21 – 24 September 2018

The George Campus (Saasveld) of the Nelson Mandela University



The 2018 Association of Woodturners South Africa Symposium will be held in George from 21 to 24 September 2018. This year we are honoured to have John Wessels, a prominent international woodturner as our keynote demonstrator. John has demonstrated at all the major global woodturning events.

John has agreed to take us on a journey in which he challenges us to “break our boundaries” by being far more exploratory and ambitious in our woodturning activities.

In designing the presentations which will take place over three days, John has agreed to expose the delegates to demystify some of the classical woodturning techniques as well as to give us some insight into what one can do to enhance your final product.

The concept of Breaking Your Boundaries comes from John’s observation as to how many woodturners get “stuck in their ways” and through either a fear for delving into the unknown, or a lack of awareness, are unable to take their woodturning to the next stage. So many people become disillusioned with their own limitations and as such, fail to get real enjoyment out of their woodturning.

John who has been exposed to many of the top woodturners around the world has gained insight into how these people were able to take their woodturning to new levels of proficiency. In many cases, by breaking their boundaries, these people elevated themselves to become recognised as the most profound woodturners of this age.

The journey which John will take us on will include some of his own techniques as well as some of the more recent techniques he has gleaned from some of his colleagues around the world. The idea is to expose South African woodturners to new concepts with tools and techniques and supplies, all of which can be readily obtained in South Africa.



In recognition of the amazing lesson learned from our 2017 key note demonstrator, Al Stirt, this year’s challenge is all about turning a square edge bowl.  We encourage you to use your creative abilities to come up with a square edge bowl which should demonstrate not only your turning capabilities but also how you have been able to enhance the final product. Enhancement can take on any form from painting, to burning, to pyrography, using resins and the like.