Illawarra Festival of Wood 2018 Workshops are now available for booking!

With 19 workshops available, there's bound to be one that will interest you ... Whether you're a hobbyist or you've had a passion for woodwork your entire life, our workshop facilitators are ready and more than willing to share their passion, skills and knowledge with you. So, scroll through the list below and don't forget to book early as spots are limited!


Age 8 - 14 years

Illawarra Woodwork School will offer you the chance to make your own milking stool at IFOW. These three hour sessions intersperse the ten participants with two teachers to ensure that all participants have personalised guidance.

Absolutely no woodwork experience is required to make these simple yet beautiful pieces of furniture, and we encourage the next generation to jump in and make some shavings Please ensure you wear enclosed footwear and clothing you will be comfortable working in.

Workshop Times & Dates:
Friday 12th, Saturday 13th & Sunday 14th October
10.15am - 1.15pm

10 participants
$ 60.00



Supporting and Linking Tradeswomen (SALT) will be offering an in-depth skills-based workshop for girls and women 15 years and over at IFOW 2018.

Commencing with a safety and PPE induction, each participant will create a timber project and take it through the different stages of measuring up, cutting and assembling.

Participants will gain a detailed understanding of and practice at measuring with tapes and set squares, cutting with a variety of saws such as hand saw, drop saw and jigsaw, assembling with drills, impact drivers, nails, screws, hammers, nail punches and different drill bits. Each tool will be explained and its correct use shown and overseen. This workshop is run regularly by SALT at venues around Australia and is well recognised in its ability to engage women and girls in building their own projects and gaining tool skills.

Participants are asked to bring a plate to share at the break, and to wear enclosed shoes and comfortable work-suitable clothes. No woodworking experience necessary.

Workshop Times & Dates:
Sat 13th Oct Only | 4.5 hour workshop - 10 - 2.30pm
$50 Includes Festival day ticket

25 participants with 5 qualified tradespeople, each closely supervising a group of five.


learn the art of coopering

Coopering is the traditional craft of making buckets, wine barrels, baths and all forms of storage containers. Learn the basic techniques of coopering and create a unique wooden bucket with a rope handle - WOODEN BUCKET MAKING with Jett

  • all materials and tools supplied

  • no woodworking experience necessary

  • wear comfortable work clothes and enclosed footwear.

Workshop Times & Dates:
Saturday 13th & 14th October | 10.30 - 12.30 & 2pm - 4 pm
6 participants
$85 Festival day ticket included




Let spoon carver Brad van Luyt introduce you to the wonderful world of spoon carving with greenwood . This is your chance to find out why this methodical, meditative and creative craft is going through a world wide renaissance.

No woodwork or carving experience is necessary for the workshops, and all tools and materials are provided on the day. All that is required from participants is an open mind to the possibilities afforded by the medium of wood in creating cutlery.

  • minnimum age 14 years

  • maximum number of participants 6 per workshall

  • materials and tools supplied

  • no woodworking experience necessary

  • wear comfortable work clothes and enclosed footwear.

Workshop Times & Dates:
“Spoon carving from log to spoon”
Friday 12th October - 10.00 - 4pm
$220 Includes Festival day ticket

“A taste of Spoon carving”
Saturday 13th October - 10.30 - 12.30pm / 2pm - 4pm
Sunday 14th October - 10.30 - 12.30pm / 2pm - 4pm
$90 Includes Festival day ticket.

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with Jim Davey

This workshop is all about Sharp Chisels , Sharp Planes and Sharpening. Experience the joy of quality tools for sharpening and the results produced.

Workshop Times & Dates:
Friday 12th October |  10am - 12 & 2pm - 4pm
$ 35.00 Includes Festival day ticket



Dr Mike Epworth of Bodja Chairs will conduct a 3 Day chair making workshop at the festival. Participants will be shown the skills required to make a chair in the JIMMY POSSUM tradition, such as drawknifing, fabrication and finishing. Mike is the leading authority on the Northern Tasmanian tradition which started with a mysterious chairmaker who lived, worked and sold his chairs out of a hollowed tree near the village of Deloraine in the 1880s. Mike is also a custodian of an 8 generation tradition making Australian vernacular furniture, his ancestor, a convict on the First Fleet, made the first recorded piece of furniture in the colony.


