wood . bark collage . wire . tin at Craft NSW
Wood turning is a process of shaping timber. The machine which accomplishes this transformation is called a lathe.
A lathe a machine with a rotating drive which turns the piece being worked against cutting tools which can be changed. The history of the lathe can be traced back for thousands of years. The name, comes from the English lath which was a pole or split strip of wood. This was used as a spring power source for early lathes.
In India, for example, a lathe was called a chakra, or wheel, and in many other languages, the term for lathe also has a relationship to wheel, or circle.
Bark art is a craft unique to Australia. The bark commonly used is from the Melaleuca or paper bark tree (found throughout Australia) Gee Bung, or any soft pliable bark.
The outer skin of corn cobs or garlic is often used to highlight a tree trunk or fence and bamboo can give the effect of water.
australian timber products
Australia has a vast selection of timbers. Most are hardwood species (although there are some native softwoods) and amongst these, there are numerous species of eucalyptus and rainforest trees. .
These provide beautiful and interesting timbers suitable for wood craft and woodturning. Timber craftsmen, unlike the commercial timber industry, are not reliant on timber with consistent properties. In fact they usually prefer 'flawed' wood which is often reclaimed or recycled.
One example is timber burrs or burls. Burrs are the cankerous outgrowths of trees, usually the result of some injury or attack. These burrs have complex textures, colours and grains, and are prized by woodturners for these interesting properties.
Australian woodwork while professionally finished, often features cracks and splits or the use of the piece of timber's interesting but natural edge. Rare timbers such as coolabah, grass tree, huon pine, myrtal, desert myall, and red river gum, are always in demand.