Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Top 10 Coolest 

Wooden Chairs 


This funky chair is hand carved from a single piece of Oak. Sculpted by Touch Wood Sculptures, it is retailing for approximately $7000 AUD! Taken from a 250 year old Oak tree that was felled for safety reasons, the Oak's new form is minimalist, modern and somewhat rustic.


Wooden Puzzle Chair / Table (artist/ date unknown). This would be a great project to let the kids get involved with. Each piece is an individual stool or when combined it becomes a coffee table, talk about versatility and creativity in the home. Make the base of each piece out of solid timber for a more artistic or sculpted look with the TURBO Plane. Use the TURBO Shaft to create the puzzle shapes around the edges. You could also carve your family members names on each piece for a personalized touch – each piece belonging to a different family member but when put together it is symbolic of the family unit.


Cocoon like piece carved from trunks by Brazilian designer, Hugo Franca. Very cool piece of functional art.


For Art Nouveau fans, this sculptural chair is from the Mountain Region of France, c1900. The carved detail in the leaf veins along with the narrow hard to reach places in the back legs can be accomplished quickly and easily with the MiniGrinder.


We could barely handle ourselves when we came across these two hand inspired bar stools. Created in the 1960’s by Pedro Friedeberg these eclectic stools would add a touch of creativity and fun to any home.


This funky chair was made from Birch Plywood; it is called “Anthropomorphic” and was designed by Sergio Gill. 


A carved, laminated plywood chair created by David Delthony, c1985.

To sculpt a chair like this, (obviously adding a bit of your own style and flair!) you’ll need to stack laminate timber and bind them together with a strong wood adhesive such as Gorilla Wood Glue. Allow to set for a day or two and start sketching the design with a carpenter’s pencil. Sculpt away excess plywood with the TURBO Plane in line with the design. You will need to alternate angling the TURBO Plane – flat to achieve a planning effect and on a slight angle to achieve the varying curves of this flowing design. You may need to consider the MiniTURBO or MiniGrinder to reach into the smaller concave areas such as the back rest.  Plane the right side a bit more than this version to achieve a flat surface for your tea or coffee!


Sophisticated and intricate – The “Glemham” by Alex Johnson took 6 months to complete with the help of tools such as Chisels and Gauges. Alex believes that people will admire his effort and decorate their home with this special chair.


This Dragon throne made it to No.2 because of it's size and intricate design / detail (artist/ date unknown). Game of Thrones fans would appreciate this throne in their home, perhaps a smaller version though...?


This cool and crazy Scorpion chair made it to No.1! It was made by Russian artist  Vyacheslav Pakhomov. This handcrafted scorpion chair measures in at six and a half feet and is available with leather upholstery and a variety of wood finishes.
If the translation on his website is correct, it does seem to be available for purchase for the relatively modest sum of approximately $3,636.

Which one is your favorite?

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Arbortech Woodworking Competition 2016!

The Arbortech courtyard was once again transformed into an outdoor art gallery with staff members showcasing their talent and pieces of work in the 2016 Arbortech Woodworking Competition. Family members, friends and colleagues gathered to view the wood creations that were all crafted using the Arbortech Woodworking range of products. To say “woodworking revolution” is an understatement, as the pieces in this year’s competition were nothing short of stellar. So much so, that a number of pieces have already been sold to the public.

Max & Olivia having a ball!

The Gallery

Amongst the experienced staff woodworkers, there were a few new and nervous additions to the Arbortech family this year Max, Ramesh, Jana, Ade, Patricia and Alicia –“The Novices”. Although new to woodworking, they all gave the tools a go and where all equally shocked by how easy the Arbortech woodworking tools were to use and even more shocked at what they could do with the tools. “We aren’t kidding when we say the Arbortech tools give their users the “Freedom to create the Impossible” says Patricia, our talented Graphic Designer and creator of the “Lagoa”, a beautiful, layered plywood tray.

Lagoa by Patricia Saito

 Max, another Novice and the company Management Accountant goes on to say “I was a little nervous before using TURBOPlane, I have not had any practice using it. I was afraid I would take too much wood off and there would be no way to fix it. But I was very surprised at how fast I got the hang of it – it was actually the most enjoyable part of the project: using the TURBOPlane.  I also used the Power Chisel to carve the design and TURBOShaft to carve the holes to install the fin – they were also fun to use – surprisingly, it all went as I envisioned (it is a true testament to how user friendly the tools are – I have never made anything out of wood before)."

