As Arbour month draws to a close, the excitement builds among wood-lovers with the 2017 Working with Wood Show taking place in George this weekend 22-25 September.
The Nelson Mandela University Campus is the hub of activity for the Working with Wood Show and concurrent Association of Woodturners of South Africa (AWSA) Symposium themed Recovering from Failure.
One of the highlights on the Symposium’s programme is a demonstration by American Al Stirt whose career spans more than 40 years. Stirt has exhibited his work all over the world and in various public and private collections. “I find myself always looking for a new means of expression within the turned form,” says Stirt. Visit www.alstirt.com to see his skilfully crafted wooden bowls and platters.
The Symposium’s woodturning lectures are open to the public at R120, 00 per single lecture. Symposium participants will be granted free access to the Working with Wood Show which is open to all timber enthusiasts at a mere R30, 00 entrance fee with demonstrations on the hour every hour, food stalls, trade exhibitions, displays, and lectures to delight any chippie.
Demonstrations are free of charge. Trade exhibitors include Festool, Kreg, SawStop, Triton, Bessey, Pony, Armor, Howard, Cadex, TorkCraft, MRS, Magswitch, Pro-tech and Spring Tools.
A talk by Master Luthier, Marc Maingard of internationally renowned Maingard Guitars is sure to make anyone’s heart soar. The man who “makes trees sing again”, will share his passion for timbre and timber whilst showing some of his instruments in both raw and finished form.
“I love what I do. It is not work, it is a passion,” says Marc. This songwriter and storyteller hand-carves and expertly inlays each unique guitar using pearl, silver, gold and gemstones, as well as the ancient Tibetan technique of coloured sand. Although he hasn’t planned any musical performances per se, he may well strum a few chords and tell a few stories during his presentation. He hopes that he may inspire some aspirant woodworkers to pursue a life work in working with wood. Visit www.maingardguitars.com to see some of his creations.
The youth are afforded an opportunity to gain hands on experience working with wood as pupils from George high schools participate in an individual woodworking competition, with four contestants selected from each school. Competitors will complete a simple wooden project in three hours during the Working with Wood Show. “Now that carpentry is no longer offered as a subject at school, our industry fears that in the future, communities will speak of a long lost skill. Because of this, we feel it is of vital importance to reawaken the interest in carpentry amongst the youth,” said Daniel Melin, Regional Sales Manager of Vermont Sales who has sponsored an airbrush and compressor for the winning school as well as some other great woodworking tools. “We would like all contestants to walk away with something,” says Barry Muller, Lecturer in Wood Technology at the School of Natural Resource Management who arranged the competition.
Also from the School of Natural Resource Management, Wood Technology Programme Co-ordinator Richard Müller, looks forward to sharing his passion for the picturesque natural surroundings by taking mountain-biking enthusiasts out to explore the mountain bike trails in the vicinity of the Campus. “We (the local Hillbillies Mountain Bike Club and the Nelson Mandela University) developed many trails and we love to share it with anyone,” says Müller. There are also 6, 8 or 12km circular hiking routes in the indigenous forest surrounding the Campus which can be enjoyed by hikers under the guidance of expert personnel from the University who are knowledgeable about the ecosystems.
Working with Wood Show collaborators: the Association of Woodturners of South Africa (AWSA), the School of Natural Resource Management at Nelson Mandela University and the George Woodworking Association are ready to welcome the public to share in their passion for all things wood.