The first ever Illawarra Festival of Wood will be throwing open the gates on Friday the 6th and Saturday the 7th of October at Bulli Showgrounds.
There will be local craftsmen and craftswomen sharing their stories and spruiking their wares, including timber spear guns, timber surfboards, traditional indigenous carving from Australia and New Zealand, Japanese joinery, fine furniture, cigar box guitars, timber and silver jewellery, handmade woodworking tools, handmade knives, leather goods, cricket bats, marquetry boxes, pyrography, timber and metal bicycles, handmade bodysurfing fins, floristry, carved timber products, turned timber products, tree houses, garden design, green burials and timber coffins, Native American timber flutes, large carving including a dugout canoe and woodworking literature. Yep, it's shaping up to be a big show.
IFOW is a great chance for everyone to get hands-on and experience something new. To see the full range of workshops available at IFOW, visit their site here. If you're not into greenstick stool making, perhaps you'd like to whittle out some crochet hooks? Or if you're already familiar with spoon carving, maybe pyrography will get you fired up?
There is something for everyone, and kids can enjoy face painting, nature play, parkour workshops, make bush critters, and if they can still keep their eyes open after all that, bring them over for some chopstick making.
Tickets will be available at the gate for $15 or can be pre-purchased for a special pre-sale price of $10 here. Under-18s enter free.
Copy care of Japanese Tools who will be there with their great range of quality wood working tools.
UNSUSTAINABLE is a short documentary that gives an insight into the sustainability of the surf industry, starting by the basic element needed, the surfboard. Shapers around Europe give us their point of view about the fact that surfing, an activity originally based on respect and contact with nature, has become an industry of oil-based products.
Alternatives do already exist, it's only a matter of embracing them and detach ourselves from the image and supericiality that the industry has sold us over the past years.
Longer version of the documentary coming soon.
"THE GREAT AND GENTLE BILL WALLACE GONE AT 91"Sunday, 3 September 2017
"From plywood through balsa to foam - longboards
to short and back again - a shaper’s shaper, a fine surfer and a true
waterman, R.I.P Bill Wallace, 1926-2017.
Tall, open, funny,
modest and generous, an old-school gent was Bill and to meet him was to
like him. He moved to Noosa in the early 70s and finally hung up his
tools just a few years ago. At age 86 Bill was still handcrafting
beautiful wooden board similar to those he started on as a teenager in
the early 1940s. He also brewed a pretty smooth bootleg rum throughout
his later years which he’d share with anyone who fancied a drop.
was born in 1926, grew up in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney at Bronte,
joined the surf club and spent all his teenage spare time in the water.
During World War II many older club members shipped off to war, and at
15 Bill got an apprenticeship working in munitions factories building
boats. He made his first surfboard, a 16' toothpick, in 1942 which took a
year to build. “That board wasn't easy to make, no materials and no one
to show me what to do!" He soon sold it though and that was the start
of a life-long career and passion that saw him at the forefront of
Australian board manufacturing and design.
Billy moved to
Sydney’s Northern Beaches and became one of the Brookvale Six (check out
the doco “Men of Wood and Foam for the full fascinating story), was
among the first to blow foam in Australia, and rode the 60s boom through
the first golden era of the longboard right on through the shortboard
The list of great surfer/shapers who worked for and
were mentored by Bill includes Bob McTavish, Rooster Dell, Frank Latta
and Dick Van Straalen, and through the 60s the Wallace label was
renowned for super quality boards. Said Bill: "At that stage in summer
we would make 120 boards a week. We made D-fin pigs in the early '60s
and by 1967 we were making shorter boards which Bob McTavish and Nat
Young where riding".
Bill was inducted into the Surfboard Shapers Hall of Fame in California in 2011 alongside names like Tom Blake and Greg Noll.
A much-loved man, a life well lived – rest in peace Bill Wallace."
- Author John Brasen - Pacific Longboarder Magazine
I never met Bill Wallace but he was a great friend and mentor to Tom Wegener and passed on his knowledge to be forever a part of Australian surfing history.
This years Wooden Surfboard Day will be Sunday 7th August
Poster for 2012
Poster for 2011
Poster for 2010
Poster for 2009
The joy of wood and water...
Wooden surfboards have been around for a long time and it was probably on a simple piece of wood that man first enjoyed surfing waves somewhere in the world. It may have only been a crude piece of driftwood found on the beach that served as a way of catching that first wave, but the joy and connection felt with the sea then is no different from what we feel today. As someone who has crafted a surfboard from wood, taken it out and caught a wave on it, I can tell you that the first time you paddle in and get to your feet, is truly a timeless feeling of joy and achievement. I hope that in assembling this list of talented people will inspire you to have a go at building your dream board and also experience that feeling for yourself.