Alloura Waters’ woodworkers turn time into treasures

By Don Paviour-Smith: 

In the past twelve months there has been a great deal of activity and work coming out of the Living Choice Alloura Waters woodwork workshop. This is partly due to COVID restrictions as many of our members have been unable to travel, and holidays have been limited to mostly intrastate destinations.

Some of the highlights of the workshop activities include some great repairs and renovations, woodturning from locally harvested logs, and demand for locally made wooden items.

Renovations and repairs are often challenging due the fragile or unusual nature of the item. Our biggest challenge was to repair the veneer on the side panel of a treasured piano. Fortunately, we had a mahogany veneer, which, when stained and polished came very close to the original. Only a close inspection can detect the difference. Brian Smith and I completed this job.

Another challenge was an old rocker (not Mick Jagger!), where the seat had collapsed with use. The repair required a lot of care so that the individual structure of the chair was preserved. Bob Kennedy carried out this job.

In 2019, our gardening team, led by Trudie Allen, pruned several very large trees growing in the village. From this we were able to collect a selection of logs from Spotted Gum, Jacaranda and Liquid Amber. These logs were cut into manageable lengths and stored to dry out. We started turning from them in 2020. So far antique bottle stoppers and single stem vases have been the main items. Don Campbell and I are the keen turners.

Toys are a big feature in our output. Wayne Peel has a continuous demand for train sets in NRL Club colours. These are ordered and purchased for grandchildren and great grandchildren. Brian Smith is a master of small cars, and David Hobbs and Richard Barnwell do aeroplanes and wheelbarrows.

However, this year has seen almost a production line in Charcuterie Boards, all made to order. Brian Smith is the master craftsman here. He has developed a knack in laminating boards with great effect.

Keepsake boxes and potpourri jars are also popular production items.

Some of our work is also done on request from residents, and some according to what each workshop member wishes to do. We have a display stand in our Community Centre where work is displayed for sale. The proceeds of these sales, plus payments from repair and restoration work, help to meet our operational costs and provide for replacement equipment as needed.

The Workshop is a great asset for residents in our village and provides an outlet for our creative talents. All our wood is recycled, some even picked up from roadside disposals.