The Sydney Woodturners Guild was founded in 1983 by students, teachers and ex-students of the woodturning course at Sydney Technical College.
The aim of the Guild is to bring together people who are interested in learning from, and assisting others in, the craft of hand woodturning through membership in one of its Affiliated Associations. Our motto is “By Hand & Eye”. An important feature of the Guild is to encourage beginners to gain confidence with equipment and materials and to provide experienced advice about prospective purchases of expensive tools or machinery. Many Guild members are, or have been, associated with the timber industry in some form during their working lives and can provide a wealth of experience to newcomers to the craft. It is interesting to note that these newcomers range in age from high school graduates to retired people desiring to remain active.
The current membership includes both professional turners and amateur/hobby turners, including a rapidly expanding number of lady turners. The current membership stands at well over 500, drawn from both the Greater Sydney and country areas. The Affiliated Associations hold their meetings in suburban schools, homes and, due to the rapid expansion of the Guild, their own Guild Halls.
These meetings are very popular as they allow members to come together to:
The Regional meetings are very popular as members come together to:
- discuss matters of general interest to woodturners
- demonstrate and pass on woodturning techniques
- seek solutions to individual problems related to projects or equipment
- gain inspiration and ideas for future projects
- view demonstrations of new products by manufacturers
- purchase equipment and/or materials from specialist retailers who regularly attend the activity days
In addition, highly respected professional woodturners, both from Australia & overseas, may be invited to demonstrate their skills.
Group visits and “week-end away” trips are regularly organised to visit other venues such as craft shows that are held out of Sydney, Open Days held by other woodturning groups or “social” long week-ends to country areas where, somehow, there is always a timber yard en route.
The Guild publishes a bi-monthly newsletter, By Hand & Eye, and some of the Affiliated Associations provide a monthly newsletter, concentrating on material of interest to its members.
The Guild, through its Affiliated Associations, is active in supporting community fundraising appeals. Associations, through their workshop facilities, organise toy-making sessions to manufacture toys for these appeals with all labour and materials donated. As a result significant amounts of money have been raised for organisations such as hospitals, schools and bush fire brigades. Christmas toy appeals, from groups such as the Salvation Army, guarantee that woodchips will be flying all over Sydney.