Recent Events

SWG Life Memberships Awarded

5 December 2020 – Congratulations to Arthur Tilley, current President of Sydney Woodcarving Group, who was awarded Life Membership at the Southside Group meeting. Arthur has held numerous Committee positions and currently he is also the Group Health and Safety Officer. 
Members look forward to benefitting from Arthur’s generous sharing of many years of experience and expertise in their woodcarving journey.
Well deserved after over 21 years of serving and supporting the Sydney Woodcarving Group.
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12 December 2020 – Congratulations also to David Crawford on being awarded a Life Member, at Chester Hill. Well deserved as per the following Sydney Woodcarving Group experience: David has been a member of SWG for over 20 years. His service to the group has been one of constant support to members .
David has held numerous Committee positions from as early as 2003, including:
– Secretary -1 year (2003)
– Convenor Chester Hill Region -8 years (2003-2010)
– Events Co-Ordinator -10 years (2006-2017)
– President -2 years (2004-2005)
In his many years of faithful and consistent service to SWG, David has spent many of his hours advising, supporting, and instructing members on techniques, materials and design.   David has brought a wealth of experience to the Group and has not hesitated to share his knowledge with those who seek it.  He has also been a significant contributer to the establishment of the prescence of SWG at numerous events and shows. 👍🙏

SWG at the Illawarra Festival of Wood

13 & 14 October 2019 – The Sydney Woodcarving Group was excited to exhibit and demonstrate at the Illawarra Festival of Wood this year.  The turn out and atmosphere at the Festival was fantastic.  Several members demonstrated their whittling and traditional woodcarving skills, whereas others the fine art of pyrography.

There were plenty of activities to enjoy over the two days, including numerous wood related workshops, chainsaw carving demonstrations, as well as many woodworking products on display and/ or being demonstrated, with most being offered for sale.

Many SWG members sold various of their woodcarvings or pyrography items, and it must be stated, at very reasonable prices.  Not to forget, the many packaged woodcarving project kits, containing a pre-cut Jelutong wooden blank and a prefabricated sanding stick, as handed out freely by SWG members to keen young members of the attending public.

Overall, it was a great event and we look forward to attending again next year.




SWG at the Trend Timbers Open Day

13 & 14 April 2018 – The Sydney Woodcarving Group enjoyed participating in the Trend Timbers Open Day at Mulgrave with demonstrations of woodcarvings and presented a good display of members workpieces.  Members attending the Open Day included Ernie Perkins, Ro Mackie, Patrizia Cocchis, Helen Heaford and Kathryn Honor, David Drake and Peter Kruger.


Tour of Sydney Town Hall

20 March 2018 – Mark Tunstall of our Epping Group once again organised a memorable tour, this time it was a tour of Sydney Town Hall.

Sydney Town Hall was constructed of honey-coloured ‘yellow block’ sandstone quarried from nearby Pyrmont between 1868 and 1889.  Much  of the woodcarving in the building was found on the old original doors, architraves and window surrounds; generally these were all made of Australian Red Cedar.


The tour route included key areas of the building, including the Centennial Hall, Vestibule, Grand Organ, Council Chambers, Lady Mayoress’s Suite, Lord Mayor’s Reception Room and other interesting features, including the Grand Organ.


When it was installed in 1890, Sydney Town Hall’s Grand Organ was the largest in the world and described as the ‘finest organ ever built by an English organ builder’. Today, it continues to enthral organ lovers and audiences, as the Organ is used regularly throughout the year for recitals and concerts, as well as for free organ recitals (generally on Mondays at lunchtime), for dinners and conferences.


The Town Hall Tour was ended with an excellent Burger and Chips at the nearby Sir John Young Hotel.  Needless to say, the tour was very much enjoyed by all participants!


Presentation at Shellharbour Public Hospital

23 February 2018 – The Sydney Woodcarving Group (Shellharbour Branch) donated $5000 to the Shellharbour Public Hospital, raised by the sale of a hand carved guitar and a pod of five large sized dolphins. The monies raised were used to purchase an Airvo Unit for Accident & Emergency, used to administer oxygen, in various ways, to patients for emergency use in the wards. The event was attended by the Manager and Staff from the Ladies Auxiliary Team and members from the Shellharbour branch of the Group.



Anzac Day Ceremony

21 April 2017 The ceremony event was held at the premises of our Shellharbour group in conjunction with the Aboriginal Mens Group. It was followed by a sausage sizzle where our members were invited to join the Mens Group which was much appreciated.

Two rosemary bushes were planted to mark the event.


2nd Scottie Dog Whittling Workshop

8 April 2017 – We had a great turn-up at the Scottie Dog Whittling Workshop held at Chester Hill today, presented by Terry Elkins of our Shellharbour group. Starting at 10 am sharp, Terry did a marvelous job by showing us the very basics of whittling, not only what knife and wood to use, the ins and outs of necessary knife sharpening, safety gloves and thumb shields, but also how to do the various types of cuts.

The first exercise he gave us to perform was carving a cylinder out of pre-prepared square lengths of jelutong wood. Then we were asked to make a barbers spiral on the cylinder, not as easy as it sounds, if going by the seriousness of the participants is anything to go by! Then, finally, we got started on the pre-cut Scottie Dog blanks, also in jelutong.

By 2pm most had whittled the blank to a stage that the Scottie was starting to come out of the blank, but alas, it was pack up time. Dog to be completed as home work! 


Tour of Church Carvings

16 November 2016 – Mark Tunstall of our Epping Branch organised an excellent Tour of Church Carvings recently.  We met at St Mary’s Cathedral where we had an unexpected, but excellent personalized guided tour by the man responsible for all maintenance and upkeep of the Cathedral over the past 40 years.  We were even given exclusive entry into the Bishop’s Sacristy, a very rare treat.  Much of the more recent carving work we saw was undertaken by Laurens Otto during restoration in the 90’s.
After leaving St Mary’s and a brief coffee stop, we arrived at nearby St Andrews Cathedral. Here we saw the the Eagle Lectern that formed the basis for the replacement Bible lectern at St John’s Bishopthorpe, in Glebe. Another unexpected treat here was the performance of live music by a classical pianist and violinist duo.
After St Andrews, we went by bus to St John’s Bishopthorpe, in Glebe, where we inspected the many wood carvings, including the Eagle Bible Lectern at Glebe, as carved by Laurens Otto in the 1990’s.  The Organist there very kindly performed an organ recital for us, as well as explaining the inner workings of the organ and allowing us to inspect all hidden features of the organ.

After all of this, we enjoyed a delightful light lunch on the church lawn ‘en plain air’  before our saying our goodbyes.