Sunday, September 26, 2010

While the kids are away...

We are driving south to see this woodworkers exhibition:

Terry Baker (see photo) is a teacher colleague of my husband's.
He is also an internationally-renowned woodturner. Typically he makes bowls like this one (see photo). But lately he has gotten into making things out of driftwood, such as the whale on the flyer.
Whenever I go south to our caravan, I always come back with a carload of driftwood for Terry. There is a timber mill nearby. I guess the unwanted wood floats out to sea and eventually makes its way back which time it has a lot of character.
Speaking of characters...Terry. Yes, that IS his publicity photo. He is a typical Aussie rough diamond. He grew up in a poor neighbourhood where you had to fight and play football to be respected. Same neighbourhood as my Dad, actually. How Terry came to be an artist is anyone's guess. But I do know he supported himself through art school by working as a tattoo artist...
On the surface, he is tough and hilariously politically incorrect. He is sexist, racist, and when kids get out of line he thumps them on the back of the head with a lump of wood. Illegal? Oh yah! But he is wily enough to pretend he didn't do it. When ladies with big boobs wear low cut tops, Terry enjoys getting an eye full. If they complain, he says, "If you don't want me to look, don't put them on show!"

If Terry wasn't also a warm, generous, gentle soul, you would hate him. Every year this man guides kids to graduate from high school with excellent marks in woodwork. They create the most beautiful wooden furniture, wood sculptures, guitars, and bowls. Kids catch the ferry to Terry's own home on the weekend, where he lets them use his own workshop because the tools are sharper and better there. He is a particular soft touch for the kids who are disadvantaged.
I am looking forward to seeing Terry's exhibition!



  1. just beautiful! he is a very talented man and he is right, if they put them on show he is free to look. (but not to touch! ha ha)

    smiles, bee

  2. haha, that's why they're on show in the first place right? She wants him to look, whether she admits it or not lol.

    Aside from the racist part... he sounds great haha.

  3. Nice carvings... I enjoyed using a lathe in high school, but haven't had the opportunity since. Enjoy the exhibit, it sounds like it'll be nice.

  4. Oh, if we could only just learn to live with people the way they are --warts and all-- the world would be a much better place.

    This man sounds like a gem of a teacher and is obviously doing yeoman's work in facilitating teaching a skill which can be enjoyed/used for years. I wish him much success.