Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Southern Perspective

Australia is a lovely landscape with marvels from desert to rainforest and I got to see plenty while I was there. This was one of the most surprising views that I came across early in my trip.

This wood seems almost more animal than plant!

It's a timber called "Black Box" and it highlights the incredible difference between the woods there and the ones back home.

This was a burl that another Pete (I had one class with 3 Peters in it!) cut out in the bush. He is one of a rare breed there that hunts spectacular wood for the musical instrument makers. I went out on an excursion with one of them, but more about that later. Isn't it wild that it looks so fleshy!

Here is the truck that Pete uses to go a'gathering.

I don't know about you, but to me, this is a real truck!! From the winch to the water and gas cans, you can tell that this is no vanity SUV. The snorkel looking thing is an air intake for when he crosses rivers.

Below is a class photo of the last class that I taught (I had 3 classes and a lecture). You can actually see chairs from the other two classes in the image, one is the continuous arm rocker and the other is the green birdcage in the back.

The Aussies don't have a tradition of painted furniture like we do, so I spent a lot of time brow beating them about the positive impact that paint has on the chairs. The solid silhouette, the taming of various wood, the richness of the paint...and so on. My intrepid host Glen Rundell took the bait and painted his birdcage with one of the most lovely finishes I've seen. You'll see more of it here (with recipes and process) or you can see it and more about his view of my trip on his blog.

I have lots to share, some new techniques, a jig or two and plenty of pictures of me relaxing in Tasmania ( from which I'll spare you). Even leaving a balmy summer for the New England slush, it's good to be home.


Christopher said...

Sounds like a great trip, and it's good to see a new post! When I lived in the UK we "colonials" tended to hang together and I've never met a more accommodating and talented group of folks than my Australian friends.

Patrick Tipton said...

Welcome home Peter - missed the blog over the last few weeks.

Manni said...

The Land down under can certainly be inspiring! Never had the opportunity to work with Australian woods, but my imagination still gets going with images of barks, leafs and shapes of trees I saw on my trip there a few years ago. Not to mention the amazing earth colors. Hope you have time for a few more posts on your trip there. Thank you for your excellent blog :always among my favorite in the American woodworking scene.


Dana said...

Welcome back Pete, it's good to be catching up with you and look forward to hearing of the travels.

Peter Galbert said...

Thanks everyone,
I am happy to be home!

Tee said...

There's no place like home. I love painted chairs. I'm looking forward to your posts on the painting process.

I know Sue and all the kids are glad you are home.

Peter Galbert said...

boy is it good to be home!! I'll hopefully cover painting some more soon, but you can also look to Curtis' series on youtube, he will be posting painting vids soon,