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Gidgeannup Small Farm Field Day: ancient craft of woodturning on show at this year’s event

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Aidan SmithCountryman
Swan Woodturning Group members Tracey Redwood and Bruce Shepherd with a display of some of the group's handiwork.
Camera IconSwan Woodturning Group members Tracey Redwood and Bruce Shepherd with a display of some of the group's handiwork. Credit: supplied/WAWA/supplied/WAWA

The ancient craft of woodturning will be on show, courtesy of the Swan Woodturners Group, at the Gidgeannup Small Farm Field Day.

The group has been attending the Field Days for many years, displaying its timber crafts and informing people about the skill and techniques used to make the products.

Woodturning, while staying true to its original inspiration, is an ancient craft that is being continually enhanced by the inclusion of new processes and equipment.

The Swan Woodturners Group, which is one of 12 groups that make up part of the WA Woodturning Association across the State, attend local agricultural and art shows through the year.

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“We transport a couple of lathes and a table or two of turned items for sale,” SWG secretary Mary Byers said.

“The lathes keep turning all day making a number of smaller items of interest to the children, as well as adults.”

Based in Midland, at The Swan Districts Senior Citizens’ Association premises, the group has 60 members.

Ms Byers said the group had been meeting weekly since January 2012, hosting internal demonstrations of woodturning or a talk on a related subject, a “show and tell” session and then a tea/coffee break — all “most informal”.

“Three or four times a year we have a hands-on session,” she said.

“Visitors, members, associate members, newcomers, learners are most welcome at our meetings. “

WAWA is a not-for-profit organisation that was formed by a group of 18 woodturning hobbyists in 1985, led by Eneabba local Keith McQueen.

It has since grown to about 500 members, within 12 groups, spread across Perth’s suburbs and the State’s south.

Although initially set up to promote the ancient craft of woodturning the activities of the association now include scroll-sawing, hand/chip carving, pyrography, segmentation, and a number of sub-groups have been created.

The association has been holding monthly weekend competitions with the winners announced and their products on display on the WAWA website.

Ms Byers said Field Day visitors were welcome to visit the stall and say hello to the volunteers.

“We all like to chat and love to talk about the art and craft of woodturning,” Ms Byers said.

The group will put on an entertaining program of demonstrations in the Field Day Food and Wine Pavilion car park throughout the day.

To find out more, visit woodturnerswa.org.au or contact Ms Byers at swanwt123@gmail.com.

The Gidgegannup Small Farm Field Day will be held from 9am to 4.30pm on Sunday, May 28, at the Gidgegannup Showgrounds at 2171 Toodyay Road in Gidgegannup.

Children under 16 can enter for free.

Tickets are $15 for adults and can be purchased at the gate at https://events.humanitix.com/gidgegannup-small-farm-field-day-bn8ruyjr

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