Set for our biggest exhibition yet!

The Sunshine Coast Wootha Prize is a prestigious national woodworking competition with a conscience and forms the feature exhibition at the Maleny Wood Expo each year.

After three years of being cancelled due to the pandemic, it was unclear how the woodworking community would respond to a call to enter the 2023 Sunshine Coast Wootha Prize. Had it been too long a break? Had people lost interest? 

Who would have guessed that it would generate the strongest response since the Prize began in 2004! With more than 40 entries the 2023 Sunshine Coast Wootha Prize is looking to be a wonderful exhibition for Wood Expo visitors to enjoy.

Thanks to the long break between events, the Maleny Wood Expo has undergone a rejuvenation in terms of its look, but the authentic, community vibe still runs strongly through the veins of the event which is now in its 24th year! 

This community spirit is evidenced by a new Sunshine Coast Wootha Prize sign, beautifully crafted in White Cedar by Peter Geddes. 

Peter Geddes is a semi-retired veterinary surgeon, master craftsman and woodwork teacher from Brisbane. Peter said that he has been coming to the Maleny Wood Expo for many years as an exhibitor and has had so much fun that he wanted to contribute back by crafting this sign for Barung Landcare, host of the Maleny Wood Expo. 

On top of seeking expert tuition, Peter stresses the importance of woodworking students putting in the time between lessons to practice and read widely with more information available in books and online than ever before. Artists can now access the technical expertise of some of the world’s finest craftspeople. 

When asked about his favourite tools, Peter recites a quote from James Krenov who is widely regarded as one of the most influential woodworkers of the twentieth century: “I think of the plane as being the cabinetmaker’s violin; the instrument that sets the tone of the music in an orchestra.”

2023 Sunshine Coast Wootha Prize

It is clear that many woodworkers did take the time over the last few years to sharpen their skills, or even take up the art of woodworking as a beginner. Many new artists submitted entries to this year’s Sunshine Coast Wootha Prize, and works were of a stunning quality.

The competition again offered multiple categories for entry in 2023. And we thank our wonderful sponsors for supporting each of the categories:

  • Overall Wootha Prize – Sunshine Coast Wootha Prize – Sunshine Coast Council ($10,000)
  • Furniture – Queensland Water and Land Carers and Barung Landcare ($2,500)
  • Sculpture – Maleny Art Direct ($2,500)
  • Tiny Treasures – Australian Woodsmith ($2,500)
  • People’s Choice – Queensland Country Bank ($500)

Winners are to be judged and announced on Friday the 28th of April. We look forward to announcing this year’s finalists and winners and sharing the exhibition with Wood Expo-goers over the coming long weekend.

2019 Winners

1st Prize “Torrent HiFi with Speakers” by William Bayliss
Sponsored by Sunshine Coast Council
2019 2nd Prize “Tricholoma – Nest of Tables” by Alby Johnston
Sponsored by HQPlantations

2019 3rd Prize “Jewelry Stand” by Broc Cattley
Sponsored by Ben Messina Landscape and Nature Photography

2019 People’s Choice Award “Flight” by Josh Marks

Header image: ‘Reflections’ by Shane Christensen (winner of the Sunshine Coast Wootha Prize People’s Choice Award, 2018)