Obi Obi’s Unusual Cedar works both Practical and Artistic
The mesmerising talents of wood craftsman Jack Wilms can perhaps be seen most publicly at the The Chapel in Montville, with its hand-crafted rear cedar doors, 14 individually carved pews, a one-off carved alter and intricately embellished ceiling.
But the inspiring works are also prevalent at his unique gallery, Obi Valley Woodworks, located just off the tourist route in the Obi Valley, between Mapleton and Kenilworth.
A stroll through the gallery reveals a wide range of carved timber artworks, sculptures, doors and furniture, all utilising the richness of the red cedar trees that are Wilms’ timber of choice.
“I specialise in functional furniture pieces, entrance doors and sculptures with Australian wildlife and nature scenes,” Mr Wilms said.
While most of the furniture and carved timber doors are commissioned to specifically to suit the needs and wishes of his clients, his gallery offers one-off pieces that have emerged as each piece of timber is carved to reveal unique grain and personality.
“I just decide what I want to make today then go up into to the shed and find a suitable piece of timber and get to work,” Mr Wilms said.
He loves the natural grain of and rich colour of cedar, a softwood that is easily worked and polished, and he utilises only dead trees – whether still standing or salvaged from the forest floor – in contrast to cutting down healthy trees. His specialties are sculptures of Australian wildlife and natural scenes.
While most of the furniture and carved timber doors are made specifically to suit the needs and wishes of his clients, there are a range of one-off artworks in his gallery that have emerged as each piece of timber is carved to reveal unique grain and personality.
The works are a testament to Wilms’ desires to create attractive unique works, while continually striving to improve his skills and abilities – and being true to the beautiful native timber.
“Being self-taught – and I’ve been doing this for almost 26 years now – so I have perfected my technique and I still really enjoy what I do,” Mr Wilms said.
The Cedar Creations Gallery is open on Saturday and Sunday as well as most public holidays from 10am to 4pm. It is located at 430 Hunsley Road, Coolabine, in the Obi Valley, midway between Mapleton and Kenilworth.
There are street signs to the gallery from the Coolabine Road junction with Obi Obi Road.
His works can also be admired at Secrets on the Lake located on Baroon Pocket Dam in Montville where he has doing his unique carvings for almost 20 years.