Ask any Woodfordian what makes the Woodford Folk Festival so special and they’ll tell you the diverse array of people who come along and share their many different skills and talents plays a large part.
From silversmithing to pottery making, tattooing to weaving, the Woodford Workshops Programme is testament to the melting pot of cultures, professions and personalities the festival hosts.
You can learn a new technique in as little as an hour, and the best thing is you get to keep what you create so you can show off (and in some cases even wear) your sweet new skills and have a memento of the festival to keep for years to come.
The workshops range from $10 to $48, with a few free drop-in sessions as well.
There are too many amazing workshops over the course of the six days of the festival to mention here, but this list should spark your excitement.
Head to the website for the full list and timetable, and make sure you book online because they often sell out well in advance of the festival starting on December 27.
For the eco-minded
It wouldn’t be Woodford without a multitude of eco-minded artisan warriors. Learn to use your craftiness for good with these workshops.
Eco Faerie Wings – Make your own pair of unique wings in this creative class that also explores conversations around environmental living concepts. Repurposed, recycled and found materials are used in making these stunning, earthy and eclectic wings.
Up Cycled Jewellery and Up Cycled Book Binding – in these two workshops, transform recycled board game pieces, toys and other trash into treasure, from the mundane into the marvellous.
Woven Fish and Woven Turtles – Learn translatable weaving skills whilst investigating Cat’s Claw, a weed of national significance. Discover where to find it and how to harvest and prepare it for weaving, along with other weaving materials such as picabeen palm and cane.
Recycled Undies – Got an old t-shirt or dress that needs a revamp? Turn it into a pair of unique briefs or boxers. No sewing experience required.
Traditional Maori Basket Weaving (Kete) – Explore with Alice Spittle the processes, traditions and Tikanga (protocols) around weaving, as well as how to nurture the plant and harvest sustainably. Mix traditional Maori weaving techniques with your own jazzy new ideas to experiment with this amazing plant and fibre.
Flower Crowns – Get into the festival spirit and create a unique crown from fresh, dried and paper flowers.
Try something a little special!
It seems the workshops with special equipment and a little technicality are popular, and we know why – you might not be able to try these at home! It can be an expensive commitment to invest in a new hobby, so try it out first at one of these workshops, and don’t stress about bringing materials. Make sure you book online because these ones are filling up!
Wheel Thrown Pottery – Enter this fun and engaging studio, get clay under your nails and come out on the other side as the proud owner of your own clay creation.
Sterling Silver Ring – Delve into ancient silversmithing techniques to create your own handmade sterling silver ring, or make a special gift for someone else – just (not) in time for Christmas, but better late than never right?
Hammertext Copper Ring – Following a popular series of workshops at the Planting Festival, RABKA Gold & Silversmiths are back. Create your own handmade copper ring while learning metalsmithing techniques that have been hidden behind closed doors for centuries.
Spoon Carving – In this fun and creative intro to using carving tools, explore woodworking techniques and elements of design and enjoy the beautiful and unpredictable nature of working with timber.
For the tech-savvy (and the tech-ignorant to watch on in awe)
Part of the State Library of Queensland, The Edge are back for another year of blowing our minds, with a big focus on 3D.
3D Life Hacks – Want to get into 3D printing and modelling but don’t know where to start? Ever wanted to own a mini me? Learn how, and other life hacks in this workshop with Steph Piper.
Just Grow It – Be part of the plastic-free revolution, and grow everything from mushrooms. Dr. Sandra Tuszynska and Dr. Peter Musk show you how to melt recycled plastic bottles into a mould, feed some festival coffee grounds to oyster mushroom mycelium and watch in grow.
Wearable Electronic Fashion – Build an awesome interactive badge that reflects your mood to the entire festival, and learn how to program it to say what you want.
For the kids
Most workshops are kid friendly (adult supervision is appreciated) but these ones let kids be king.
App Illustration: Mash Up – This is a session for 8-12 year olds, with or without families, where you can create hand-cut collages and then digitise your work to share online with your adoring fans.
Little Designers: Making Music – Designers aged 6+ accompanied by their parents can take a playful look at design thinking, creating and designing magical music machines.
Get the message across
Head to these workshops for inspiration on moving and shaking a movement or issue you’re passionate about.
What The Zine? – Zines are a low cost self-publishing tool, perfect for documenting and sharing passions while communicating concepts and examples of ideas, art and social issues that are important to you. Create your own zine that can be posted to friends, family or a stranger.
One Million Stars Project – One Million Stars to End Violence is a peaceful global weaving project that encourages people to be the light and kindness they want to see in the world. Drop in between 10am – 1pm daily to learn about the project and add some light to the night.
The gourmet experience
Art and wine – a match made in heaven.
The Gourmet Art Party mixes a little drawing with delicious cheese and wine to get the creative juices flowing. Get your p-art-y on with acclaimed artist Dr Bill Platz.
Beautify your body
Body Art – Learn to decorate your body using these quick and easy tips and tricks from an award-winning artist Robyn Janetzki. Once you’re glammed up, you can get back out into the festival streets with flare.
Inked: Illustration and Tattoo Art – Discover the salacious history of this artform, uncover key figures, investigate the symbolism and learn about flash vs custom tattooing culture while creating your own sheet of ‘Flash’ – classic designs as seen on the walls of street parlours.
Traditional arts and crafts
Ancient Art of Batik – Using traditional tools, be guided in in the art of creating ancient batik designs and motifs on fabric from scratch. Learn about the history of this ancient technique.
Bilum Bottle Carrier – Create your own ‘string’ bag with this technique unique to Papua New Guinea.
Weaving with Colours – Apply a simple design, inspired by nature, and translate this from paper to the loom to create a small woven object. Learn basic tapestry weaving techniques using coloured wool on a small weaving frame.
Circle and Stitch – This is a welcoming space for people from all walks of life to learn the art of crochet. Beginners can create a headband or carry pouch and the more experienced can try their hand at creating a beanie or cushion cover.
Oil Painting: Expressing Colour – Delve into the luminous and lustrous world of oil colours. Load up your brush with rich pigments, spread layers of transparency to achieve depth while exploring techniques to effortlessly blend colours and vibrantly express your ideas with Chris Southwell.
Be quick to avoid disappointment – many of these workshops sell out before the festival starts.
Tickets to this year’s Woodford Folk Festival are only available online here.
See you there!