Bodja Chairs are made from reclaimed timbers with connection (memories and meaning) to the participant. Workshop participants are encouraged to bring salvaged timber with a connection to them to the workshop and to record the stories for posterity. Participants are guaranteed to take home a chair that can be passed through the generations to keep family stories alive.

  • Skills acquired - selecting & splitting timber, draw knifing, assembling & chair finishing.

  • Enclosed footwear & glover required.

Workshop Times & Dates:
Friday 12th, Saturday 13th & Sunday 14th 
3 day workshop 10.30 - 4pm
Only 4 participants

$1,100.00 Includes 3 day Festival ticket.

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Log Drum Workshop

Assemble and finish a full size log drum from pre-cut acoustic timbers . Participants will work in groups to assist each other assemble their own log drums with step by step supervision.
Parts are cut to size and will require some holes to be drilled, glued, dowelled, sanded and apply a finish.

Demonstrate the technique to adjust the tuning of the tongues.
Discuss different drum styles and drumming.

A log drum kit is included in the cost of the workshop.

Log drum kits and finished log drums, cajons and djembes will be available for sale or custom order.

Finished log drums sell for $200.00 to $400.

A Log Drum Kit is included in the workshop price or can be bought separately for $55.00.

All tools are provided.

Workshop Times & Dates:
Friday 12th, Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th Oct | 12.00-1.30pm
Maximum of 12 participants
Cost $75 Includes Festival day ticket


Create… Learn….. Experience…..
The tradition of Spoonmaking

with Carol Russell.

ABOUT CAROL:  Carol Russell has been working with timber for most of her adult life.Beginning in 1987 with small furniture projects and antique restoration Carol spent time learning from craftsmen who were prepared to share their knowledge. She worked as a furniture maker, focusing on small commission projects and exhibiting her work in galleries in Brisbane, Canberra and Sydney. Carol also loves to teach woodwork to children and adults, encouraging them to experience the pleasure of creating something with their own hands from some of our beautiful Australian timbers

ABOUT THE WORKSHOP:  Spoon Carving is a great way to release your creative side whilst making something practical. This class is an introduction to using carving tools and getting the feel of working with wood through the making of your spoons.

Starting with a roughly cut out spoon blank which you select from Carol's lovely timber range,  you will have the opportunity to carve two spoons of your own design under Carol's tuition.  Carol will cover basic carving techniques as well as design, tool sharpening and whittling techniques. Carving spoons is a great way to get into woodworking and has a strong creative element and plenty of opportunity to create your own style.

  • minimum age 16 years

  • maximum number of participants 8 per workshop

  • all materials and tools supplied

  • no woodworking experience necessary

  • wear comfortable work clothes and enclosed footwear.

Workshop Times & Dates:
Friday 12th October - 10.30 -  2.30pm
Saturday 13th October -10.30 -  2.30pm
Sunday 14th October - 10.30 -  2.30pm
$150.00 ( Includes Festival ticket day ticket)


LEARN the Art of POLE LATHE TURNING with the Leura Bodger

See my youtube videoTurning Back Time - Roy Davi (The Leura Bodger)

Pole lathe greenwood turning is my passion. My enthusiasm for this ancient craft began many years ago when I first came across ‘bodging’ – the traditional craft of greenwood turning. Bodging was developed in medieval times and later used for creating fine furniture including the classic Windsor chair.More recently I have broadened my interests and now create my own style of greenwood furniture as well as traditionally crafted wooden household utensils.

Participants will learn the basics of pole-lathe turning. They can make a simple mallet handle,spurtle or a set of stool legs all depending on their skills.

