Woodfest is on at Federal Hall this Sunday April 15 from 10am-3pm.
Woodfest is on at Federal Hall this Sunday April 15 from 10am-3pm.

Why this beautiful rocking chair is worth $28,000

FEDERAL Hall will host some of the most talented and home grown artists, makers and craftspeople in the region this Sunday for the annual Woodfest event.

The event was designed to celebrate the best use of sustainable timbers such as silver quandong, silky oak and Queensland maple in handmade designs ranging from door to furniture, panels, interior decoration or even surfboards.

Local furniture craftsman Alby Johnson will be presenting in the morning as part of the interactive
Local furniture craftsman Alby Johnson will be presenting in the morning as part of the interactive "Meet the Makers" panel discussion at Woodfest.

Local furniture craftsman and founder of Bayspoke Studio Alby Johnson said events like Woodfest are critical in promoting the "seed to tree to product" industry.

"We should all be making informed choices about our furniture with an understanding of where it's come from and who's made it," Mr Johnson said.

Mr Johnson crafts "unique one-off works in wood for furniture and sculpture" in the Byron Bay area.

Woodfest is on at Federal Hall this Sunday April 15 from 10am-3pm.
Woodfest is on at Federal Hall this Sunday April 15 from 10am-3pm.

The rainforest rocker is one Mr Johnson's recent works that took him several months to create.

"The rainforest rocker was over three months' work," he said.

"Most of my bigger pieces are round about three to five hundred hours."

His carefully hand carved creations can cost around $30,000.

"The rocking chair was about $28,000," Mr Johnson said.

"It's really difficult to just go 'my hourly rate for that many hours on this piece of furniture is this', that would be nice in an ideal world.

"We use machinery as much as possible to get close and quick as possible, from there it is all hand tools.

"All the texture on the back and all the carving is all hand carved with carving chisels.

"The tricky thing with the rainforest rocker, although the sculptural form is there and beautiful, the ergonomics is the most important factor and the dynamics and the action of the rock.

"I was really happy with the way it looked and I'm even happier with the way it performs and its comfort factor."

 

Woodfest is on at Federal Hall this Sunday April 15 from 10am-3pm.
Woodfest is on at Federal Hall this Sunday April 15 from 10am-3pm.

Mr Johnson will be submitting two of his works including the Lotus Table (photographed) in the competition this weekend.

He will be presenting as part of the interactive Meet the Makers panel.

"It is definitely in line with my ethos and values," Mr Johnson said.

"Northern Rivers area has a lot of food brands that celebrate the paddock to plate concept.

"Why don't we expand on this shift in the design and furniture industry, where the story and provenance of a piece is celebrated, as much as the form and function."

Entries for the competition have now closed, but patrons are encouraged to head down to Federal Hall this Sunday to check out some of the best 'seed-to-tree-to-product' creations of the Northern Rivers and South East Queensland.

Federal Hall this Sunday April 15 from 10am-3pm.



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