Here is the list of workshops from our 2019 event to give you an idea of the kind of workshops that will be available in 2021. We are currently finalising the schedule for 2021, click here for more info.

The Living Wood Fair aims to inspire people, young and old, to reintroduce old ways of crafting and to share new knowledge and skills. The workshop zone offers a range of different opportunities to learn new skills and walk away with your own creation at the end of the day. 

Please pre-book your workshops as we cannot guarantee there will be spaces left at the fair.

Stool Making – Rekindle (6hrs + 1hr lunch break) $85

Sunday 10am – 5pm

Rekindle – an organisation based in Christchurch that provides opportunities for resourcefulness by promoting the skills & knowledge involved in creating what we need from what we have; they have a focus on transforming undervalued local resources through care and craft.

Using greenwood-working techniques craft your own three legged stool.

Spoon carving – Rekindle (5hrs + 1hr lunch break) $65

Saturday 10am – 4pm

Rekindle – an organisation based in Christchurch that provides opportunities for resourcefulness by promoting the skills & knowledge involved in creating what we need from what we have; they have a focus on transforming undervalued local resources through care and craft.

Come along and learn how to make a spoon! You will learn basic whittling techniques with a straight & curved whittling knives, and learn all about the ancient traditions of greenwood-working.

Blacksmithing – Pat Baker (2hr & 4hr) $25/$50

Saturday 9.30am – 11.30am or 1pm – 5pm

Sunday 9.30am – 11.30am or 1pm – 5pm

I decided to become a blacksmith while living in Europe and studying traditional work of various artists. I founded Hells Kitchen Forges in 1999 with my wife, Tatiana, who is an artist as well. We specialise in designing and manufacturing  functional sculptures and unique edgy furniture using traditional techniques.

In my workshop at LWF I will be doing various demonstrations of traditional forging and I will have examples of my work on display. I will also provide a 2 hour course for adults and children (accompanied by adults) forging a nordiska knivar (small viking knife) or garden weed hook and a 4 hour course for adults forging a carpenters chisel or big decorative nails.

Traditional Timber Framing Taster – Graeme Scott (3hrs) $40

Sunday 2pm

Graeme has been a carpenter for most of his life and for more than 15 years it has been his profession. In Canada and the UK he learned log building and timber framing and then for many years ran an eco build company and saw mill, utilising various building techniques including logs, round wood, traditional timber framing and straw bale. Having moved to New Zealand with his family 6 years ago Graeme worked as a conventional carpenter builder but knew this toxic, limiting, chemical filled, building industry was not the best way to build so set out to teach and empower individuals in natural building. With his wife he founded Golden Frames Woodworking School where they run a variety of courses from their home. They are also the founders of the Living Wood Fair.

With this Traditional Timber Framing taster session you will learn how to level up, calculate, mark and cut a mortise and tenon joint and drive a hardwood peg through it to hold it in place in the traditional style.

Earth Building – Kerry Mulligan (3hrs) $40

Saturday 10am

Sunday 10am

Hi, I’m Kerry, maker, designer, thinker. I’ve been working with earth as a building material for 14 years and love running workshops to share this craft. Earth, being a locally sourced, low processed and tactile material really speaks to our inherent humanness and I relish seeing the joy people get from working and learning about it. My day job is teaching architecture and engineering at Ara, Christchurch Polytechnic where my focus is sustainability. I’m also building my tiny house and living on co-owned land, trying to do things a little differently.

Earth as a building material. Identification of suitable soils and mixtures for a variety of earth building techniques. Exploring possibilities for infill or load bearing walls.

Taiaha – Eric Lander (2hrs) $25

Saturday 1pm

Taiaha workshop run by Eric Lander to raise money for a new waka to be stored in Collingwood for the waka ama groups, school groups and the wider community to use. This workshop is for men and women and covers the mythology around this ancient weapon. You will also learn the moves, footwork, thrusts and strikes of using this weapon. If you can bring your own light wooden staff to practice with that is a bonus.

