NSW

ACT: 26-27 October 2019
Spoon Jam Weekend
Carving workshops and demonstrations Tharwa Valley ACT

VIC: 26-27 October 2019
Annual Woodshow
Goulburn Valley Woodworkers
MacIntosh Pavillion Shepparton Showgrounds
High St Shepparton VIC

ACT: 1-3 November 2019
Timber, Tools and Artisan Show

Exhibition Park (EPIC) Mitchell ACT

VIC: 9 November 2019
Tools and Trades Day

Hand Tools Preservation Assoc. Aust.
St Anthony’s Parish Hall, Cnr Neerim & Grange Rds,
Carnegie VIC

ACT: 16-17 November 2019
30th Wood and Craft Expo

Bundaberg Woodworkers Guild Inc.
Main Pavilion, Bundaberg Precinct
(Enter Kendalls Rd)
email: sfa57198@bigpond.net.au

NSW: 23 November - 8 December 2019
Sturt School for Wood Graduation Exhibition

Mittagong, NSW

NZ: 12 December 2019 - 18 January 2020
Graduation Exhibition
Centre for Fine Woodworking
Refinery Artspace, 3 Halifax St Nelson New Zealand

Meet The Makers



The Illawarra Woodwork School started in 2005 by Robert Chapman. Stuart Montague joined Illawarra Woodwork School in 2012. The initial projects are there to build knowledge and confidence in using hand tools. 


Japanese Tools Australia

Japanese Tools sells high quality hand tools used for all types of crafts and skills. Centuries of experience behind these tools and the stories that tell them, reflects in the fine work done by craftsmen. Japan has a vast history of hand made tools across many disciplines.


Jim Davey - Hand Tools

Jim Davey is all about Sharp, Sharp Planes and Sharpening. Experience the joy of quality tools for sharpening and the results produced. Tips about Sharpening, Tuning and maintenance of sharpening equipment. Stay Sharp, Jim.



Total Tools Fairy Meadow will be introducing the Woodfast range of woodworking machinery at the Festival plus demonstrations using SawStop table saw, KREG pocket hole joinery and router table, RIKON bandsaws, Festool domino joinery and Festool sanders, sharpening using RIKON low speed grinder and woodturning with Charlie.  

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Allwood Speciality Timbers, Thirston Morris Fine Furniture is a connectivity of two businesses which brings together a number of elements, all of which are involved with the construction of furniture. It is a Timber Merchant which stocks and supplies a high standard of select grade timbers, both Australian and imported, it also provides the facilities to bring together Fine Furniture making, Woodwork teaching, Wood Machining and the provision of a Design Centre, including the rental of Bench Space.

“My aim is to create a centre of Woodworking excellence, by supplying the best timber, being used by skilled crafts people to produce Fine Furniture and to impart some of these skills and knowledge to Woodwork enthusiasts. “ Thirston Morris.



Native Australian garden design. Servicing Southern Sydney Thirroul Austinmer Coledale Bulli Kiama Wollongong Sutherland Shire Illawarra.


Bradley Van Luyt

Left handed time waster, rust collector and just another bloody spoon carver...



For a lifetime I have loved the medium of timber. As a child I was fascinated with building treehouses. I went onto become a high school woodwork teacher. I had the opportunity to build my own home and various furniture items. Today I package it all as ‘woodstories’.



Styro Pyrography: Pyrographic art involves burning images or decoration on wood, leather and bone among other materials with a heated tool or poker.


broken bits

At Broken Bits, we live by the motto: "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose."We are the place to find items for renovations, repairs or even something to repurpose.


Sydney & Southern tree Services

As a locally owned and operated family business, we have a genuine passion for trees and the environment and pride ourselves on using the correct and safest methods for all our services.

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Colour, Texture, Minimalism


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Bob Mcrae - Artist

Bob McRae is a professional artist with a career spanning over 30 years. McRae works in a variety of mediums which includes adding bas relief Australian cedar carvings to single canvas paintings or to canvas screens. He also carves cedar in 3D form. 



Hanaya is based at the foot of the Foot of the Blue Mountains and creates bouquets of origami paper flowers from a variety of paper including Japanese origami paper, recycled books and music paper as well as selected scrapbooking stock. Workshops will be available all weekend. and give attendees the chance to see and learn how to make these paper flowers and take home a bouquet of that they made with their own hands. 


traditional timber frames

Our craftspeople use traditional timber joinery practices to design and create a range of bespoke timber structures ranging from furniture to house frames and trusses.


Meraki Makers

Mark Boxall & Mel Allen “Meraki Makers” have a passion for collaborative work, and have recently teamed up to create one of a kind pieces. They will have a selection of their current works for sale, along with a demonstration of knife cut marquetry by Melissa Allen running throughout the day, and Box assembly with Mark Boxall. 



All Arbortech woodworking tools are designed with free form, power carving in mind. They are efficient and fun alternatives to traditional woodworking tools, helping woodworkers, wood artists and wood sculptors around the world achieve more in less time.



The Green Burials International team share a vision of a world where people can make their last physical act one of positivity and regeneration.We offer a range of outstanding and progressive burial and memorial products that help people mark the end of life in more personalised ways.

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Any standard router fits between two pieces of aluminium angle that are fixed to an aluminium box and the timber being machined is clamped in three self-centring vices. It is used in conjunction with a router to machine grooves.
The U.R.G. reduces set up time and
improves quality in the workshop. It is
designed for amateur and professional use.

