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

IFoW 2019 Web Header v06.jpg

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.

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 Illawarra Festival of Wood - The art of wood.  CLICK TO READ ARTICLE

2019 Illawarra Festival of Wood - The art of wood. CLICK TO READ ARTICLE

Read about one of the amazing Artists appearing at the 2019 Illawarra Festival of Wood -  CLICK TO READ ARTICLE

Read about one of the amazing Artists appearing at the 2019 Illawarra Festival of Wood - CLICK TO READ ARTICLE

Read about the 2017 Illawarra Festival of Wood as featured in Australian Woodsmith -  CLICK TO READ ARTICLE

Read about the 2017 Illawarra Festival of Wood as featured in Australian Woodsmith - CLICK TO READ ARTICLE


Designer/Maker:Leon Sadubin - The little Drift coffee table

Designer/Maker:Leon Sadubin - The little Drift coffee table

Designer/Maker: Elyce Cameron-Smith

Designer/Maker: Elyce Cameron-Smith

Designer/Maker: Jeff Phillips

Designer/Maker: Jeff Phillips

Designer/Maker: Michael Purdie

Designer/Maker: Michael Purdie

Fine Furniture Exhibition
Showcasing hand crafted pieces from
these leading South Coast designer/makers

Ray Balmforth | Thirston Morris | Grant Robertson | Christopher Neal | Jeff Phillips | Leon Sadubin | Chris Nicholson
Stuart Montague | Elyce Cameron-Smith | Edward Oliver | Brett Davis | Jake Walker | Michael Purdie

“Coastal Woodworks” exhibition is a gathering of South Coast designer/makers to promote and encourage the growing market of woodworkers south of Sydney. The exhibition will include furniture makers, wood carvers and sculptors.

Friday 11th October 6:00-8:00pm | Open to the Public | Free Entry

Lord Mayor, Gordon Bradbery
will officially open this inaugural furniture exhibition at 6:30pm

The exhibition can also be viewed as part of the 3rd annual Illawarra Festival of Wood
and is included in the cost of entry. Early bird tickets for Sat 12th & Sun 13 October - NOW AVAILABLE

2019 Sponsorship packages are available.

Now in its 3rd year and attracting 1000s of wood, art and craft lovers plus families from across Australia each year, the Illawarra Festival of Wood is excited to offer a range of sponsorship opportunities to suitable sponsors to advertise their product or service.

Click the image to download Sponsorship Package PDF
and for more information call Suzanne Montague on 0401 258 422

2019 Wood working EVENTS Calendar

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,
rundellandrundell.com.auNSW: 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.



Will be running workshops all day throughout the festival and are free to attend. Just join in. Check the session timetable at the stand.

These workshops are designed for children and adults to share the enjoyment of making a simple project using various techniques.

KREG Joinery Techniques.
Total Tools will be demonstrating KREG joinery products to make a simple table, cabinet and stool. From preparing timbers using KREG Rip and ACCU Cut jigs, joinery using KREG pocket hole jigs and assembly using the KREG Project Table and Automaxx clamps


KREG Router Table.
Total Tools will be demonstrating the KREG bench top router table to complete basic exercises including jointing, edge forming and simple joinery.


Dust Control.
Total Tools will have a small workshop dust control system in action.


Bench Top Bandsaws.
Total Tools will be introducing the WOODFAST BS250 to the Illawarra.


Wood Turning
Woodturning with Charlie! If you are interested in a one on one session with Charlie to explore this rewarding hobby opportunities are available for a 30-minute hands on experience on the hour every hour. Enquire on the day.

Thirston Allwood.jpg


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

I have been a bush regenerator for 20 years and a spoon carver for nearly 10.
I combine the two activities, carving spoons and other utensils from the woody weeds I cut down in the bush. Spoons from privet, spatulas from Box Elder, butter knives from Poplar. All invasive weeds in the bush and all good spoon wood.

My carving has taken me from the bush and around the world to such events such as Greenwood Fest in the USA and SpoonFest in the UK. I’ve carved in Amsterdam, Berlin, Helsinki and Tallinn and even Bulli! As well as make spoons,

I teach and have run many successful spoon carving workshops around Sydney, at the IFOW now for the third year running and at the Sturt School for Wood. With my craft I hope to reacquaint people with their local natural areas and make them aware of the natural resources they have around them. Say no to disposable plastic. Say yes to the wooden spoon!



