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Brendan Stemp was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1960.  He trained to be an art and craft teacher at Melbourne State College (now Melbourne University) between 1982 and 1985 where he met Richard Raffan and Vic Wood (both world renowned woodturners).  Both spent time with Brendan teaching him woodturning and instilling in him the importance of good design and finish.

In 1986 Brendan started his teaching career at an all boys school in inner Melbourne where he taught woodwork and graphics. In 1990 he was offered a position at Caulfield Grammar School where he spent 12 years before making another move.

In 2002 and after 16 years teaching Art, Graphics and Woodwork Brendan moved to Horsham (a rural town in a grain growing area of western Victoria) where he took up another teaching position.  This move provided him with the opportunity to start woodworking full time from his workshop situated on his small property at McKenzie Creek (10 km South of Horsham).

He started his woodworking business by accepting a variety of commissions, which included making dining and coffee tables, cabinets, bookshelves, a lectern for a Catholic church and bridges for a landscaping company.  However, one constant has been his woodturning.  Since his introduction to woodturning in 1985 he has worked on his lathe mainly producing functional items.

Now Brendan is a full time woodturner and divides his time between making production items, concert quality recorders, exhibition pieces, teaching and demonstrating.

2001 – 2007 Australian Woodturning Exhibition

  • Several placings in various categories and a first placing for a small bowl in 2005.
  • First place in 2007 in small bowl category, first place in wood sculpture and second place for lidded container.

2004 – 2007 Victorian Woodworkers Association Exhibition

Meat Market Craft Centre, North Melbourne.
  • First prize in the ‘Box Award’ for a Lidded Container and a ‘Highly Commended’ for a Spiral Coffee Table.

2005 – 2009 Australian Wood Design Exhibition

  • 2006 – first prize for woodturning
  • 2007 – first prize for woodturning and first prize for ‘tourist gift item’.
  • 2008 – Acquisition Prize
  • 2009 – Acquisition Prize

1994 – 2010

  • Numerous local Art & Craft Exhibitions

Brendan’s work is represented in:

  • 500 Wood Bowls, Lark Books, New York, 2004
  • Australian Wood Review, No. 29 and No. 59
  • Australian Woodworker, No. 137, February 2008
  • Australian Wood Review, No. 29, December 2000.
  • American Woodturner ( the journal of the American Woodturners Association)

Brendan is a regular feature article writer for

  • Australian Woodworker

Please add the title of your work, a brief caption, and your name.

Title: Oak bowl
Description/caption: Mike Jones’ oak bowl
Author: Mike Jones