19.9 C
Byron Shire
September 25, 2022

Lawrence Clain, carving the grain

Latest News

West Byron flooding

All east coast communities are now daily regularly warned by the ABC radio/TV, by the Bureau of Meteorology, to...

Other News

Great soil at Summit

Victoria Cosford Creative writing was what Ryan Bruin had his heart set on. He had planned to go to university...

Flash flood alert Tweed, Byron, Ballina and Lismore Shires

At 2.43am a SES (State Emergency Service) text was received by people in the Tweed and Byron Shire warning of ‘Heavy rain, dangerous flash flooding for Tweed Byron area overnight’ with possible ‘flash flooding and rapid river rises’ in ‘low-lying areas’.

Resilience NSW provides redacted, inaccurate docs

A Mullumbimby resident, who used FOI to seek the information that Resilience NSW relied upon to justify creating emergency housing on flood-prone land in Prince Street, was supplied with heavily redacted documents.

Honing the art of deep listening

The impacts of the floods earlier in the year are far-reaching, and the Mullumbimby High School P&C has recently received a $50,000 flood grant from the NSW Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) to help the entire community.

Bangalow bowlers celebrate 70th birthday

The Bangalow Women’s Bowling Club celebrated their 70th birthday earlier this month with a formal lunch and themed outfits. ‘On...

Double demerit warning from police

Police are encouraging road users to take care while travelling on NSW roads, ahead of the National Day of Mourning for Queen Elizabeth II and the start of the September school holidays.

With his art in wood, Lawrence Clain at the Mullum Market.

Story & photo Melissa Butters

Lawrence Clain is the face behind Valley of Craftsmen, pioneers in locally made sustainable, finely handcrafted timber boards. Lawrence turns pesky Camphor Laurel trees (noxious weeds) into stunning pieces of art. Made in the Byron hinterland the boards are not only aesthetically appealing with their unique smooth resin finish, they are eco-friendly and a healthier alternative owing to their antibacterial properties.

Camphor Laurel is an introduced south east Asian native that has overrun large areas of land in the Northern Rivers and inhibits potential land uses. It is often cleared for reforestation, which helps the birds and wildlife being confined to shrinking rainforest. Over 10 years ago, working as a carpenter’s apprentice, Lawrence realised the value of the wood with it’s unique rich honey colour and timeless appeal of swirling grain. Instead of the trees going to waste he began to turn them into something useful and beautiful – boards for chopping and display.  

Passionate about his craft, Lawrence is constantly experimenting with techniques and extending his knowledge about the relevant processes – cutting, milling, drying and crafting. Inspired by the patterns in the timber and the natural surroundings, he carves the knots in the grain and pours vibrant resin into the holes, recreating the blue and green waves of the ocean, flowing rivers and trees. 

With a vision to create something sustainable, functional and plastic-free, Lawrence makes sure that each board is made to last – and they smell good too! The oil in camphor laurel timber is wonderfully scented owing to a number of naturally occurring enzymes which repel insects and also boast high antibacterial properties. Originally used to make chests and cupboards for storing clothes and fabric in, the timber has also become popular in the kitchen and for cabinet making. 

When he’s not in the workshop you’ll find Lawrence seeking solitude in nature, exploring the national parks and waterfalls, or carving it up on a wave.

Find Valley of the Craftsmen at the Mullumbimby Farmers Market 7–11am, every Friday.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Odd row of lights

Just following up the letter from Sarah Smith in the August 31 issue. It was a Starlink satellite train. My webcam captured the scene. Michael...

Trampling of the graves of the murdered: reply to Will Liley

As I read Will Liley’s response to my article in dedication to my late uncle, I recalled the poem in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s novel Clandestine in Chile:

Murwillumbah mega-school merger public meeting on Monday

Opposition to the merger of the four Murwillumbah Schools, which includes two primary and two high schools, remains strong. Monday will see Leader of the NSW opposition MP Chris Minns and local MP Janelle Saffin joining concerned parents, students and community members at a town hall meeting in Murwillumbah on Monday at 5.30pm.

Byron Council looking at rain damage

Byron Shire Council says they have staff out and about across the Shire today assessing damage from the rain.