Hollow Plywood Surfboard by Max Stroevoy

On another note, the more experience staff woodworkers did not fail surprise either, showcasing their perfected techniques, talent and creativity.  A testament to this is Matt Cormack, our Product Designer who has been with Arbortech for over 20 years. He carefully sculpted his piece out of Plywood. The challenges lay in the fact that the project was small and the wood was fairly unstable which resulted in small pieces breaking off. Despite these challenges Matt managed to pull off a beautiful piece of woodwork called “Manta”.

Manta by Matt Cormack

Now for the rest of the pieces...

The Flame by Sven Blicks
Sven’s candle holder piece was initially inspired by the internal pattern that looks a lot like a flame.

Cheese Board by Ramesh Yadav
Ramesh is a Novice woodworker and wanted to try and get used to using the Arbortech tools. He used a combination of the Contour Sander, Mini-Grinder and Industrial Woodcarver to create this Jarrah Cheese Board.

Gadget Tray by Anton
Carved from Plywood, Anton created his gadget tray using a combination of the Industrial Woodcarver, MiniTURBO and Contour Sander.

The Dark Knight by Steve Errington
Steve was inspired by his sons when he created this carefully “Power Chiseled” portrait of Batman aka “The Dark Knight”.

"Moon" by Lilly Qin
Inspired by her love of wine and moonlight.

Clock by Babu Kannampuzua

Mobile Station by Peter Tashjian
Peter was inspired to make something useful and functional out of wood. His mobile station even has a hollow part to enhance the music from his speaker phone! 

Bookends by Christine Taylor
Christine was inspired by the flowing curves of Jolyon Yates work when she decided to create these beautiful bookends made out of Laminated Veneer Lumber. 

Peanut Bowl by Nora
Carved out of beautiful Jarrah wood, Nora used a combination of the TURBOPlane, Industrial Woodcarver and Contour Sander.

Great White by Bill Ginn
 Bill is an experience wood carver and it shows! He really wanted to challenge himself this year by creating a realistic piece of a Great White Shark out of Salmon Gum that he got from Lake King.

Vessel by Kristine Inkster
Made out of a Red Gum Burl and filled with black Epoxy, this stunning piece is perfectly smooth thanks to the Contour Sander!

Skin Deep by Stephen Marsh
To think this masterpiece originated from scrap wood! Carved out of Marri this sculpture is an abstract form of the human pelvis. The composition and detail is perfection.

Joy of Carving by Rocky
Carved from a hard wood root, this organic bowl was crafted with the Power Chisel, MiniTURBO and TURBOShaft.

Stretch by Alicia Ellen

Carved out of American Black Walnut, Alicia used the TURBOPlane, MiniTurbo, Mini-Grinder and Contour Sander to create this minimalist serving tray.
The Stressed Out Fish by Ade
Ade made this during a very stressful time in her life when time was limited. The fish is swimming alone among tangled seaweed - representing the many responsibilities she had.

Beer Carrier by Vinish
Vinish simply likes to use Arbortech tools, He also like beer. 

RIBI by Boro Trpevski
Another fine piece, made from and inspired by the texture of Plywood. Tools used included the TURBOPlane, MiniTURBO, TURBOShaft, and Contour Sander.

Totem of Light by Barry Fitzpatrick
Designed to carry candles in the grooves, this unique piece was crafted from Huon Pine that had been underwater for many years, making it unstable and difficult to work with. In the end this contributed to overall look and aesthetic of the final piece.

Arborcat by Victor Garzon
Victor wanted to make something fun for his cat Tigey. He used Gum Tree and carved the words "Tigey" with the Power Chisel.

Denamrk Dreaming by Junior * Bronwyn Linke
A combined effort by Junior and his wife Browyn, the are going to add this beautiful piece to their garden, They used Hickory and all of the Arbortech tools!

I Saw the Sign by Caitlin Grist
Inspired by her best friend giving birth to her first child, Sadie.

Assassins Creed by Jade Ginn
Jade likes  all things medieval and wanted some wall art for his home, the Assassins Creed was born!

Paella Tray by Ron Hasenauer
Ron loves to cook, especially paella for his family and friends. We really like the metal detailing and the interesting ball legs!

Flame by Frank Heeney

twisTABLE by Jana Blicks
Saving the best for last - obviously this piece won 1st place, but I bet you wouldn't believe this won first place in the NOVICE category!  Jana was initially inspired by the Arbortech creation of the Twist Candle. We will be posting a project plan on this beauty in the near future so keep posted!

