The shed: Stories of wood

Garden of Stories

Explore stories about the transformation of trees into objects of tactile beauty.

“Everything in life is growth. Not numbering and counting, but ripening like a tree, which doesn’t force its sap and stands confidently in the storms of spring, knowing that summer will come eventually,”

Rainer Maria Rilke

Russell “Wossy” Davey ✿ Carving stories, protecting Country - Russell "Wossie" Davey talks about the many uses of the boab nut and how it helps him tell the stories that keep the connection to Country strong.
Japanese knotweed with a silver lining - Maxwell Fertik works with a globally invasive species to tell a story of local industrial devastation.
Marie Eklund ✿ Poetry in spoons - Marie Eklund receives a Garland laurel for her wooden spoons that heighten the delicate act of portioning food.
Duncan Meerding ✿ A light touch - Duncan Meerding's furniture and lighting are crafted with a precise touch, reflecting his vision of frayed light.
The Mashrabiya Project: Life behind the screen - We speak with Jennifer-Navva Milliken about a project at her Museum of Art and Wood that responds to the ubiquitous lattice screen of the Islamic world.
The fragrant power of Dutjahn - Angie Faye Martin finds a part Aboriginal-owned company that continues the ancient harvesting of sandalwood to produce much-coveted scented oils.
Like the olive tree, Bethlehem craft persists through generations - Carving olive wood helps strengthen the tree and provides a livelihood for women like Layla to meet her many responsibilities.
Pine water jug: Imbibing the Taurus mountains - Songül ARAL writes about the traditional pine jug that captures the bracing air of the Taurus mountains. 
Make and bring your own chopsticks - We ask Vipun Chanchlani about the challenge of making your own chopsticks and how we should bring our own to restaurants.
A spoon a day - Ana Sincu reflects on how making spoons helps her form a deep connection to the trees she loves.
A wooden spoon: How to make life special - Eli Bek explains why he makes tableware from wood, as a way of "making special".
Tack Skogen: Beauty in the blemish - MADAM Snickeri celebrate the wood that the industry rejects, finding beauty in the stains, holes and deformities.
Assegai: A spear of light across the Indian Ocean - Adam Markowitz reflects on the origins of his pendant light and why he decided to give it a Zulu name.
Manong Ernesto: Carving history in Baguio - Stella Maria de Guia writes about Ernesto Du-lang, proud resident woodcarver of the Baguio City Museum, Philippines.
Zhuizi: An ordinary dog’s tale - Were netsuke originally from China? Helen Ting discovers an endearing collection of Chinese belt toggles.
Netsuke today - The traditional Japanese wood carving craft of netsuke continues to evolve.
Broached Recall: Bringing modernism to the surface - For Lou Weis, a new series of commissions based on early modernist veneers helps critically reflect on the trajectory of modernist design.
Moitará: An exchange between São Paulo and the village of Kaupüna - Maria Fernanda Paes de Barros takes us to a Xingu village where she partakes of the moitará exchange to commission work for her furniture. 
Mary Curtis ✿ The wood between our fingers slows us down - Mary Curtis explains how she has primed her jewellery to provide a tool for medication.
A custodian object from the Murrumbidgee - For Hape Kiddle, the coolamon he carved from Cooba wood is a conversation with the earth that we are custodians of.
Atefe Sadat Mirsane ✿ Marquetry to wear - An Iranian jeweller makes precious adornment out of pieces leftover from the traditional wood mosaic craft of khatam.
Taller Grulla ✿ The forest at hand - Our January laurel goes to a Chilean workshop that makes objects for daily life inspired by earth and forest. 
Mapuche hybrid identify furnished from the periphery - Rodrigo Castro Hueche follows his family’s furniture work to craft objects that reflect a hybrid Mapuche identity.
James Tylor ✿ Kaurna tool kit - Our November Laurel goes to James Tylor for his re-creation of the Kaurna tool kit, reflecting the revival of cultural skills across the wider world.
Country sees you: A Bapang among Yolngu - Damien Wright gets a call from Galarrwuy Yunupingu to start a furniture workshop in the Top End, which teaches him what it means to be a Balanda (whitefella) working with Yolngu
The case for wood - Guy Keulemans advocates for the use of timber, particularly with new technologies that preserve the structural integrity of the wood.
To rescue a world on the wane: A clarion call to woodworkers - D Wood argues that wood furniture should be more than just the appearance of its origins, but reflect its sourcing as well. 
Jon Goulder ✿ Furniture with a backstory - The latest Broached Commission is a profound furniture series by Jon Goulder, which expresses the evolution of craft over four generations. We delve into his collaboration with weaver Liz Williamson.
Art Design Architecture: Jam Factory’s epic series of touring exhibitions - Soon after Brian Parkes started as CEO of Jam Factory in 2010, he initiated an ambitious series of touring exhibitions based on materials which have helped define Australian craft and design in the 21st century
Chelsea Lemon ✿ Marquetry in its place - Chelsea Lemon's parquetry designs deftly combine function and decoration.