Carbatec is a family business that from humble beginnings, has grown to supply Australia's largest range of Specialty Woodworking equipment to craftspeople for over 30 years. Veritas Tools Inc are the manufacturing arm of Lee Valley Tools Ltd in Canada. With a reputation for innovation, they manufacture superb quality tools and we are proud that they also represent one of our longest and strongest trading partners."


Sparky's Burl & Timber

Sparky’s Burl and Timber are located in the Central West of NSW Australia. Supplying numerous species of Burl, Craft Woods and Timber Slabs to the Local and International Market.


Fiddes Australia

Through nearly 100 years and four generations, the name Fiddes has become synonymous with quality not only in the UK, but across Europe, Asia and the USA through a network of established, appointed distributors. Fiddes Australia is proud to be the appointed distributor for Australia and New Zealand. Our services range from product distribution, on site floor finishing, color matching and prefinished flooring. We also offer a color consultancy service for designers and architects from concept stage to on site completion.

Art of Wood group.jpg

The Joy of Wood

The Heritage Woodcraft Centre is home to The Joy of Wood, where Greg Miller and friends bring you the pleasures of traditional woodworking in many different ways, from public workshops to private tuition and more.


Leather art by Silvia

An interactive display where kids and adults (after a two minute demonstration)  can have fun stamping on some natural cowhide leather offcuts and then work on their masterpeice which is a key tag that can be hung on their school bag or anywhere!


Cokeworks Cabinetmaking

Anthony Webb is a Cabinetmaker/boatbuilder from the Illawarra, south of Sydney. Crafting beautiful timbers into anything from bread boards to Tall Ships!



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.

cc floristry.JPG


Colour, Texture, Minimalism


Bob Mcrae P1010593 small.jpg

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.

IMG_9163 small.jpg

Schloss Toys

Makers of unique Australian wooden toys, quirky collectables, and beautiful things for the home. Nearly all of our items are made from recycled or salvaged wood and are all handcrafted in Australia from our workshop in North East Victoria. They are Eco-friendly and great for the imagination.

clock group.jpg

Australian airbrush co

We specialise in airbrush artwork.
We’ve been painting various “Faux” saw blades as a canvas


DRIVE Marine Services

We will be showcasing EPOX-E-Glue
“The versatile Repair Kit” by showing woodworkers all sorts of ways they can make their kit of EPOX-E-Glue an invaluable part of their toolkit.  During Demo’s we will be demonstrating how EPOX-E-Glue can bring old hand tools back to life, restore chairs and other furniture considered to be beyond repair and how it is capable of solving all sorts of repair problems.


dumped & Ditched

The heart and soul behind Dumped & Ditched - Britta de Laat, founder of dumped & ditched, blissfully sources old, unsought pieces of furniture and turns them into unique, truly beautiful statement objects. 

Her romance with rescuing old furniture started when she was a student at renowned Central St Martins College of Art in London.  In the days before gentrification hit East London, she roamed the streets of Shoreditch in search of the perfect photoset. Traces and memories of the past were quintessential to her artwork.

The following years Britta worked in set decoration in film and events in London as well as Berlin. Despite learning many skills during that time and unleashing her creativity on the sets she was never truly full-filled with her work until she decided to retrain as an upholsterer and subsequently launch dumped & ditched. 


Her Curious studio

Samantha Arnull is a collector of objects, as an Artist she looks to preserve, protect and celebrate the purpose and memories of the objects she collects.

Her tiny sculptural works are bespoke theatrical pieces that recreate contraptions of times past. Samantha went to Art School at the University of Newcastle, obtaining her Master of Fine Art Art via an exchange program at the Bauhaus University in Germany.

Always traveling and collecting she is now living in Thirroul and making work at the Timbermill Studios, Bulli. 


Erik Sipiczki

Erik is an aspiring spooncarver and pole lathe turner from Hungary based in the Blue Mountains. He uses responsibly sourced local timbers, traditional methods and hand-tools to make all sorts of treen but mostly eating spoons. "

stall 2 small.jpg

WildFire Gear

Born and Raised in the North island of New Zealand I moved across the ditch to Sydney Australia when I was 19. I grew up spending most of my time outdoors in the bush looking for critters, fishing, camping and exploring nature.

I have always been intrigued with bespoke hobbies or which some refer to as dying arts. After I was made redundant in 2015 from my full time job in transport for 12 years, I had the awesome opportunity to try and make my hobbies and love of creating hand crafted items into a small business.

