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Learn woodworking skills
Do you want to learn some woodworking skills? Is your child keen to try out making things from wood? We offer Public Workshops for kids and for adults throughout the year at our wonderful teaching facility, the Heritage Woodcraft Centre. The program each month is different, so the best way to find out what is coming up is to get on our email mailing list!
Do you have a family gathering coming up and would like to do something different with them? Would you like to try a shared positive woodworking experience as tool to give your workplace team a reward or a morale boost? Are you part of a pre-existing group who would like to do something creative and positive together? We offer Private Workshops to groups of people from 3 to 14 in number. The co-ordinating person just arranges with us the date, time and details – and we do the rest!
Woodworking for everybody
Festivals and public events
Private Woodworking Tuition
We conduct woodworking incursions into schools from K-12 in both State and Private Schools.
We love to take the Joy of traditional Woodworking to the masses!
Would you like some one-on-one tuition to develop your woodworking skills?
What people say about our workshops
The girls had such a wonderful time! They are so very proud of what they have made. You are a great teacher. We will be back!
I wanted to send my gratitude for such a wonderful morning this Sunday. It was such a glorious morning, an excellent chance to reconnect with the skills of working with wood. You are an incredible mentor and teacher and made it so easy to get started, try out new skills and find success in such a short time.
Thanks so much for your amazing spoon workshop yesterday. I don't know if I've ever been in love with a piece of wood before but I am now!!
Thanks Greg! It was an amazing day! And yes a great bunch of people! Thank you for all the knowledge and patience that you shared! We love the Stool! It's holding up very well! I shall definitely have to practice my straight sawing and hammering techniques! Arms very sore by the end but well rested today!
Thank you for the spoon carving class last week. I love my spoon. In fact I enjoyed it so much I have convinced one of my sisters to come over to Perth on holiday next year and do a class too. She didn't take much convincing I hasten to add!
Thank you so much for the wonderful lesson for Innes today. He hasn't stopped talking about it and has shown all his relatives, explaining the different tools he used for different purposes. Such a great class. We will definitely return for another project.
Meet our team of talented folks
I have many fond memories of being in dad’s shed as a kid. It was in later years that I realised he was a pretty talented woodcraftsman.
Working with people has always been in my blood. My father and mother were both teachers. I was to spend 16 years working in Primary Schools as a qualified Education Assistant.
Leaving that career behind, I began restoring and selling antique furniture. It was while I was working on restoring a beautiful 1920 Art Deco set of drawers that I met Greg Miller at the Heritage Woodcraft Centre. He gave me a hand to bring this lovely forgotten piece of furniture back into the world – ready for use once more in all its former glory.
This was another turning point for me. The Heritage Woodcraft Centre has become a haven for me, just as my dad’s shed was when I was young.
My teaching skills are now back in action at the Heritage Woodcraft Centre and in other Joy of Wood activities - the School Incursions and Festival activities.
Working with The Joy of Wood has enabled me to combine again my love of working with people as I introduce them to the wonderful world of all things wood.
Greg grew up in a woodworking family, surrounded every day by the sights, sounds, smells and talk of things being made from wood.
He spent his childhood with a hammer in one hand and a saw in the other. He still uses some of the tools he was given as a child.
Greg has spent most of his working life either working as a Youth & Community Worker or as a Cabinetmaker/Joiner.
These days, Greg’s great passions for working with people and working with wood come together in his little enterprise called The Joy of Wood.
This year, 2019, marks 10 years since Greg started running woodworking workshops – sharing the joy of hand tool woodworking with people of all ages.
He loves old tools - their history, evolution, and use, and loves to teach people how to make these old tools sing again. He also uses hand tool woodworking to provide fantastic therapeutic opportunities for people, including kids with special needs, people with Acquired Brain Injuries, mental health challenges, and more.
Greg believes wood is a gift from the Trees, that we honour the Trees when we make beautiful things from that wood. Connecting our hands with our brains via the use of tools and wood is delightfully empowering experience. It is good for the soul too.
Tyson inherited a love of working with tools to craft things out of wood from his father and grandfather. Playing with wooden model aeroplanes taught him many good skills.
After careers in computing, sustainability and parenting, he has reengaged with his earlier passion for making things with his hands. He has two primary school aged kids and enjoys teaching them about tools and making things too.
He is now sharing those skills through the Joy of Wood in schools and festivals, and through workshops and Private Tuition at the Heritage Woodcraft Centre.
For over a decade we conducted woodworking incursions into schools from K-12 (Kindergarten to Year 12), in both State and Private Schools. Working with class sizes ideally up to 25 (though we did do classes of up to 35 when necessary). There were many programs we offered depending on the desired Educational Outcomes. From “Free Creative Play” with the K-1 students, to project based activities with the Yr2 upwards, there were also some great STEM projects we offered as well – where we were making projects with a deliberate focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths in the process.
Our Covid-19 year, 2020, brought about a number of changes to our operations. One of those changes was the decision to NO LONGER offer School Incursions. We feel sad about this, as it was where The Joy of Wood all began in 2009. However, our focus has changed to Private Tuition as our primary activity, 5 days a week.
It was an honour and a privilege to share the joy of traditional woodworking with so many thousands of kids over more than a decade. We will greatly miss it...
Festivals and public events
We love to take the Joy of traditional Woodworking to the masses! Commonly the most popular attraction at many of the festivals and public events we attend, the Joy of Wood’s Woodworking Activity brings pleasure to kids of all ages! Picture a workshop set up with lots of benches of various heights, with lots of hammers, nails, a sawing station where people can cut wood, and a huge pile of wood pieces of many shapes and sizes. You are in creative woodwork heaven!
Festival organisers know this is an asset to their event. They pay us to provide the activity and we provide all of the gear, the materials, and the supervision/coaching. Therefore participation in the activity is normally free to the public! Whatever kids (and adults) get to make, they get to take home with them. It is delightful when we see kids and parent/grandparents making stuff together – and even more wonderful when we see 3 generations creating together! Forget the bouncy castles – this is the real deal!
For something totally different, alternatively we can offer demonstrations in pre-industrial woodworking skills. For example, doing the traditional Chair Bodging process where we start with a piece of tree, and do the “log to leg”. Froes and Axes, Drawknives and Shaving Horses, and finally on the foot operated wooden Double Spring Pole Lathe, based on a German model from the mid 18th Century. It’s a fascinating spectacle, and we love to invite members of the public to have a go on the Shaving Horse and the Pole Lathe.
Private Woodworking Tuition
Would you like some one-on-one tuition to develop your woodworking skills? Whether it is skills based or project based, you can learn quicker and more thoroughly with the personal attention and coaching that Private Tuition offer you.
Would you like to use hand tool woodworking to help re-build your life after an accident or personal trauma, in a supportive environment? Do you or your child have special needs which limit the value of being part of a big group woodworking activity? Working with our hands and mind is delightfully therapeutic, and doing this while creating something lovely from a piece of wood is good for the body, mind and soul. We have people with various disabilities who come to us for Private Tuition. It is a great tool for helping re-build lives – a form of practical occupational therapy.
Come and learn from us. Some people come for regular weekly or fortnightly tuition, others come for occasional or one-off sessions. Private Tuition sessions normally go for 2 hours, and you can bring a friend too if you wish. To talk to us more about the possibilities, click here.
Tools, kits, and plans for sale
We have a great variety of quality woodworking tools, kits, and plans available in our online store. Everything to get you started (or keep you going) in your favourite hobby. Whether you need greenwood tools, carving knives or DIY shavehorse plans, our store has you covered.