Bob Aitken has contributed these photos and story regarding the CVWA Jacaranda Festival display.
A major event each year for the Clarence Valley Woodworkers Association is the Jacaranda woodwork display and competition held in conjunction with the Grafton Jacaranda Festival.
The club started Jacaranda Festival woodwork displays in the late 1980’s and, in these early years, may have had only two or three members displaying work. The event has grown steadily since that time and in recent years around 25 to 30 members have participated in the display with over 2000 items listed for display/sale each year. Most participating members display items and offer them for sale. A few members choose to display only. The display is open for nine days incorporating the first week of November.
The competition section has also grown with eight woodwork classes ranging from furniture to toys and puzzles to a novice section thereby catering for all types of woodwork. The competition is open to both CVWA members and the public with a small entry fee for non-members. There are typically over 50 entries for the open competition each year.
The display and the competition sections serve to encourage members to produce high quality woodwork.
There is a separate High School Student’s competition section that has expanded markedly in recent years. This section now receives around 60 to 120 entries from up to 6 high schools in the area. Entries in the open competition are assessed by experienced woodwork identities from outside the club while school student entries are judged by a panel of club members.
Demonstrations of woodwork activities such as carving, turning, scroll saw work, pyrography and texturing are given by members on most days during the display.
During the display woodwork donated by members is raffled and the proceeds donated to local community appeals (eg. Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service).
For many years the display has been held in the upstairs auditorium of the South Grafton Ex-Services Club, Wharf Street, South Grafton. This is a great venue overlooking the Clarence River with dining and refreshment facilities available. Come and visit us during Jacaranda and see a great display with a large variety of woodwork items.