'EVERY TREE HAS A STORY' Illawarra Festival of Wood - 2017

Preserving & Inspiring The Tradition Of Working With Wood.

The 2017 Illawarra Festival of Wood was highly successful with 4,000 adults & children attending. Wollongong City Council has approved a 5 year  development application, 2018 - 22 @ Bulli Showground to be held on the 2nd weekend of October. The Greyhound racing association are fully supportive of the festival and see it as an asset for the showground. 

We will be offering workshops over the weekend but Friday 12th October will be a dedicated workshop day, these workshops will be booked beforehand online. Saturday & Sunday workshops can be booked online but space will be left  for people to book in on the day. We had some very disappointed people not being able to attend workshops.

Just some trivia Japanese tools, Australia had over 2,000 pairs of chopsticks made and Illwarra Woodwork School had over 200 Bush Critters constructed.

Our feedback  indicated these points below enabled the festival to be a success

  • Family orientated
  • Free hands on activites
  • Multi generational aspect
  • interesting food vendors
  • workshops
  • exhibitors demonstrating their craft or goods
  • festival feeling
  • Observing canoe carving, timber milling & wood chopping
  • Iconic venue

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

BRISBANE:  20, 21 and 22 April 18. 
Timber and Working with Wood Show
RNA Showgrounds, Bowen Hills Qld.  www.timbershows.com.au
MALENY: 05, 06 and 07 MAY 18. 
Maleny Wood Expo, Showground,
13 Maleny-Stanley River Road, Maleny Qld.  www.malenywoodexpo.com
SYDNEY: 22, 23, and 24 JUNE 18. 
Timber and Working with Wood Show,
Grand Parade, Olympic Park,
Homebush NSW. 
PERTH: 03, 04 and 05 AUGUST 2018. 
WA Wood Show,
Claremont Showgrounds,
Graylands Road, Claremont WA.  www.wawoodshow.com.au
MELBOURNE: 07, 08 & 09 SEPTEMBER 18.  Timber and Working with Wood Show, Seaworks, Maritime Precinct,
82 Nelson Place, Williamstown Vic www.timbershows.com.au
ILLAWARRA: 12, 13 & 14 OCTOBER 18. Illawarra Festival of Wood,
Bulli Showground,
Grevillea Park Road, Bulli NSW.  
Scarborough Art Show.
Scarborough Public School
381/371 Lawrence Hargrave Dr, Scarborough NSW
BUNGENDORE: 20 & 21 OCTOBER 18. Wood Dust -The Australian International Timber and Woodworking Festival, Bungendore Showground,
71 Mathews Lane, Bungendore NSW. www.wooddustaustralia.com
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 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.


Saw Pit Gully chainsaw carved two sculptures during the festival that were auctioned silently. The money collected for each sculpture was donated to Dovetails for Diggers and Against the Grain Veterans enabling them to further facilitate  their passion for helping Australian Defence Force and Emergency personnel to learn the creative outlet of woodworking.


Sydney & Southern Tree Services & Coalcoast Floristry  donated 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.



Timberbits - Helping you create with wood.I am David Lim and I started Timberbits in 2008. What started as a hobby is now a full time passion.


The Billinudgel Wood

The Billinudgel Wood Working Company was created after 30 years "hands on" experience in the hardwood timber industry. Founder woodcrafts- man, Stan Ceglinski, made a conscious decision to utilise gained skills and knowledge, carrying out salvaged timber and milling operations, to cater to the Australian and international market.


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 have been passionately servicing Australia for more than 30 years. Total Tools Fairy Meadow will be bringing some of the latest technology to the Festival. SawStop, Rikon  and Kreg for joinery, a woodturning display and a complete Festool home workshop.

Allwood specialty timbers

The furniture I really love to make, explores contradictions, opposites, misdirection and surprise, whether this is achieved through textures, shapes, function or just perception.   I like to incorporate ideas derived from architecture and nature and I like furniture which has some complexity in the construction.


Constant Whittler

 Constant - Whittler , Mostly carving related.



