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.

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So much more to see, do and experience ...

The 2018 Illawarra Festival of Wood is a 3-day event that celebrates, preserves and promotes the traditions of working with wood.

Buoyed by the huge success of last year’s inaugural event, the 2018 Illawarra Festival of Wood has been extended to a 3-day celebration, complete with an extensive programme of events, exhibitor displays, and interactive workshops that each member of the family can enjoy.

Whether you’re a tradesperson, a wood enthusiast, an artisan, or just love the smell of timber, this year’s festival is bound to have something on offer that will interest and inspire you. You’ll find many of the exhibitors are masters in their respective fields and will be more than willing to share their expertise and knowledge with you.

For the younger ones, there’s face painting, nature play and Parcour gym training, as well as a host of workshops specifically tailored for the young at heart – in fact, last year over 200 bush critters were made.

And if all that action starts working up an appetite, there’ll be a range of gourmet foods available which you can enjoy whilst watching the chainsaw carving, indigenous wood carver, or the female wood choppers take on the men.

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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Dr Mike Epworth is a renowned researcher and Australia's leading maker of the 'Jimmy Possum' chair.

Mike will be conducting talks at this year’s Illawarra Festival of Wood on Friday 12th & Saturday 13th Oct to share his insights on this fascinating piece of Australian history - the man, the legend and the chair!

Workshop also available.
Purchase tickets

Marcus Tatton a contemporary sculptor from Tasmania has tentatively accepted our invitation to attend the 2018 festival and build one of his famous firewood sculptures and conduct a workshop on Friday 12th October. Click to view website

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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

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2018 EVENTS Calendar

CANBERRA: 09, 10 & 11 NOVEMBER 18.
Timber and Working with Wood Show, Canberra Racing Club,
Thoroughbred Park, Randwick Road, Mitchell ACT.  www.timbershows.com.au

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..


Sydney & Southern Tree Services & Amber Louise Floristry  will donate all proceeds from sales  to depression and suicide prevention organisations. 

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.


Vesper Tools

Since 1998, Vesper Tools is a small Australian business with a passion for making the highest quality and best value for money woodworking hand tools available in the world.


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...

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


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.

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Hape Kiddle

Hape Kiddle works from his studio in Yenda, andhas been creating since the age of six; crafting, building, constructing with anything he could hold in his grubby little fingers. Thinking back he remembers finding pumice stone in the Rangitikei and Hautapu Rivers in the Manawatu Region of New Zealand sculpting them to shapes and forms of all kinds.



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.



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



SALT - Providing support to tradeswomen in Australia including apprentices and women seeking to work in the trades. Promoting women in the trades.


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



Dovetails for Diggers

Dovetails For Diggers is marching forward with the intent to provide an essential service to adversely affected Veterans and Emergency Services personnel.

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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. 


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. 


Sarah Bourke

Sarah's home and studio in Chinnock is nestled amongst the bush north of Tathra on the far south coast of New South Wales, Australia. Combining her silversmithing and woodworking skills Sarah creates contemporary jewellery for men and women to enjoy. 

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Col Hosie is an accomplished box maker. Each day at the ILLAWARRA FESTIVAL OF WOOD, Col will demonstrate box making in our seminar area. Be inspired by our display of his beautiful boxes. Chat to Pam if you have questions about the jig. We always carry a full range of products to support your box making.

Gifkins Dovetail makes the only Australian-made dovetail jig. It’s a beautifully designed tool that delivers precise joints every time. Use it on an under-table mounted router—no special fittings are needed. You provide dressed and sanded timber, two clamps, and you’re ready to start!

No measuring! No fiddling! No fuss!

Our aim is to provide our customers with quality, Australian-made products, backed by friendly service and professional advice. We also conduct box making courses in our workshop in Coffs Harbour.



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.

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Welcome to Spoonsmith. Spoons, slowness, wilderness, roots & roaming, that's what we do. Our aim is to build an absolutely ginormous spooniverse where the simple act of sitting in the shade with a log in one hand and a knife in the other ends up with the crafting of more than just a beautiful and functional spoon.



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.

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

What's ON … Illawarra Festival of Wood 2018

Friday 12th

Workshop day - bookings essential.
Click the '2018 Workshops' tab for more information and to secure your place.

Saturday 13th Oct

Entertained by the MC - Heidi Hoola hoop

Click the '2018 Workshops' tab for more information on all the workshops available and to secure your place.

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 bush critter

  • Children can make a Picture Frame with Total Tools

  • Metropolitian Wood Choppers - 11.30am & 1pm

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

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

  • Watch milling of timber from log to board

  • Watch Chain Saw Carver Mark Haynes

  • Meet & draw Would Man

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

  • Watch Marcus Tatton create a Wood Chunk Sculpture

  • Learn Parcour gymnastics with the Burg Gym

  • 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 | Camden Community Band | Phyllistein

  • Make a floral hair comb with Amber Louise Floristry

  • Talk to John from Kashimoto Studio about Japanese joints, planes & sharpening

Sunday 14th oct

Entertained by the MC - Heidi Hoola Hoop

Click the '2018 Workshops' tab for more information on all the workshops available and to secure your place.

Activities and Workshops available to book on the day:

  • Make chopsticks with Japanese Tools,Australia

  • Children can build a bush critter

  • Children can make a Picture Frame with Total Tools

  • RB Coach - ride in a Cobb & C0 coach for a 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 Mark Haynes

  • Meet & draw the Would Man

  • Watch milling of timber from log to board

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

  • Watch & chat with Marcus Tatton while he builds his one of his famous Wood Chunk Sculptures

  • Learn Parcour gymnastics with the Burgh Gym

  • Learn to Climb a Tree

  • Music through the day - Dear Violet Music | Simjan

  • Make a floral hair comb with Amber Louise Floristry

  • Talk to John from Kashimoto Studio about Japanese joints, planes & sharpening

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

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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 - info@illawarrafestivalofwood.com

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For more information contact us -   info@illawarrafestivalofwood.com   

For more information contact us - info@illawarrafestivalofwood.com