Friday, July 15, 2016

A chat with Australian artist Ian Bell

We talk to professional woodcarver and sculptor, Ian Bell about his passion for woodwork, Arbortech and his new found adventure with Sculptures at Killalea.

Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into wood carving and sculpture?
Years ago I lived in Tasmania and worked as a ship builder and gained lots of experience using every type of hand/power tool available .I was looking for something creative to do in my spare time and in 1995-96 completed an associate diploma in art craft and design and have been hooked on wood carving ever since.

How does your life of woodcarving compare to your life before? Do you ever miss you previous career’/s?
I have much more freedom now and can structure my days around creating artwork. As far as my previous career goes, it was a means to an end and has now allowed me the opportunity to pursue my passion.

What is the inspiration behind your work? Can you tell us a bit about your artistic style or technique?
I love nature and particularly the ocean and try to echo the shapes and patterns I see into my work. I would describe my style as free-form and try to always incorporate texture, form and contrast.

You have your own gallery now, how did that start?
I supply quite a few galleries with my work and have a gallery section on the website. It takes hard work and lots of time.

How have our (Arbortech) tools played a role in your sculpting process? Do you have a favourite tool?
I have been using the Arbortech woodcarving attachments on my grinders for many years and find that they allow me to move lots of material very quickly which means I have more time and energy to produce even more work. All the tools serve a purpose but if I had to choose a favourite…it would have to be the Industrial Woodcarver.

What is your favourite piece and why?
Hard question to answer…they are all my favourite pieces while I’m working on them because that’s when I’m learning the most as every piece has it’s challenges and no one piece is the same.

You are a co-founder of the Sculptures at Killalea festival that’s making its debut later this year in NSW. Has your passion for wood carving played a part in creating the Festival? Tell us what sparked this idea and what you hope to achieve with this event?
Definitely, and the idea to create this type of event stems from one thought, which was “How good would sculptures look in this beautiful area.” My hope is that people and particularly kids get that light bulb moment that starts them on their own journey with sculpture or any other creative pursuit.

To visit Ian’s gallery online: http://www.ianbellcreations.com.au/

To find out more about Sculptures at Killalea please visit http://www.sculpturesatkillalea.com.au/

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Using salvaged or recycled wood with Arbortech tools.

Candle stick holder out of waste wood by Kevin Inkster:

Right from the beginning, Arbortech tools have been designed with salvaged wood, recycled wood and waste wood in mind.

The very first tool I developed was what I now consider to be a crude form of the Woodcarver blade. As rough as it was, it removed wood incredibly fast so I took it to a piece of Sheoak and freehand carved a bowl which I still have and love.
Sheoak bowl

I refined the blade for better control and then looked for larger projects. My specialty as a woodworker was in making chairs. To supplement my income in those days, I drove a country school bus. I had noticed a fallen Marri tree on my run so I took a chainsaw along one day, and got the school kids to help me drag a section of the trunk onto the bus. My intention was to carve a whole chair directly from the tree trunk using the new tool that I had developed. Not a particularly practical chair but it did have some charm. I noticed that when carving smooth free form shapes into the wood, that the grain and features of the wood would reveal beautiful patterns that would not be apparent in normal milled timber.

Chair carved from a Marri tree trunk

The result was that it won a major prize at a local Wood Festival and kicked off the beginning of Arbortech.

Since then, almost all of Arbortech wood working tools have been developed with either salvage or waste wood in mind. The TURBO range of products are ideal for machining wood in the round such as tree branches, roots or stumps. Of course they can be used with milled timber and I have done a lot of work by blocking up milled or dressed timber, but I always made a point of using waste or reject wood. Below are some examples of furniture that I made using a whole truck load of panelling wood called Scribe. Each piece is an off-cut that has been rejected because of a flaw such as a sap pocket. As it happens, such flaws become features when sculpted and do not affect the strength of the finished article because of the blocking up process.
Chair made from scribe

For our annual Arbortech staff competition, we encourage the use of salvaged or waste wood. We collect interesting wood from street verge throwouts and use every thing from small branches to wooden pallets.
Stylish coffee table by Kevin Inkster

'The contemplation bench' by Sven Blicks

Beach house sign by Kevin Inkster

'Stretch giraffe' by Steve Marsh

Buddha face by Kevin Inkster