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Creating a second life

- March 27, 2013

How to use the character and durability of Australian timber to spark young imaginations, and get children moving.

Many people have asked about the huge pieces of timber that have been stockpiled near Gorton House – remnants of trees that were removed to build our new early education and care centre.

We’re happy to say that a specialist group of craftsmen came to The Infants’ Home today to give the timber a second life.


A distinctive natural Australian texture

Andrew Smith and his award-winning team from Timber Creations transformed two massive Blackbutt logs and other pieces of Camphor laurel into benches, seating and climbing equipment – or perhaps cars, spaceships or sea serpents, depending on your perspective.


“These two are just gorgeous pieces of timber,” says Andrew, pointing to the Blackbutt. “They’d be worth about $5,000 if they were cut into sectioned boards.”

The Timber Creations sculptors will also transform a large piece of Juniper into signage for our new centre.


“The Juniper is beautiful because it’s got the contrast of the purple-coloured heartwood with the yellow sapwood,” Andrew says.

“It’s rare to find a piece of Juniper this big and durable.”
 

Timber sculptor David gets serious with the chain saw.
 


From junk to unique works of art

The main task for Timber Creations today was to:

  

(L) Moving the log into position and (R) embedding it into the earth.
 


“We take what some people see as rubbish and turn it into natural and functional creations that encourage children to explore, develop their imagination, and challenge their fitness,” Andrew says.

“The timber becomes equipment that contributes to the development of children, while fostering an appreciation of the natural beauty of Australian timbers.”

An inquisitive audience

As usual, it didn’t take long for a group of curious children to gather at the fence to watch the craftsmen work their magic, and fire questions at any adult within earshot.


Educators Jenny Gutmanis, ThiMy Truong and Guo Fen Xu did their best to explain that before too long, the old pieces of timber will become new play equipment at The Infants’ Home.

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