Ray Garnsey

Making items from wood is part of Ray's earliest memories growing up in Albury NSW in the 50’s. If he wanted a toy he would make it from wood with the help of his father. The passion continued at high school in Sydney in the 60’s with a little formal education and the added pleasure of technical drawing knowledge. His family moved to Fiji in the late 60’s and his first full time paid job was in a factory specialising in local timber furniture for the quickly expanding resort and tourism market. This dream was quickly followed by two years as a trainee manager in a major timber yard learning about timber milling/ drying / CCA pressure treatment and machining of Fijian timbers for local building and export plywood markets. His carpentry progressed to some household furniture of humble beginnings.

Back in Australia Ray's skills of woodturning were learnt through TAFE club and private tuition and these skills assisted in widening the scope of his pieces. For the following 10 years he was self employed and living on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. Holidays were spent in cooler climes with visits to Tasmania (Franklin Wooden Boat School) and Mittagong NSW (Sturt School for Wood). With a move to Camden in 2001 combined with the late Tom Harrington’s insistence on integrity in design and quality of finish improved his knowledge and quality to confidently produce commercial pieces. His simple philosophy is to allow either the natural figure of the timber or the design to be the focal point of the object – not to destroy one feature with the other.

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