2017 Knysna Timber Festival to showcase the art and science of wood

The organisers of the Knysna Timber Festival (at Timber Village from 29 September to 1 October) have announced the line-up of headline speakers for the event.

Artist Lyn Beaton will exhibit her hand-carved marionettes, and will talk about the art and craft of making the puppets during this year’s Knysna Timber Festival

“The focus this year will definitely be on rebuilding as #KnysnaRises after the fires of 7 June,” said festival manager, Picca de Bruin. “And that means both the physical act of rebuilding, and the restoration of ourselves as people through art and culture.”

The speakers will include:

Dalena Wolmarans on ‘The Art of the indigenous tree.’

Ms. Wolmarans is a third-generation timber merchant and timber transport contractor with “sawdust in her veins.” She believes that Knysna’s indigenous forest “is nothing less than a work of art.”

“This works on many levels,” she said. “The individual species that grow here have individual temperaments – just like artists do – and each individual tree is an artwork in itself.

“In my talk I’ll be comparing the personalities of the different trees that I work with – yellowwood, stinkwood, ironwood, boekenhout, and others – with famous artists, and in this way, opening the art gallery all around us to everyone.”

Pam Booth on ‘Making use of wood waste.’

Ms. Booth is the head of the Knysna Municipality’s Environmental Management section.

“Catchment management involves the felling of tons and tons of invasive plant material,” she said. “This poses a fire risk, and also causes the removal of massive amounts of nutrients from the system.

“But it doesn’t have to be a negative thing: there are many different ways of processing that waste usefully, and in my talk I’ll discuss biochar, compost, housing and goats.”


“Yes, goats.” (We can only wonder.)

Lyn Beaton on ‘The art of the wooden marionette.’

Ms. Beaton is a professionally trained fine artist who teaches locally.

“I’ll be exhibiting some of my hand-carved wooden marionettes, and selling my pen and ink drawings of indigenous trees in the Timber Festival marquee – and in my talk I’ll be explaining how I make the puppets, discussing some of the tools I use, and demonstrating how they operate,” she said.

Marius van der Merwe on ‘Processing biomass into biocarbon and energy.”

Mr. van der Merwe is an inventor-engineer, and the founder of NewCarbon (Pty) Ltd, which develops innovative technologies to process biomass to produce biocarbon, wood vinegar, and heat energy, “which are processes that have the potential to transform the community, the environment and local economies.”


“The Knysna Timber Festival is an excellent opportunity for sharing ideas, techniques and technologies, and the programme will include a number of showings of a video titled, ‘The Living Heritage of Knysna,’ as well as numerous product demonstrations by exhibitors like Strand Hardware and Vermont Sales, and Ezigro Karatara Nursery – which will be showing its tree bicycle that’s used for climbing trees in order to harvest pine cones for their seeds, and living material for tree grafting,” said Ms. De Bruin.
She said that the Festival is designed for everyone.

“Kids’ activities will include building your own planter box, and decorating it with gel stains by Woodoc Food for Wood – and there’ll be a food court with live music, and a beer garden for thirsty adults.

“The complete programme will be posted on the web site, on Facebook (facebook.com/KnysnaTimberFestival/) and in Action Ads,” she said.

A limited number of exhibition stands are available for companies that produce timber products, or provide goods and services related to timber.  For details, please contact info@timberfestival.co.za, or visit www.timberfestival.co.za.

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