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.



After being first developed in a garage on the South Coast of New South Wales, Ecto has been taking the world by storm. Welcome to Ecto Handplanes, the innovators of bodysurfing handplanes (or handboards) and accessories that help you slide across waves with greater speed and lift, giving you better control in any conditions.

Our surfing handplanes are made using foam and fiberglass upcycled from damaged or broken surfboards as part of Ecto founder Chris Anderson’s 1000 Surfboard Graveyard project.


Heartwood Creative Woodworking

At Heartwood Creative Woodworking you can master the traditional skills of creating beautiful objects in wood.

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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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Coalcoast Floristry

Colour, Texture, Minimalism




SawPit Gully Chainsaw Carving started in 2016 in the beautiful town of Creswick Victoria Australia


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.


Urban Timber

Urban Timber is a bespoke furniture maker based in Wollongong creating custom pieces with designs ranging from rustic to contemporary. We also include other materials such as concrete, laminates, steel and textiles.  We strive for sustainable solutions using recycled timber and reclaimed felled trees.



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.



Tasmanian Native Timbers specialise in the supply of rare Tasmanian timbers. Our timber features beautiful, striking colours, intricate figures and distinctive shapes – all uniquely Tasmanian.

The task of sourcing and sawmilling logs, sorting timber coupled with the kiln drying process of these Tasmanian Native Timbers



FourSquare Timbers is delighted to offer a reliable, continuous supply of mature aged, select grade blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon) to the Australian market.

Much loved by Australians, blackwood has a long history as our finest cabinet timber. Its enduring appeal lies in the exceptional performance properties of what is also, arguably, our finest appearance-grade timber (one where the surface decorative appearance is paramount)


leon sadubin designs

Leon Sadubin has had a significant impact on furniture design and making in Australia. Since 1976 he has participated actively in the craft movement and initiated an exhibition in 1978 which led to the formation of the Woodworkers Association of NSW of which he is an Honorary Life Member.


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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Heirloom Woodcarving by Joe Papac

Combining a teaching career at Holsworthy High School, together with 'Woodcarving' became all embracing in terms of commitment, time and passion and as such, played a vital role in terms of Joe's personal and professional development.



The Gifkins Dovetail jig is a beautifully designed tool that delivers precise joints every time. It is designed to be used on an under-table mounted router. No special fittings are needed—the jig works brilliantly with any router in any table. The standard package contains all you need to cut perfect dovetails or finger joints. You provide dressed and sanded timber and one or two clamps and you’re ready to start!



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.


PCA traditional Furniture

Small local family run furniture business in Corrimal, servicing the Sydney and so...



A veterans woodworking group helping modern Australian veterans separating from the ADF.



We provide a range of timber machining services. From machining flat that slab to wide belt sanding. All Class supply a wide range of unique board stock. Elm, Gidgee, Hairy Oak, Queensland Walnut, She Oak, Bulloke, Mountain Ash, Red Gum and many more.



A 16 year old independent knife maker from Sydney


bugonia woodcutters

Bungonia Woodcutters have a property in Bungonia ACT and a Lucas Mill. Bungonia Woodcutters wish to run' off the grid' timber workshops using only hand tools while getting back to nature. 


Wild Fire Gear

Quality Australian HandCrafted Gear built to last, we make custom leather gear, knives, firesteels, mosaic pins, woodwork and lots of other bits and pieces. I also do repairs on Leather items. I also offer Mobile Leather Craft Classes.


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

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Visitors InfoRMATION


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



Opening hours -12th, 13th & 14th October 2018 / 10am - 5pm .

Food - An array of Food stalls & coffee will be available.



Face Painting & nature play 

Parcour gym training by Charli , Burgh Gym

Musicians throughout the day with DJ from 3 - 5pm

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 - $15 Adult,  $12 Concession and under 16 years free.


TRAIN STATIONS - Bulli Station to Bulli Showground 11 mins walk

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

PARKING - Ample parking available on site. Gold coin donation to local Mens Shed.

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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