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Robert Towler 

Robert Towler  is dedicated to creating beautifully crafted timber products. Custom made tables, cabinets and collectibles with a passion for  musical instruments, like African djembes, koras, Peruvian cajons and Tongue Drums using some of the best timbers from Australia and the rest of the world.

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Inspired by history & shaped for surfers, each board is a functional handcrafted collection piece using sustainable materials. 


Aaron Wales

Aaron's interest in leather began as a boy taken by the smell and patina of old saddles and bridles in the dairy. Although he began working leather in his youth it wasn't until he explored the old methods of tannery prevalent in North America that Aaron's love of the ancient craft truly flourished. 

Over the last decade Aaron has been developing the old bark and brain tanning methods used by the Native American Indians to create the unique quality of the leather you find incorporated in his work today. A self-proclaiming 'luddite' Aaron believes that although modern Industry has truly specialised our population it has also detached many folks from the origins of their own crafts. Aaron explains that "Each piece of leather has it's own story and I feel it is my noble duty to read from as many pages as I can to justify my craft.

Support us on Instagram hashtag your photos #IFOW and we showcase them in our gallery!

What's ON … Illawarra Festival of Wood 2019

Friday 11th

  • 7pm - Coastal Woodworks Fine Furniture Exhibition opening.
    Showcasing hand crafted pieces from leading South Coast designer/makers.

Saturday 12th Oct

Entertained by the MC - Heidi Hoola hoop

2019 Workshops to be confirmed 1st July.

Activities and Workshops available to book on the day:

  • Welcome to Country with Richard Davis @ 10.30am

  • Make chopsticks with Japanese Tools, Australia

  • Children can build a log dog

  • Children can make a timber drum with the Joy of Wood/Greg Miller

  • Metropolitian Wood Choppers - 11.30am & 1pm

  • Watch & chat with Master Wood carvers, Uncle Noel Wellington & Uncle Noel Butler

  • Watch a Neil Wilson, Master Carriage wheel maker, repair timber wheels

  • Watch milling of timber from log to board

  • Watch Chain Saw Carver with Adam Humphreys

  • Meet & draw Would Man

  • Learn about Heal Psychology - Equine Assisted psychotherapy - 12 - 2pm

  • Learn Parcour gymnastics with the Burg Gym

  • Learn to Climb a Tree - Climbcare

  • Learn to Climb a Tree

  • Learn to crack a whip with master Whip Cracker Brad Harper

  • Music through the Day - Honey Sippers | Stringline Folk Band | Phyllistein

  • Make a floral hair comb with Amber Louise Floristry

  • Coastal Woodworks Fine Furniture Exhibition
    Showcasing hand crafted pieces from leading South Coast designer/makers

Sunday 13th oct

Entertained by the MC - Heidi Hoola Hoop

2019 Workshops to be confirmed 1st July.

Activities and Workshops available to book on the day:

  • Make chopsticks with Japanese Tools, Australia

  • Children can build a log dog

  • Children can make a timber drum with the Joy of Wood/Greg Miller

  • Whip cracking & opportunity to learn whip cracking with Brad Harper

  • Watch Neil Wilson, Master Carriage wheel maker, repair timber wheels

  • Watch Chain Saw Carver with Adam Humphreys

  • Meet & draw the Would Man

  • Watch milling of timber from log to board

  • Watch & chat with Master Wood carvers, Uncle Noel Wellington & Uncle Noel Butler

  • Learn Parcour gymnastics with the Burgh Gym

  • Learn to Climb a Tree - Climbcare

  • Learn to crack a whip with master Whip Cracker Brad Harper

  • Music through the day - Goldheist

  • Make a floral hair comb with Amber Louise Floristry

  • At 1pm watch the Log to Leg race, a competition between 4 teams starting with a log that turns into a chair leg

  • Coastal Woodworks Fine Furniture Exhibition
    Showcasing hand crafted pieces from leading South Coast designer/makers

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Visitors InfoRMATION


For information on accommodation in the Illawarra whilst attending the Illawarra Festival of Wood please visit



Opening hours :

,Sat 12th & Sun 13th October 2019 / 10am - 5pm .

Food - An array of Gourmet food & Barista coffee will be available.



Learn to Climb a tree

Parcour gym training by Charli , Burgh Gym

Musicians throughout the day

ATM onsite at the festival. Please note there may be a long queue. 

FIRST AID - St Johns Ambulance available on site.

WHERE ARE WE? Bulli Showground, Princes Highway

BULLI 2516- View Map

ENTRY FEE - Earlybird Tickets: $10 + bf until 5th Oct for all ages $15 Adult at gate / $10 Concession and ages 13 - 18 years at gate

Under 12 years free.


TRAIN STATIONS - Bulli Station to Bulli Showground 11 mins walk

DRIVE - Drive  south along the Grand Pacific Drive over the amazing Seacliff Bridge or through north Wollongong on Memorial Drive.

PARKING - Ample parking available on site.

TOILETS - Well equipped with toilets.

DISABLE ACCESS - Bulli Showground is a disable accessible venue.

DOG FRIENDLY - Dogs are welcome if well behaved and on a leash at all times.



Please contact us either directly or using our form if you are a wood artisan and would like to be a stallholder or would like any additional information.


Suzanne Montague - 0401 258 422
Stuart Montague - 0438 510 145

Email - illawarrafestivalofwood@gmail.com

Name *
For more information contact us - illawarrafestivalofwood@gmail.com

For more information contact us - illawarrafestivalofwood@gmail.com