On the weekend of February 18–19, Sturt School For Wood featured its annual Tools & Techniques event along with the opening of Alumni, an exhibition of new work by past students.
Founded in 1941, the Sturt Craft Centre in Mittagong, NSW is the oldest of its kind in Australia. A wood workshop was built there six years later, however it was not until 2005 that the Sturt School For Wood was officially opened with director Alan Wale at the helm.
Tom Harrington took over when Alan retired and it was during his tenure that the course became accredited as a registered training organization. It is now the only school of its kind in Australia that offers accredited intensive full and part time tuition in fine woodworking.
Rolling hills and wineries make NSW’s Southern Highlands a mecca for tourists and Sturt is also one of the attractions. The centre has not only wood but also pottery, jewellery and weaving studios, along with a shop and gallery space which attracts around 30,000 visitors a year. The gallery represents up to 300 professional artists from all over Australia however the furniture and items made from wood are all made by graduates of the school.
Currently on show is Alumni, an exhibition of work by 14 makers who graduated within Sturt’s first 20 years. The featured makers are Alex Springall, Blair Ossendryver, Chris Wilford, Geoff Tonkin, Jeff Freeman, John Gallagher, Laura McCusker, Mark Lenny, Nick Statham, Paul Nicholson, Roy Schack, Stuart Faulkner, Stuart Pinkerton and Warwick Wright. Alumni is on show until April 2, 2017.
The February 19 exhibition opening was timed to coincide with Sturt’s annual Tools & Techniques weekend, now a popular annual event which features demonstrations and trade offerings of fine tools and timber.
Sturt offers short and full time courses in fine woodworking. Applications for 2018 may be made by contacting the school via www.sturt.nsw.edu.au
Scenes from the weekend are shown in the gallery above while the June issue of Wood Review magazine will feature a review of the Alumni exhibition. Click on the images for a larger view and to read caption information.