Thus WildFire Gear was born. I have been doing Leather Work for around 10 years now and have always made things from wood as far back as I can remember. The Knife Making bug bit me hard and have been making knives for a few years now. 

Creating items that are functional, beautiful and are built to last is what WildFire Gear is all about. 


Garry usher timber

A mixture of Australian hardwood slabs, soft wood burls and woodwork products.


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.

Green Burials


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.

Router Guide.jpg


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.

African Drum small.jpg

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.

gws surfboards.JPG


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.


Sydney woodcarving Group

The Sydney Woodcarving Group is a club for people in and around Sydney, Australia, who pursue wood carving as an interest. We meet regularly in a spirit of friendship and are willing and eager to share our knowledge, techniques and skills with others. Groups are based in Chester Hill, Southside, Epping and Shellharbour.


Caringbah Craft Centre

Caringbah Craft Centre is a unique place where extraordinary people coming together to make old style wooden products.

Caringbah Craft Centre is a not for profit community based program that strives to increase & build woodworking skills for people with disabilities by increases independence & belonging in a respectful safe environment. The Craft Centre has been running for 43 years initially set up by the reverend of the Uniting Church & Sutherland Hospital stroke doctor. The program was before its time, assisting people  rehabilitating  from strokes by building new friendships, increasing mobility & hand eye coordination.


142 wooden heart

All our pieces are handmade and the timber that we use is 100% Australian reclaimed timber.

We are two cousins that work and live in Australia with a background from Italy.

We first started this hobby in September 2018, in the garage of our building, We noticed that there is a massive waste of timber in Australia, so we are trying (in our little way) to do something good, mixing our love for nature with some skills that we learnt through the time spent here.


tanya stubbles

Based on the south coast of NSW Australia, I grew up on a rural property with a lot of freedom and capacity to play imaginatively. I believe these early childhood experiences enriched my ability to surrender to the creative process. I describe myself as a social landscape painter. My goal is to explore the Australian identity, our stories and pastimes. I seek to create iconic images, which weave together stories of the land, its people and history.

Through the use of nostalgic and sentimental elements sourced from all over Australia, I create works which speak to the people of their experiences.

Construction offers a opening to access the subconscious through materials which in turn trigger the memories of childhood experiences and pastimes. I explore both rural and industrial landscapes and define myself as working in abstraction of the landscape. My use of materials and the interpretations of the places are always constructed through a highly intuitive process. 

Chris Ross (002).jpg

Chris Ross

My love of wood, its uses, and things that can be made with this marvellous product started for me as a schoolboy in Scotland and has continued down through the years. I am always looking for new challenges and I’m a passionate wood turner and skilled box maker in Australian & exotic timbers. I look forward to catching up with fellow woodworkers and inspiring young people at the up coming Illawarra festival of Wood.


Geoff and Colina Tonkin

Since 2011 we have been running short courses in making Windsor chairs and stools, hand tools and musical instruments from our workshop near Molong NSW.


queen bee jewellery

By Maddison Classen.

I started making jewellery for myself and my family as a creative outlet and then decided I could turn my small hobby into a career. My jewellery is all hand made and incorporates a variety of mediums, designs, colours, and textures to create a range of styles to suit all tastes.

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

What's ON … Illawarra Festival of Wood 2019

2019 Workshops are now available - click to view workshops.

Friday 11th OCT

6:00-8:00pm - Coastal Woodworks Fine Furniture Exhibition. Official Opening 6:30pm
Showcasing hand crafted pieces from leading South Coast designer/makers.

Saturday 12th Oct

Entertained by the MC - Tina Green

Activities and Workshops available to book on the day:

  • Welcome to Country with Richard Davis @ 10:30am

  • Metropolitian Wood Choppers, 11:30am & 1:00pm

  • The Madri-Gagas will be performing, 12:00 -2:00pm

  • Make chopsticks with Japanese Tools, Australia

  • Children can build a log dog

  • Children’s workshops with Joy of Wood/Greg Miller

  • 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 to Climb a Tree - Climbcare

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

  • Music through the Day - Honey Sippers | 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 - Tina Green

Activities and Workshops available to book on the day:

  • Make chopsticks with Japanese Tools, Australia

  • Children can build a log dog

  • Children’s workshops with Joy of Wood/Greg Miller

  • Children’s leather art by Silvia – Make a key tag for your school bag! Cost, gold coin.

  • 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 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

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.
Thirroul Men’s shed will be co-ordinating parking - gold coin donation would be much appreciated.

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.

Destination Wollongong Logo-high res-01.jpg


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