Making Sugar Pine memories

Artists came from the Snowy Valleys, Wagga and Canberra to practise pyrography on a round of Sugar Pine timber.

The 50-day Arbour Festival hosted an extremely popular pyrography workshop last weekend, inviting participants to learn how to burn designs into their own pieces of Sugar Pine timber alongside Adelong artist and tutor Marlene Pearce.

Mrs Pearce said the event sold out quickly, with 24 students participating across two workshops held at the Batlow Literary Institute on Saturday.

“It was a great success apparently,” she said, sharing an email she received from one the students who travelled from Canberra to participate.

The email from Christine Ryan read, “I just wanted to say congratulations to the community and thank you for the opportunity to join in two amazing workshops led by Marlene Pearce and Lesa Corinne. My family and I thoroughly enjoyed both workshops (Pyrography and Photography) led by these two professional ladies. 

“The Arbour Festival is a lovely dedication to the devastation caused by the Dunns Fire and the road to recovery. Thank you for helping us to re-see the beauty and regeneration of nature around us after such a devastating event in our lives.”

The festival commemorates the 50 days during which the Dunns Road fire burned in the Snowy Valleys last year.

Mrs Pearce said her students were each given a round of green Sugar Pine timber, salvaged from the burned plantation and coordinated by Eastern Riverina Arts and St Vincent de Paul.

“It was an iconic landmark in the area; they say it was photographed as much as Ayers Rock and Sydney Harbour,” said Mrs Pearce, “But the arboretum is equally as beautiful and there are Sugar Pines there the same age, which were planted at the same time.”

No further pyrography workshops are planned at this stage, though Mrs Pearce said she’s had plenty of requests.

Arbour Festival continues through February 15 this year, with events this week including:

January 19, 25 and 26 – Arbour Seedlings – Primary kids Art Workshops – Batlow, Tumbarumba and Adelong BOOK NOW

January 22 – Monologues from The Snowy Valleys – Ages 12 – 16 Drama workshops with Hothouse Theatre

January 23 – Forage Installation Workshops (Floral Art) sold out

January 24 – Forage Installation Workshops (Floral Art) Pilot Hill Arboretum

January 24 – Remembering the Sugar Pines special dawn event at Pilot Hill Arboretum

Tickets for these events can be reserved or purchased via