Ingrained in carving out a hobby
IN Carlo Collodi's much-loved The Adventures of Pinocchio written in 1883, Geppetto could literally make his subject talk, such were his skills as a master wood-carver.
The dozen or so members of the Limpinwood Woodcrafters group might not be able to elicit speech from their marvellous creations, but their real-life works leave one as dumbfounded as Geppetto on realising his wooden puppet had life-like qualities.
Each Thursday, these craftsmen and women from all over the region converge on Keith and Shirley Foster's former banana plantation and cattle property at Limpinwood for a day of woodcraft.
Working in one of three huge sheds, which has been transformed into a state-of-the-art woodworking shop, these artisans produce an amazing array of works.
Keith always dabbled in woodworking during his years doing the hard yakka on the farm, and over the decades he was able to outfit a workshop which would be the envy of any professional wood-working business.
Who wants a naughty puppet when local, Bob Field, can manufacture an entire bedroom suite made of Sally Wattle, and Murwillumbah's Harry Lesleighter can conjure up a spectacular soccer ball out of a large variety of timbers, and not to mention his magnificent egg basket.
Okay, we'll mention Harry's egg basket!
“Harry has wood-turned wooden eggs made from a host of timbers from all around the world,” said Bob Treadwell, an unabashed admirer of the works of Bob, Harry and his fellow wood-work enthusiasts.
“Harry made all his early eggs from Australian timbers, but when word got around about his hobby, friends and acquaintances who travel abroad keep bringing back timbers from all over the globe so he can build his egg collection into an international basket,” Bob said.
Bob, of Terranora, has been a member of Limpinwood Woodcrafters for “about six months”, but during that time he said not only had his skills “blossomed”, but he had been “blessed” to meet, be inspired by and fraternise with like-minded people.
“And for that, all of us are forever thankful to Keith and Shirley for their generosity, in not only providing us with a superb workshop boasting every imaginable piece of woodworking machinery, but their friendship and wholehearted support in all our endeavours at the work benches,” Bob said.
“Shirley always greets us with a huge batch of cakes and a large pot of tea and then we get into it, doing our own thing, but with the knowledge there is always an expert on hand to ask for advice if we get into a bit of trouble.
“Most of the group are experienced woodworkers and we are very fortunate to have several members who are experts in their respective fields, such as French polishing and intricate scroll sawing. You should see what Jack Knight can do with a scroll saw.”
One of those gifted members is Cabarita's Chris Bower, who makes old Geppetto look like a novice, such are his skills with a hammer, nail and a hunka wood.
“Chris is an inspiration to we less-experienced members. He loves nothing better than making himself available to anyone of us who wants to ask a question or help in working on a project,” Bob said.
That ends our tale, and rest assured Tweed Daily News readers, Bob Treadwell's nose, unlike that of Pinocchio, will not grow in length with the telling of this story.