I will also have the 3 pole-lathes and treadles used during the pole-lathe workshop on sale, pick up after 3pm on Sunday 14th October.

Workshop Times & Dates:
Friday 12th, Saturday 13th, & Sunday 14th October | 11am - 3pm
3 participants per workshop
$150 includes Festival Day ticket


Learn how to Mill Timber

with Southern & Sydney Tree Services

  • Learn how to Set up Lucas Mill,

  • Select & square a log,

  • Help to push & pull mill

  • Take your milled timber home

Workshop Times & Dates:
Friday 12th, Saturday 13th & Sunday 14th October
10.30 - 12.30pm & 2.30 - 4.30pm

5 people (this can include youths over 14 but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian)
Wear comfortable work clothes and enclosed footwear.

$100 (Adult) includes Festival day ticket
$50 ( Youth 14 - 17) includes Festival day ticket



Nothing quite showcases a piece of timber like a hand turned timber bowl! in 90 minutes you will complete a finished bowl under instruction from ‘Woodstories’ Brett Davis. Come on your own, or as a couple or parent child combo to work on bowl together includes personal tuition, timber, materials.

Reviving the lost art of hand turned bowls, Brett from Woodstories hand turns Australian native timbers into bowls of all sizes.

Pull up a pew as Brett walks you through the steps to transforming native wood from species such as Australian Red Cedar, Coastal Banksia, Camphor Laurel, Eucalyptus, Tasmanian Myrtle, Blackwood and Sassafras into beautiful and functional household objects.

Workshop Times & Dates:
Friday 12th Oct - 10 - 11.30 & 12 - 1.30 & 2 - 3.30pm
Sat 13th Oct - 1.30 - 3pm & 3.30 - 5pm
Sun 14th  - 1.30 - 3pm & 3.30 - 5pm
$ 120 includes one Festival Day ticket




Imagine crocheting with your own hand carved hook from a twig, Kristen from Little Shed Hooks will show you how to carve not one but two. Carving your own crochet hook will place you back in history when they fashioned their own in wood. Wooden crochet hooks will change your crocheting forever with the feel of timber and not slippery metal.

Crochet hook carving from twigs.

Workshop Times & Dates:
Sat 13th Oct - 11 - 1pm & Sun 14th Oct - 11 - 1p
$65 per person includes Festival Day ticket
2 hrs per workshop
Max 6 per workshop.
(Over 14 years of age)




Pyrography  - "writing with fire", is the art of decorating wood with burn marks resulting from the controlled application of a heated object. Drawing was the first method that man used to tell stories and communicate and after the important discovery of fire, the early form of “wood burning” was invented.

  • minimum age 12 years

  • maximum number of participants 4 per workshop

  • all materials and tools supplied

  • no experience necessary

  • wear comfortable work clothes and enclosed footwear.

Workshop Times & Dates:
Fri 12th 11am - 1pm
Sat 13th 11am - 1pm  
Sunday 14th - 11am - 1pm
$ 65 includes Festival day ticket



with Jo Saccomani,

Jo Saccomani of Two Sheds Workshop is a qualified carpenter/joiner. Jo is a Churchill Scholarship recipient, This scholarship enabled her to explore new, effective ways to extend carpentry and woodworking skills to women and children. Women's Shaker Oval Boxmaking

Create an oval box with a lid in the elegant Shaker style and hone your woodwork skills at the same time. These beautiful cherry timber boxes make great gifts for you to give as presents or to keep for yourself.

Workshop Times & Dates:
Fri 12th Oct 10-1, 2-5 | Sat 10-1, 2-5
4 sessions of 3 hours
Max participants 5 (Women only)
$150 includes Festival day ticket

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Tree Craft sessions

with Jeff donne

Jeff is a professional spoon carver and Tree Craft teacher from the Far South Coast of NSW. One of Australia's best known spoon carvers with many years of carving and teaching under his belt, Jeff teaches traditional methods where a small axe and knife are used to slice away layers of wood from a freshly cut log. He runs a roving Spoon School that travels much of Australia, spreading hand carved happiness from Tassie to Alice Springs and beyond. For more information on Jeff, go to

About Tree Craft
Tree Craft is about using every part of the tree to make functional and useful items. Using only the simplest of tools, it's a fantastic craft that incorporates everything from spoon carving to furniture making, bark weaving and beyond!

