VWA Blog

News

Danish Cord Bar Stool Short Course with Phoebe Everill

22 Dec 2023

If you’re travelling interstate and looking for a short course to do over this summer break, check out the 5 day short course held by VWA member Phoebe Everil at the Sturt school for Wood in Mittagong, NSW. 

Create a contemporary ‘Toni’ bar stool featuring a hand woven Danish paper cord seat. Some experience is required. 

For more information on how to apply click here

Happy Holidays

Dear VWA members,

As we approach the festive season, we want to extend our warmest wishes to each and every one of you for a joyous and safe Christmas break. This year has been filled with creativity, learning, and shared moments, and we want to express our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has been a part of our vibrant community. Your participation in classes and member meetings has been truly appreciated, and we’re grateful for the passion and enthusiasm you bring to the Woodworking Association. As the year draws to a close, we look forward to welcoming you all back for exciting new endeavors and shared experiences in the coming year. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Warm regards,

Victorian Woodworkers Community

VWA Insurance

26 Sep 2023

The new VWA Insurance Membership for 2023-24 is now set up online and ready to go. Join us as a full member and receive Product and Public Liability Insurance!

Our current policy covers:

• Woodworkers and other craftworkers who sell their products, including those who sell at craft markets and online

• Those who teach their craft to groups of 10 or less

• Those who demonstrate or exhibit their craft

Now with no turnover limit!

We’ve introduced an online payment portal for quick and easy signup.

Information about the scheme is at available here: https://vwa.org.au/insurance-new/ or you can apply directly at: https://vwa.org.au/register/full-year-insurance-plan/

If you have any questions or difficulties with the application process please contact our Membership Secretary, Meg Allan via email: insurance@vwa.org.au or by phone: (03) 5776 2178.

Mentorship With Jon Grant 

An opportunity to learn Windsor Chair making from Jon Grant of Handmade Matters! Jon has created a mentorship program that will take place over three months at his studio in Tasmania’s hidden valley.

Throughout the mentorship you will craft your very own Windsor Chair under Jon’s expert guidance. You will receive training in all aspects of Windsor Chair making, learning everything required to complete a special chair to be treasured. You will gain first hand insight into Windsor Chair making history, the use of vintage tools, and Jon’s own deep connection to the timbers that grow in Tasmania’s glorious temperate forests.

Onsite accommodation is provided at no charge for the duration of the mentorship. Nestled within a quiet bush setting, the off grid, self-contained A-frame cabin is the ideal way to fully immerse yourself in the Handmade Matters experience.

Throughout the mentorship you will also lend your newfound skills to Handmade Matters by assisting in the creation of some of the key chair making components required for Jon’s chair making classes. You will also assist Jon in preparing for, and running, chair making workshops.

The Handmade Matters Mentorship is three months in duration, with participants committing to working alongside Jon for four days each week.

Applications are invited from those with demonstrated furniture making experience, a genuine interest in chair making, and a respect for the maker’s philosophy. Applications are particularly invited from regional and economically disadvantaged applicants.

See more and apply at https://handmadematters.com.au/mentorship/

The Talbot Maker Space

The Talbot Maker Space at the Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre is now offering a suite of programs for people in the community with disabilities. Suitable for those looking  for a social outlet and beginner woodworkers, through to those looking to develop their craft, exhibit and sell work.

Programs range depending on your interest and skill levels.

Contact Program Coordinator, Michael O’Dwyer at maker.space@austin.org..au or visit @talbot_maker_space for more details.

Clarence Arts and Events Prize and Exhibition

The Clarence Prize is a biennial exhibition and an acquisition design prize that was launched in 2007, attracting entrants from around Australia with a reputation for demonstrating the breadth and diversity of contemporary Australian furniture design and making. This year’s event has just launched, with the winner of the Clarence Prize for Excellence in Furniture Design announced as Hobart-based designer and maker Patrick Adeney for the Winslow Armchair!

See more on the exhibition and awards here: https://www.clarenceartsandevents.net/

The exhibition showcasing the finalists from around the country, as well as all of the winning pieces, is open until Sunday 15 October at Rosny Barn in Hobart.

Vic Wood Annual Scholarship

4 Jul 2023

The VWA is delighted to announce the establishment of the annual Vic Wood scholarship. 

The scholarship is open to VWA members to undertake a woodworking program of study that aids the advancement of fine woodworking skills and the sharing of those skills.

The value of the grant is $2,000. 

The award is in honour of Vic Wood, a founding member and inaugural president of the VWA. Vic was a renowned innovator and tireless educator-mentor in the field of woodworking.

For background information and application requirements please follow the link here.

For any inquiries about the scholarship including the conditions, eligibility and the application process please contact the VWA at scholarships@vwa.org.au.

Makers Directory now live on VWA website

As a benefit of VWA membership, woodworkers can now set up a professional profile and contact details on the VWA website. To set up your profile, log in to your account at: https://vwa.org.au/membership/member-login/ and click the ‘maker profile’ tab. Once you’ve finished, click Save. After it’s been reviewed by us, it will be made public. You can make changes at any time by the same process.

As part of setting up a profile, you can also choose to receive project requests from prospective clients who complete the Custom request form.  It is up to you whether you follow up with the client and the VWA does not charge a commission on this service. To join up to this service, click yes on the ‘Subscribe to Custom Request List’ button at the bottom of your Maker Profile page. 

We will be publicising this service via social media once we have a few more people with profiles set up.

Please note, both of these services are only available to woodworkers.