Medicinal Herb Walk – John Massey (2hrs) $25

Saturday 11am

Sunday 2pm

I have had a long term interest in herbs/plants/weeds. They are amazingly interesting. I have learnt so much through observing them for over 40 years. I love it when people are generally interested as it makes a change in how they notice the world of nature around them and how they think about nature. So I love to share anything I can about plants.

I will be leading two plant/weed walks at Living Wood Fair. Basically the walks/talks are about exploring the wild plants of the Fairholm venue and talking about the myriad aspects/values/qualities of those plants so that the participants have more appreciation and understanding of the plant world.

All About Dovetails – Max Strumia (2hrs) $25

Saturday 9.30am

Max has been a woodworker for almost his entire life, when he was bewitched from an early age by watching his father and grandfather slicing through hardwoods.  He made the step from autodidact hobbyist to professional a few years ago, thus ditching two previous careers, and now builds furniture and other woodware as FigureEight Fine Woodwork..  Woodworking is for him not only about the medium but also about the pleasure of working by hand: if he couldn’t make the things he makes using hand-tools, he’d just go and make something else, using those same tools.  He is greatly influenced by Wharton Esherick as well as by the entire Arts and Crafts Movement. His approach to woodworking, as to much else, is a subtractive one: “When one eliminates the impossible, whatever is left, however improbable, must contain the truth.”

I will reveal how to make good dovetail joints entirely by hand, from layout to cutting and final fitting.  Layout will be done traditionally using dividers: no measuring is needed. Also included is at least one special trick to make the transferring of tails to the pin-board very accurate and simple, as well as how to start the cut exactly and how best to cut at an angle.  It is also most important to know where and how mistakes occur, and these will be purposefully demonstrated, so that the student’s subsequent mistakes will not come as a discouraging surprise.

Sharpening Handsaws – Max Strumia (2hrs) $25

Saturday 2.30pm

I will show how to sharpen handsaws, using full-length rip and crosscut saws.  Explained will be: the mysteries of tooth geometry and the practicalities behind it; how to shape each tooth not only so that it is sharp but also so that it has the same height and gullet depth as every other tooth (known as jointing); how to set the teeth; how to successively adjust all these parameters in iterative fashion so that the procedure does not overwhelm; and, most importantly, what the common mistakes are, how to spot them as they happen instead of after they happen, and how to recover from them.

Hand Planes and How to Use Them – Max Strumia (2hrs) $25

Sunday 11.45am

As with the Slow Food movment, there is now a Slow Wood movement which takes delight in the old methods of working wood.  One of the most important tasks is the flattening and truing of a rough board, to make it ready for joinery. Here we will use the standard handplanes (scrub, jack, try, jointer, smoother) to do exactly this, exactly as was done in all the years before the modern jointing and thicknesing machines became available.  We will also show how to sharpen the blade and adjust the plane.

Fruit Tree Pruning – Sol Morgan (2hrs) $25

Saturday 2pm

Sol trained in Horticulture at polytechnic and Lincoln University. Through running the community gardens and his business GroWise Consultancy, Sol has had many years experience and training in pruning fruit trees for greater abundance, health and practicality, he will share his knowledge with you.

Family Spoon Carving – Henry Dixon (2hrs) $25

Saturday 12pm

Sunday 9.30am

Growing up in a log cabin as a child has given me an affinity for all things wood from day one. Later, while living in Japan, I was inspired by the amazing wooden construction and detailed carving of the temples and shrines there. I like carving objects the are both attractive and practical. Spoons fit these criteria perfectly.

This is a beginner workshop for people who want to have a go at making a wooden spoon they can take home with them. Perfect for children and adults to do together.


This beginner friendly workshop, will work on the FUNdamentals of AcroYoga. Acroyoga is a beautiful practice that combines the dynamic wisdom of acrobatics, the awareness, breath and balance of yoga and the healing, loving nature of Thai massage. Working with one or more partners these three disciplines are fused into sequences of inversions, flows and balances. It’s a community practice, which, at it’s simplest, means that you are working with other people. In this way we can practice developing trust, connection and openness which can then be taken into the community as a whole. This Workshop provides a safe environment to explore trust and connection through joy and play and is for all ages.