Why a Japanese lacquer master sought a surfing legend - Lacquer is a gift of the ancients that is largely forgotten today. Sachiko Matsuyama is convinced of its value not just for its redolent surface but also as a bond between people and nature. She finds an inspiring future for lacquer in the work of Takuya Tsutsumi, in partnership with an Australian surfboard maker.
Saeed Arzegan ✿ Love whisper - Our May laurel goes to an Iranian artist who reflects his culture's mastery of wood inlay and crafts a story about standing up for the victimised.
Punu ✿ Living wood - An exhibition from Maruku Arts at Uluru contains striking new works in burnt wood, punu, and "walka" board. "Walka" is a design that tells of Tjukurpa, the law of Anangu from Australian Central and Western Desert. 
The panggals of Kambot and Wom villages: A journey down the Keram river - Natalie Wilson journeys down the Sepik river to the village of Kambot, where she finds the remarkable art of panggal painted boards
Wanda Gillespie ✿ Abacus - Our January laurel goes to Wanda Gillespie's gorgeous abacus. She takes mathematics on a detour.
Mike Nicholls ✿ Finds a bird in the tree 📽️ - In his latest video, Mark Newbound ventures beyond the studio to witness the sculptor Mike Nichols transform a cypress tree into a gannet. 
Daily demons and fabulous animals: In which the author finds her craftswoman but loses her cat 🎓 - Tessa Laird tracks down the maker of her treasured alebrije, a carved animal that embodies the Mexican indigenous belief in the nuhual animal spirit.
Who is the author? Oaxacan wood carvers in global economies of ethnic art - Anthropologist Alanna Cant reflects on the naming rights of alebrije makers in Oaxaca
Quarterly essay: Libraries of Stone and Wood - A Published Event is a remarkable project for nurturing and housing original stories. Their narrative greenhouses have stimulated the growth of a unique creative scene in Tasmania.
Craft classic: The spurtle - Patrick Senior describes the making of the spurtle, a craft classic used for stirring porridge
Slow design in wood - Laura McCusker speaks to the importance of care for materials and local production.
The Nullians - Sharyn Egan reflects on her work Nullians which fossicks settler-colonial history from the turned balga craft objects abandoned in second-hand shops.
From Sumatra to Bellbrae: A Jenny Crompton story - Jenny Crompton travelled to Sumatra where she learnt wood carving from a traditional datu spirit man. This gave her an appreciation of culture, but it wasn't her own. On discovering her Wadawurrung ancestry, she has developed a unique language of art from the kelp of the coast that is both her inspiration and rediscovered Country.
Quarterly essay – Everything Happens to Everyone: A Rodney Glick story ✿ - They’re boots. Military field boots, I’d say; they have that look about them: pugnacious toe; thick, corrugated sole; long tongue and half-laced upper; although there is an unexpected zipper along the shaft.
Simon&Jacob – A union for collaboration - Jessica Hutchison and Alex Jack articulate their thinking and making as woodworkers commissioned by the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art to produce furniture from the installation by Goldin+Senneby.
Everything Happens to Everyone: A Rodney Glick story 🎧 - Robert Finlayson visits Rodney Glick, a sculptor who also happens to be a successful cafe entrepreneur in Ubud, Bali. His world contains a unique creative chemistry of Western art and Balinese craft.
Two-Ways Learning – The gift that keeps on giving - How do incommensurate cultures work together? How do they connect while acknowledging differences? Bala ga Lili (Two-ways Learning) (2016) is a cross-cultural collaboration between Melbourne furniture designer, Damien Wright and Yolngu man, Bonhula Yunupingu, It was exhibited at Castlemaine Art Museum’s 2017 as part of The Extractive Frontier: Mining For Art, co-curated by Beverley Knight and Clare Wright.
Making wood precious in Astana, Kazakhstan - As a participant in the Sheber Festival Astana (Kazakhstan 17-18 December 2016) and Artistic Jewellery Workshop, Martina Dempf gives us a rare glimpse of the creative life of Astana, Kazakhstan.
Face-to-Face Across the World - Zina Burloiu and Terry Martin embrace WhatsApp as a platform for keeping the spirit of the World Crafts Council alive in the 21st century. Their extraordinary collaborations in wood show what can be done together, even when working in countries as far apart as Australia and Romania.
Revival of Rainforest Culture – interview with Napolean Oui - Peter Hylands interviews Queensland artist Napolean Oui about Djabugay culture in the Queensland rainforest. The artist reflects on his interpretation of traditional art forms, including shields.
Zambia, I presume by Auditor Chiyonkoma - Nearby the majestic Victoria Falls, Auditor Chiyonkoma has created a business making wooden objects so that tourists can take away works of Zambian craft along with their memories. Auditor's story gives us a glimpse of how someone comes to be a maker in Africa today.
Defining studio furniture down under - A summary of the studio furniture phenomenon in New Zealand including its beginnings, educational opportunities, exhibitions, and participants.


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