VWA Blog


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.

Wood Dust 23

10 May 2023

This May! Take a look at what Wood Dust 23 has to offer. From master classes to Q&A events, to launch parties and more.

Purchase tickets through their website.

Insurance Update

A while ago, our current insurer Vero, informed our brokers, City Rural Insurance Brokers (CRIB) that they did not intend to keep our public liability policies going after September this year. All current policies are valid until they expire, which for most of them is the end of August 2023.

We didn’t receive any detailed explanation of why Vero wanted to withdraw. However, we’ve heard from CRIB and other brokers that conditions in the insurance industry are very challenging at the moment. This is due to a large number of claims from fires and floods over the last few years and to some regulatory changes which has now led to some companies restructuring their products or refocussing their business. 

We wanted to let all our VWA members know that we have been working hard alongside CIRB and others, to identify a new insurer who would be a good fit for our policies and VWA members. That’s taking some time. While recognising the challenges in the industry, we have a few insurers expressing interest and we’ll keep you posted. 

Stephen Ziguras

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

VWA Development

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

Outside Event: Wood Dust 23 In May

17 Feb 2023

Wood Dust is a four day festival being held here in Melbourne from the 18th – 21st of May. There will be Master classes presented by leading International and Australian crafts people. A timber and Tool Marketplace with a variety of woodworking brands. An Insiders Dinner, an Evening Yarn, and other unique opportunities to meet fellow woodworkers. 

Click here to find out more about Wood Dust 23 and their featured guests!

We are very proud to see our VWA committee member and past Artist in residence Raven Mahon teeing up with Artist, Danielle Rose Byrd for a 3 day bowl carving master class as part of Wood Dust 23 in Northcote.

Aspen Golann and Bern Chandley – Chair making Masterclass
Danielle Rose Byrd and Raven Mahon – Hand craved bowl Masterclass
Vic Tesolin – Design for Woodworking Masterclass
Andy Buck and Carol Russell – Finding your creative voice Masterclass

Click here to find out more about the Masterclasses being held by International and Australian crafts people.

What to keep an eye for at the VWA in 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


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.


10 May 2023 / VWA Updates

Delve into our latest article, “Some Wood Sniffer Highlights of a Tasmanian Road Trip”, by Michael Crozier. Follow his journey from Design Tasmania in Launceston to the aromatic smells of Huon Pine from the sawmill in Strahan.

Event: Melbourne Design Week

10 May 2023 / Events & Exhibitions

Melbourne Design Week (MDW) is an annual 11-day program of talks, tours, exhibitions and workshops that celebrate and interrogate design through its varied disciplines, including: communication design, industrial design, service design, gaming, architecture, landscape architecture, …

read more

School updates and regular announcements

17 Feb 2023 / VWA Updates

Improvements around the VWA workshop: Workshop Manager Liam Thomas recently organised a working bee day at the Wood Design Centre with the VWA’s Artists in Residence. Over the course of 2 days the WDC machine …

read more

Meet our Members: Eli Beke

25 Nov 2022 / Meet our Members

1) Introduce yourself – where are you based, what do you do and how long have you been a VWA member? I am a wood carver that works primarily with green timber based in Kinglake …

read more

VWA’s History by Hamish Hill

25 Nov 2022 / VWA Updates

GNAWING AWAY AT THE PAST Any spare moments in recent weeks have been spent sorting and organizing 15 or so file boxes of VWA files, folders, catalogues and loose pages of VWA records and memorabilia. …

read more

VWA Artists in Residence Update

25 Oct 2022 / Artist in Residence

Alex Pontonio Some little progress shots on some cabinets I’ve been working on.  Stepped mitre details with continuous grain. These veneers were all shop sawn and pressed. Continuous grain detailing will extend along to the …

read more

Event: The Chair Exhibition at Craft Victoria

27 Oct 2022 / Events & Exhibitions

More than any other piece of furniture the chair has been subject to the wildest experimentations and ideas by makers, craftspeople, engineers and designers. The most used piece of furniture, it is lauded for its …

read more

Student Work: open project classes, highlighting current student work

27 Oct 2022 / VWA Updates

The VWA offers students the opportunity to choose their own projects which can be worked on over the course of one term or several. Take a glimpse at some of the work that has been going on lately at the Meat Market in North Melbourne.