ARTISTS: Chinchilla Woodcrafters Club members Keith Rane, Len Hubbard, Dave Walters, Clive Cookson, Ian Sims, Ray Walters, and Councillor Kaye Maguire at the draw for the stunning blanket box.
ARTISTS: Chinchilla Woodcrafters Club members Keith Rane, Len Hubbard, Dave Walters, Clive Cookson, Ian Sims, Ray Walters, and Councillor Kaye Maguire at the draw for the stunning blanket box. Brooke Duncan

The beauty of woodcrafting

IT'S an art form that dates back millennia and it's strong right here in Chinchilla.

Steeped in history, woodcraft has an incredible range of applications and the Chinchilla Woodcrafters' Club has just shown off one of them. The club has raffled off an incredible hand-made camphor laurel and New Guinea rosewood blanket box, created by club president Keith Rane.

The box already has quite the history according to club secretary Len Hubbard, which began when the state high school deputy principal offered up the camphor laurel -which had to be removed to make way for a new building - two years ago.

"He said 'ok woodies, would you like this beautiful big camphor tree?' so we come up with the idea then at the club,” Mr Hubbard said.

"The tree is only 25 years old and it was huge. And why it was so big was it grew under a dripping tap and kids, every time they washed their hands never turned the tap off, so it was turbo-charged all its life.”

Together with timber brought back from Papua New Guinea decades ago by Mr Rane, the Chinchilla tree was transformed into a blanket box.

"It's something that'll become a family heirloom and mum will have it, and she'll probably give it to one of the daughters, and hopefully the thing will go for hundreds of years,” Mr Hubbard said.

As for what draws people to crafting wood into incredible objects, Mr Hubbard said it was something innate.

"Either you like it or you don't I suppose,” he said.

"I've always liked wood, I've also been a member of the local Field Naturalists group for 30-odd years and so we travel out into the bush and one of the things we look at a lot is trees, so we often say 'well what else can we do with these trees', y'know, we can make something from them.”

His personal go-to with woodcrafting is delicate jewellery boxes.

In his words it's a hobby that's "only limited by your imagination”.

"You can get onto the internet and there's just hundreds of plans that you can look at,” he said.

The club is always on the lookout for new members, and with the Lions Club giving the woodcrafters the use of a shed behind the den, the club will soon have a place to properly share their knowledge.

"What we'd like to see happen is that we can get people of any age to come out there and, there's quite a few skilled members in our club, and we're more than happy to pass on our skills to other people in the community, especially young fellows, young women, if they'd like to learn woodwork they're more than welcome to come along,” Mr Hubbard said.

Western Downs Councillor Kaye Maguire was on hand to draw the raffle, and said it was incredible to see such talent in the community.

"We've got so many amazing artists and people who work with their hands and I just really want to say thank you to them for providing such amazing work to showcase our community and what we're about.”

You can see more of their work at the Chinchilla information centre.


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