Call out to VWA members

Want to get involved? We need some help!

We need the help of one or two people to help organise meetings for members. These can be:

• Workshop visits 
• Talks by suppliers, professionals, specialists
• Visits to timber providers/manufacturers
• Demonstrations of particular styles, techniques, or tools

If you are interested, you would be developing ideas for meetings, contacting potential speakers and visits and organising times and venues with the VWA committee.

Please get in touch if you would like to help out by emailing me at: president@vwa.org.au or give me a ring on 0405 668 779.

Stephen Ziguras
President

Dunstone Design Masterclass

11 May 2023

Experienced makers might question why they should invest in “another” masterclass. The answer is simple- professional development. Dunstone Design is offering a unique opportunity to focus on every aspect of your craft. Design & Development is our flagship masterclass. Last year we hosted Michael Fortune, this year we host Adam Rogers. Adam is one of America’s leading furniture designers. He was head designer at Thos. Moser and is now one of the principles of Square Manufacturing, Maine. Adam’s taught product development and chair design at the Centre for Furniture Craftsmanship, Maine. He was a visiting professor at the School for American Crafts, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Adam taught the inaugural Design & Development at our workshop in 2019.

“My passion is for both design and craft, an approach that transcends scale, and the belief that
design is the process of deciding what to turn a tree into, and craft is the process of doing so –
whether just once, or several times. This craft thing is one long history of skills and ideas passed
down and evolved through experience. I enjoy trying to distil lessons from the process and sharing
with others” – Adam Rogers.

I’m fresh from my Gottstein Fellowship to Sweden, where I studied the Swedish approach to
teaching woodcraft and design. I visited Stenebyskolan, Malmstens and Capellagården. This trip has
really made me reflect on how we train woodwork in Australia. Assisting Adam and me will be William Bayliss, a multi-award-winning craftsman here at Dunstone Design. Dunstone Design has arguably the best equipped wood workshop in Australia. You will be using Martin machinery and have access to a wide range of traditional woodworking equipment. Dunstone Design Workshop manager Alex Mac Farlane will make a cameo appearance and conduct an in-depth lecture on the safe use and possibilities of the spindle moulder.

I hope you can join us this October.

For more information and to buy tickets, click here.

VWA Development

10 May 2023

Hi everyone! As you know I’ve been working with the VWA to understand what some of the most pressing challenges faced by professional woodworkers across Australia are. Over the last 12 weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to speak to 30 professional woodworkers from different experience levels and learn a bit about themselves as well as the challenges they are facing. From the conversations I’ve had so far, some of the most common challenges include pricing work accurately, understanding of business functions such as accounting, finance etc. to name a few. It’s been a very interesting journey,  brainstorming ideas with everyone I’ve spoken to so far and hope to be able to summarise my findings via a report very soon.

Arbaaz Tareen

What to keep an eye for at the VWA in 2023.

17 Feb 2023

‘Hone in – Social Sessions’, at the VWA.

Starting in late Autumn and running into winter, the VWA will host a series of social mini-classes for members. Staggered over several weeks, these interactive sessions will look at the basic principles of four different hand tool groups in a small-group social format. Participants will have the opportunity to see demonstrations, have a go, field questions and come together for a chat about wood stuff. 

Keep an eye out for more information on these sessions.

Follow @vicwoodworkers

Blog

VWA Artists in Residence Update

27 Mar 2024 / Artist in Residence

Check our latest Artists in Residence updates from Brandon Harrison, Isabel Avendano and Jess Humpston.

Farewell VWA Artist in Residence Alex Pontonio

22 Dec 2023 / Artist in Residence

It is with mixed emotions that we bid farewell to an exceptional Artist in Residence, Alex, who began her creative journey with us in 2019. During her impactful tenure in our incubation workshop, Alex achieved …

read more

VWA Member Wei Wu takes out Wood Review’s Maker of the Year

22 Dec 2023 / Members

Congratulations VWA member, Wei Wu, for winning the 2023 Overall Maker of the Year Award, Held by Australian Wood Review.  Melbourne designer maker Wei Wu has taken out the top award of Overall Maker of …

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Wood Design Centre: Machines Room Updates

22 Dec 2023 / VWA Updates

We have had an extraordinary year with our Workshop Manager Liam Thomas making some wonderful improvements to our WDC machine room. Thank you Liam for overseeing the upgrades of our edge sander to a new …

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VWA End of Year Artists in Residence Update

22 Dec 2023 / Artist in Residence

Check our latest Artists in Residence updates from Brandon Harrison, Isabel Avendano and Jess Humpston.

VWA Artists in Residence Update

26 Sep 2023 / Artist in Residence

Check our latest Artists in Residence updates from Brandon Harrison, Isabel Avendano and Jess Humpston.

VWA Artists in Residence Update

4 Jul 2023 / Artist in Residence

Check our latest Artists in Residence updates from Brandon Harrison and Isabel Avendano.

Member Feature: Benjamin Reddan

4 Jul 2023 / VWA Updates

VWA member Benjamin Reddan, is a furniture designer maker who works from his Yarra Valley studio. He creates both unique bespoke and batch run pieces that are sold across Melbourne and interstate. Benjamin completed studies …

read more

School updates and regular announcements

10 May 2023 / VWA Updates

Check our latest school updates and announcements.

VWA Artists in Residence Update

10 May 2023 / Artist in Residence

Check our latest Artists in Residence updates from Jess Humpston and Isabel Avendano.