A rainy start to the weekend did not keep people away from the third annual Festival of Wood at Bulli Showground.
By lunchtime Saturday there were cars parked all the way around the area prompting organiser Suzanne Montague to confidently predict a record crowd close to 6000 people for the weekend.
Among those attracting considerable interest were indigenous wood artists Uncle Noel Butler and Uncle Noel Wellington who captured the imagination as he created a Coolamon and explained how the curved wooden tray was sometimes used a cradle for babies.
When Sylvia Malagnini brought her daughter along for a different experience on a wet Saturday morning and they liked it so much they made plans to return on Sunday.
Originally from Italy she said it was a wonderful experience for them both with activities not easy to do anywhere else. "I am passionate about woodwork. It turns out my daughter likes it as well. She was given a go at this workshop and is turning timber into a bowl".
Emma Lucchini, 6, had earlier taken part in a children's workshop where she made a kitchen spatula and caught the woodwork bug.
"It was my decision to come here but Emma took over my workshop as well. I think we will be back tomorrow. I am not surprised there are so many people here. It is very good. There are so many things for adults and kids. It is an event for the whole family to be honest".
Mrs Montague said everyone seemed to be happy with the workshops, food options and performers.
"Everyone seems happy," she said.
"This year we have quite a few new stalls and everyone is finding the stuff we have got is really different".
Among the popular attractions were some carpenters making whales and sharks out of recycled pieces of timber. A new range of timber jewellery was also popular.
"We are diversifying but it is still connected to wood," she said.
"And the workshops are working really well.
"An added addition is the South Coast Woodworkers Association started by my husband. They are all professional woodworkers".
A full program of workshops, exhibitions and performances on Saturday and Sunday is available at https://illawarrafestivalofwood.com/.
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