Workshop Times & Dates:

These little workshops are the perfect introduction to Tree Craft. Do one or do them all!

Sat 10:30 - 12:30 - Axe skills workshop: carve a spatula from a branch using only an axe - $75 (includes festival entry)
Sat 1:30 - 4:00 - Knife skills workshop: carve a sugar spoon from an axed out blank - $75 (includes festival entry)
Sun 10:30 - 12:30 - The little ladle workshop: carve a little ladle from a forked branch - $75 (includes festival entry)
Sun 2:00 - 4:00 - Traditional bird carving: make a sweet little bird from a stick and some gum leaves - $75 (includes festival entry)


Total Tools Workshops

Total Tools Fairy Meadow will be holding 3 workshops that run simultaneously providing a hands on experience in woodturning, router table basics and using 3 types of joinery. The workshops are project based where the participant will make a small item to take home. Costs include materials, use of machinery and safety equipment.

Cost to participate is $60 per workshop or make a day of it and participate in all 3 for $150 includes festival day ticket.

Workshop 1: Introduction to woodturning.
This workshop is designed for those who have never tried woodturning before or those who need a refresher on the basics of this very rewarding craft.  

Under the guidance of Charlie, our professional wood turner. The workshop covers a talk on safety, wood lathes and accessories and turning tools. Then it’s a hands on experience where participants will set-up between centres use a roughing gouge, spindle gouge and skew chisel to complete a small project.

Workshop 2: Router Table Basics.
This workshop centres on the Kreg benchtop router table. Participants will be shown how to set-up and complete router table operations including edge jointing, edge forming, mortice and tenon joints, stub tenon joints and mitred box joints.

Workshop 3: Joining Timber 3 different ways.
This workshop is designed for those who would like to try 3 popular types of joinery; Kreg pocket hole, biscuit joinery and the Festool Domino system. Participants will use all 3 types of joints to create a small project. Workshop duration 90 minutes with  3sessions commencing at 10, 12am, and 2:00pm. Note that joining timber 3 different ways is limited to 4 participants per workshop session.

Workshop duration 90 minutes
3 sessions commencing at :10am, 12:00am & 2:00pm. 
Max 4 participants per workshop session. 

Cost to participate is $60 per workshop or make a day of it and participate in all 3 for $150 includes festival day ticket.

Woodturning Extra.

Can’t attend the Friday workshops listed above and would like to try woodturning? You can book a one on one 30 minute session with Charlie during the festival.

Limited spots available to commence on the hour from:
10:00am through to 3:00pm Saturday
10:00am through to 2:00pm on Sunday.

Cost $40 includes festival day ticket.

Participants will complete a small project to take home: massage foot roller or spinning top. 



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 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. 

 In the Origami Flower Bouquet workshop participants will learn some of the ancient art of origami paper folding and use the paper and materials provided to design and create their own bouquet of origami paper flowers to take home. In the Flower Crown workshop, participants will decorate and prepare their own headpiece on which to attach their origami paper flower creations to create a beautiful and original flower crown.

Cost : $35
Each workshop approx. 1hr-1.5hrs long.
10.30am: flower bouquet
2pm: flower crown workshop


Learn to decorate a wreath with Amber Louise Floristry 

Flowers & wreath supplied
Sat 13th & Sun 14th Oct 12 - 1.30pm
4 x people
Cost $ 65.00 with festival day ticket.


Learn to make BEE wax wraps

with The Austinmer Beekeeper

Friday 12th Oct 11 - 1pm
10 x people
Cost $40.00 with festival day ticket